One of Augusta-Margaret River’s greatest footballing exports will make a return to the club as it mounts its defence of last year’s premiership. Former Hawks junior Steven Payne, who went on to play 150 games at WAFL level for East Perth and Swan Districts, is the club’s first major signing of the off-season. He is set to take on an assistant coaching role under premiership mentor Matt Jamieson as well as his playing duties. Payne retired from WAFL football at the end of Swan Districts’ 2020 season. The 31-year-old won East Perth’s best and fairest in 2014 and kicked 46 goals during a State league career in which he averaged a tick over 20 disposals a game. The Hawks announced the news on its social media platforms on Thursday. “We are looking forward to his experience and knowledge in the midfield for the 2022 season,” the statement read. Payne played in the Royals’ 2013 grand final and the 2014 decider. He last played for the Hawks in the 2017 season and played just a handful of games for the Royals before joining Swan Districts the following season. It comes just a day after Hayward medalist, Pike Medalist and premiership star Simon Moore committed to the club for the 2022 season. Moore, who also played WAFL football with Subiaco, told the South Western Times he was committed to helping the Hawks go back-to-back for the first time since the mid-1990s. “The lure of trying to back up the success of last year was definitely there,” he said. “You could see with the boys straight away, they celebrated really well and then some of those guys got back into training straight away. “We are keen to show it wasn’t a fluke and it is something that will be sustained across time, which will be really nice.” Payne’s signature continues a string of WAFL-calibre signing in the South West. South Fremantle premiership hero Jacob Dragovich will join the Eaton Boomers as he takes a break from State league football, while former Perth player Fraser Millar is returning to South Bunbury. The Hawks will unveil their flag at Gloucester Park on the opening night of the season when they meet Busselton in a grand final rematch.