Former AFL player Lucas Cook will play for the Southern Mallee Giants for the remainder of the Wimmera Football League season.
The Hopetoun product has returned to his home club in the final weekend before clearances and transfers are closed.
Giants coach Coleman Schache said Cook's return was a massive boost for his side.
"It's very exciting to get a local boy back who has been playing at a high standard for years," Schache said.
"We've sort of kept in touch with him right through with his footy. We've always been talking to him and hoping that one day we could have a kick with him again, and fortunately it's all worked out."
A highly touted youngster, Cook was drafted to the Melbourne Demons with pick 12 in the 2010 AFL National Draft, but didn't play an AFL game for the club before being delisted in 2012.
Cook, 27, last played for Port Melbourne in the VFL in 2018.
The key position player won a premiership with the club in 2017, and was named Port's best on ground in the grand final victory.
At 196 centimeters, Cook will be an intimidating prospect for opposition clubs in the Wimmera league.
"He's a key position player definitely, he can play back and forward," Schache said.
"He's been playing back for Port Melbourne, but we'll probably give him a go at both ends and see how he goes.
"He should be able to bring back a fair bit of valuable knowledge from the standard he's played at too."
In an incredibly even Wimmera league season, Giants president Brad Moore hoped the acquisition of Cook could boost the club into finals contention.
They currently sit in fifth place on the ladder, even on points with the sixth-placed Horsham Saints and one win behind Stawell and Horsham.
"Hopefully this will go a fair way to getting us into the finals - it should be a shot in the arm for everyone on and off the field," Mr Moore said.
"It's such an even year, the way we see it, whoever sneaks into fifth spot could be a chance for the flag. The competition is just so even at the moment.
"If we can just get a few back from long term injuries, hopefully we can have a good back half to the year."
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