Tim Noakes is a fairest and best winner as a centre half-forward at East Perth, but has done a bit of everything in the first three games of his new life with Perth and is enjoying the fresh start to his career this season along with his younger brother Ben.
Noakes played 77 games, kicked 88 goals and won the 2008 fairest and best award with East Perth after making his league debut in 2005, but both he and his younger brother Ben decided to leave the Royals last year.
They both spent a season back home and playing with Augusta-Margaret River where they won a premiership along with fellow former Royals Adam Pickering (now Perth's reserves coach) and Jeremy Humm.
Now both arrived with Perth over the pre-season and after Tim had a slow start to 2012 with a hamstring injury, he's now doing well whether up forward or as an undersized ruckman, and Ben is finding his feet in the Demons' midfield.
Tim had a hamstring injury to start the season, but found strong form in the reserves and then came in for his first league appearance for the Demons against Subiaco back in Round 6. He played in a strong come from behind win that day as he played a defensive forward role on Aidan Parker.
He then worked hard up forward against Swan Districts the next week before picking up 25 possessions and taking 14 marks last Saturday against East Fremantle mostly in the ruck with regular big men Llane Spaanderman, Rob de Jongh and Fraser McInnes unavailable.
Having spent his entire WAFL career with East Perth and being such a key part of their side for a number of years, it was a big change coming to a new club for Noakes but he's enjoying it.
"It's a big shock to the system being at a new club," he said.
"Unfortunately I tore my hammy and missed four weeks so had to come back through the twos so missed out on the league game against East Perth on Good Friday. It definitely is different, but I'm enjoying the red-and-black."
Helping the move easier to Perth has been the familiar faces in terms of fellow former Royals in not only his brother Ben and reserves coach Pickering but also Spaanderman, Nick Kane and Mark Deaves.
"It definitely makes the transition a lot easier having some familiar faces here coming to a new club," Noakes said.
"He (Pickering) has taken on the job and done it really well already. He was the back-line coach for Tony Micale last year at East Perth and thought he needed a change to get away from East Perth where the players all knew him, and he has taken on the role great. Nobody could be more impressed with him.
"He (brother Ben) just has the brittle bones. He broke his arm five times and three times in the same year two years ago. He wasn’t going to play footy at all last year, but we thought we needed a change up. Being at East Perth for so long, we wanted to do the right thing and not leave straight away. We had a year having some fun down home winning a grand final, and now here we are."
Two teammates who have already stood out to Noakes have been captain Ross Young and former Collingwood All-Australian star Leon Davis. There's few players in the league better to deliver the ball down to him either.
"He (Young) is terrific just with his work rate backwards and forwards, it's just unbelievable. He just uses it so well, but the best part about his game is how breaks the lines through the middle and when he bursts from the packs," he said.
"Leon has been great the last few weeks and we know we just have to get the ball in his hands as much as possible because we know how good he uses it."
The Noakes boys have been far from the only new faces at Perth this season. Fellow recruits Davis, Paul Bevan, Alistair Smith, Brennan Stack and Spaanderman have all had decent starts with the Demons, but they just haven’t been able to get anything near their best team on the park.
Key players Jarrod Kayler-Thomson, Haydn Busher, Andrew McDougall, Chris Vidot, Scott Siekierka, Daniel O'Sullivan and Chris Billings are just some to have been missing for all, or most, of the season so far and that's a big reason why the Demons head into the bye on a 2-6 record.
"There's a lot of new players here at the club this year and we've been hit pretty hard by injuries to key players, but have shown signs in each game we've played of the footy we can play. It was just about putting four quarters together and working on all those little things," Noakes said.
"It has been great and a lot different at the same time. They are a great bunch of blocks and the other recruits who have come in have played some great footy – especially Leon and Paul Bevan who are really experienced and played AFL grand finals so it's great to play alongside players like that."