MOST people get nothing more than a headache from New Year's celebrations. Oakleigh Krushers coach Martin Stillman walked away with a prize recruit.
Stillman bumped into former AFL player Aaron Lord on New Year's Eve and as the pair chatted about football he discovered Lord may be keen to return to the field.
The 150-game former Geelong and Hawthorn player had spent a couple of seasons away from the sport, instead competing in triathlons and other sporting quests.
Stillman had known Lord for more than 20 years since the latter played representative junior football in the old Victorian Football Association.
"I asked if he had any intentions of playing football, he said he had a bit of an interest in having a kick somewhere," he said.
"So I asked if he was interested in playing with us. Within a week he was sitting down with our president and myself talking about the logistics of playing with us."
Lord will be a playing assistant coach this season charged with developing the Krushers' young list and passing on his experience to his impressionable teammates. Stillman, in his second season as Krushers coach, said his 37-year-old star recruit was "extremely fit" and would make a big contribution on the field.
But Stillman is more excited about Lord's contributions off the field while working with players.
"The main facet will not be on the field, it's what he can bring off the field," he said.
"He will bring his work ethic and good behaviours at training and around the footy club, we want him to help mould our young playing list."
In a press release from the Krushers, Lord said he was excited to get back on the field.
"I am looking forward to working with Stilly and the other coaches at the Krushers to help develop the youth on the club's list," Lord stated.
"I've know Stilly for over 20 years and when I met with him I was extremely impressed with the enthusiasm and passion he displayed for the club and the vision for the Krushers."
Lord is the first former AFL player to join the Krushers.