MICHAEL Hogan looks set to make a cricketing return of sorts, taking up a player-coach role with the Hunter Thoroughbreds for the upcoming T20 Summer Bash.
Hogan officially retired from the professional ranks in October and after a decade abroad in England has relocated to the heart of the valley.
The 42-year-old paceman was described by Hunter's Joey Butler as an "exciting signing for our area" during Newcastle District Cricket Association's competition launch on Monday.
"It's the big thing we've already seen in the region, just the knowledge that he brings and it's only going to benefit our side," Butler told the Newcastle Herald.
"One of his kids is playing juniors with us at Greta-Branxton and he's helping out coach that side as well. He's been awesome around our club as a whole.
"So to have him coach us [Hunter Thoroughbreds in T20 Summer Bash] as well is great and play as well, he's going to play as much as he can with this side.
"It's going to be amazing just to have his experience around, but to have it out on the field as well is going to be pretty handy."
Hunter, Maitland Flood and the Suburban District Rebels combine with the 12 NDCA clubs to form the stand-alone T20 Summer Bash, which gets underway with double headers on Sunday week (December 17).
The Thoroughbreds meet the Sabres (City) and Waratahs (Waratah-Mayfield) first up before tackling the Tigers (Wallsend) and Black Roses (Cardiff-Boolaroo) in the New Year.
Hogan hasn't been pitted against his former club the Lions (Merewether), who make up a group with defending champions the Pumas (Hamilton-Wickham), Magpies (Charlestown), Whips (Belmont) and the Rebels.
Rosellas (Wests), Seagulls (Stockton), Sea Dragons (University), Kookaburras (Toronto) and the Flood round out the pools.
Play continues on January 21 before a series of midweek twilight matches.
Quarter-finals are set for February 25 before the top four converge at No.1 Sportsground on March 3.
Butler also revealed Hunter have picked up Scone leg-spinner Tom Brooks, who took 8-144 for Wests in Sydney first grade last month, and seamer Jacob Simmons.
The longest drive competition at Rippit Golf on Monday was claimed by the Kookaburras.