WHITE Hills has bolstered its forward line with the signing of Ricky Symes from Sandhurst for the 2014 Heathcote District Football League season.
Symes joins the Demons as a playing assistant coach in what is another key forward leaving the Bendigo Football League.
The 33-year-old has spent the past two years at Sandhurst, booting 122 goals - 73 in 2012 and 49 this year.
Symes said the opportunity to be an assistant coach would be a good stepping stone to his coaching ambitions after his playing career was finished.
"I've loved the two years I had at Sandhurst and really enjoyed it, but I'm at the age now where I'm looking at coaching beyond my playing days, which aren't going to go for that much longer," Symes said on Wednesday.
"I was previously an assistant coach at Benalla a few years ago, so this is a chance to get a bit more experience, which will hopefully, hold me in good stead for when I'm finished playing.
"Plus, my brother (Daniel) played at White Hills when he first moved to Bendigo, so I've spent a bit of time there and I know quite a few of the players and they are a good club.
"If I was going to leave Sandhurst, I was keen to go to a new club where I know a few guys, so it has worked out well."
Symes joins White Hills after the Demons this year had only Matt Sawyer (37) and Charlie Bowyer (33) kick more than 20 goals.
White Hills coach Shaun Makepeace said Symes would be a valuable addition to White Hills both on and off the field.
"We're rapt to get a guy with Rick's leadership, experience and playing ability," Makepeace said.
"The main reason we went after him is he's not only going to have a really strong and positive influence over the playing group, but also around the club in general.
"To have someone of Rick's calibre is going to be a great fit for the White Hills Football Club with where we're at."
White Hills - which hasn't won a senior premiership since 1988 - this year finished seventh, winning five games.
The HDFL promises to have some exciting key forward talent next year, with Symes' signing following Mount Pleasant last week securing Eaglehawk's Kain Robins and Matt Gretgrix.