Daylesford fans are rejoicing at news one of their great exports has decided to return home.
Josh Cowan, who played 16 AFL matches in eight seasons with Geelong, has recently informed teammates at St Mary's that he is headed back to the kennel.
Cowan played junior football with the Bulldogs and won a Central Highlands Football League senior premiership with the club in 2007 before his career took off.
"Josh told us on Friday night that he was going to move on and have a season of footy at Daylesford," St Mary's co-coach Travis Robertson told krockfootball.com.au.
"He's got a few mates that are heading back there, and potentially his brother as well.
"So, it's an opportunity for him to play up there and see if they can make those boys a little bit more competitive."
Robertson said although Cowan was only at St Mary's for two seasons, he had a significant impact on the club.
"He's got a great footy brain, and he's not afraid to speak up and develop our group," Robertson said.
"He certainly added a bit on the ground, but also a lot off the ground through coaching and educating, and how he immersed himself in our footy club."
The 28-year-old played 32 games across two seasons for St Mary's in the Geelong Football League after arriving from the Cats. He missed this year's grand final win through injury.
Cowan was drafted to Geelong in 2009 from the North Ballarat Rebels.
He had a frustrating stint with the Cats, where he was plagued by Achilles and hamstring issues.
His time on-field for the Cats reaped 15 AFL wins and just one defeat in the 2016 preliminary final against Sydney at the MCG.
Cowan made his AFL debut against Gold Coast Suns in 2011 and played three matches before injury troubles kept him sidelined 1384 days before his next match.
Former Daylesford coach Zac Tisdale, who is a friend of Cowan, said his return was great news for the club.
Tisdale was part of a group of Daylesford people that met with Cowan in recent times and said the onballer would continue to live in Geelong and travel to the region for training and games.
The signing is also a great start for new senior coach Hamish Jarrod, who has taken over from Tisdale for the 2020 campaign.
Speaking to The Courier last week, Jarrod put finals directly on the radar.
"Our goals are to return to finals footy in 2020, it's as simple as that," he said.
The club is also hopeful Cowan's brother Joel will return from Trentham for next season.