Twelve months ago, Kyabram's Jack Sheldon was not a heart-broken Bomber — he was on the other side of the world.
In his third season as Central Michigan's punter — while doubling as the Chippewas' 105th-string quarter-back — Sheldon was just kicking off what would be his final season in the college football system before returning to country Victoria.
Now a year on, he is a Goulburn Valley League premiership player — and he left no doubt as to how highly he rated the achievement.
“It's the best thing I've ever done. The best thing ever, the best moment of me life,” Sheldon said through an enormous grin.
“It's a combination of relief and joy I think. There's a bit of pressure coming into the game, so I can't quite put it into words right now.”
The 23-year-old played with grand final opponent Echuca as a junior and played 32 senior games with the Murray Bombers before his American getaway, but opted for family and mates when choosing a club on returning, bringing the pressure of trying to fit in on-field with it.
“My first senior premiership, and first finals series,” he said.
“It means everything, it's just my first time being able to play with my brother, cousin, best mates, Axel (Childs), all the other boys and that. It's pretty special.
“I was (in America) for three years and coming in is pretty tough, but the boys look after me.
“There's some pretty handy players in the side, so all I have to do is lock down on a forward and they make me look good. It's pretty enjoyable really.”