When Oscar Hunt returned to Gunnedah in 2017, after finishing his teaching degree in Newcastle, family and friends were not the only ones to embrace him.
The speedster - a maths and physical education teacher at Gunnedah High - has found a second home at the Red Devils, revelling in what he says is the club's "family" atmosphere.
And with fifth-placed Gunnedah set to face eighth-placed Quirindi at home on Saturday, the 25-year-old said this was the best Red Devils side he had played in - what with their potent mix of youth and experience and harmony.
Hunt paid tribute to Gunnedah president Bruce Hocking for the role he's played in creating the Red Devils of today.
That's the main thing about the club: everyone kind of gets on and everyone's mates. That's kind of the whole point of the club, and the whole point of playing footy with each other.Oscar Hunt
It was Hocking who addressed the players before last weekend's match against Pirates at Ken Chillingworth Oval, telling the players that they were part of a "family". Gunnedah lost 28-23, but took a lot out of the match after dominating large portions of it.
Hunt said: "That's the main thing about the club: everyone kind of gets on and everyone's mates. That's kind of the whole point of the club, and the whole point of playing footy with each other.
"That's what makes it so good. That's why you do have blokes who hang around for ages and want to come back ... because it is that culture within the club.
"Like we had a big talk before we played on Saturday from Bruce Hocking. He talked about how it's all family. Like it doesn't matter where you're from or what you've done or where you're going: while you're there, you've just got everyone their to support you."
"Bruce is a big part of that," he added. "Everyone just gets along. I don't think I've ever seen people argue, let alone fight."
Gunnedah are one point behind fourth-placed Pirates. Five rounds remain before he finals. The game plan against Quirindi, Hunt said, would be the side's normal game plan: "Playing to our speed - not getting rushed and not getting slowed down."