AFTER two premierships, including this year as captain, and a Cheatley Medal in his four seasons at North Bendigo, Jarrod Findlay is on the move back to Eaglehawk.
Findlay previously played under-18s at Eaglehawk and it's where he got his first taste of senior football.
"I'm turning 28 next week and the longer the season went on this year it started popping into my mind that if I don't go back to Eaglehawk next year the door will probably be shut for good," Findlay said on Thursday.
"So I've decided to go back and have one last crack in the Bendigo league."
Findlay played in four grand finals in his four seasons at Atkins Street during which the Bulldogs won 65 of their 77 games and were undefeated at home.
Playing a mix of midfield and half-forward, Findlay won flags with the Bulldogs in 2016 and 2019, as well as the league's Cheatley Medal in 2017.
Findlay, who captained the Heathcote District inter-league team this year in its win over Sunraysia, kicked 94 goals during his stint at the Bulldogs and featured among their best players 31 times.
"I've loved my time at North Bendigo... I'm really grateful for what they've done for me and I couldn't have asked for anything more in the four years I was there," Findlay said.
"The chance to play in four grand finals and two flags and not lose too many games in that time was great... my family loves it there, so it was definitely a tough call to make."
The signing of Findlay is the first recruiting announcement made by the Hawks post their grand final loss to Strathfieldsaye.
"Looking at our side next year, it's going to have some young faces in there and having someone like Jarrod slip back in is going to be really important," Hawks coach Travis Matheson said.
"It's not just what he brings from a playing point of view, but that leadership as well given he's spent the past couple of years as captain at North. We certainly see him spending a lot of time through the middle and helping us win the footy out of there."
While the Hawks have Findlay as a recruit, they have lost Brodie Collins (co-coaching Lockington-Bamawm United) and Jack Fallon (assistant coach at White Hills) from their grand final team.
Versatile big man Cameron McGlashan is heading overseas and Matheson concedes it's unlikely the Hawks will get any football out of him next year, while defender Oscar Madden will be overseas for the first half of 2020.
"Oscar will be back to play in the back half of the year for us, so he will be a nice little inclusion at the mid-point," Matheson said.
"And at this point we don't expect we'll be seeing Cam next year."
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