Essendon have welcomed the return of former recruitment manager Merv Keane ahead of the 2023 season.

Keane, a three-time Richmond premiership player, Team of the Century member and Hall of Fame inductee, brings almost 50 years of playing, coaching and list management experience in football to the Bombers.

Having previously held roles as an assistant coach, reserves coach and recruitment boss at Essendon, Keane returns to the club 16 years after commencing his most recent role as part of their list management team, which he held for over a decade.

Keane's return will see the 69-year-old link up with Essendon's list and recruitment crew.

“It is a privilege to be back at Essendon and I look forward to adding value to the footy club and the recruiting department every day,” Keane said in a club statement.

Keane, who played 238 games for Richmond from 1972-1984, also held coaching roles with Williamstown, the Western Jets, Calder Cannons and Sturt.

Current Essendon list manager Adrian Dodoro, who has been with the Bombers for 25 years across a multitude of roles, expressed his delight in being reunited with Keane at Tullamarine.

“Merv provides over four decades of football experience as a player, coach and recruiter so we are delighted to have his intel back at the club,” Dodoro said.

“We are very excited to have Merv back at the Bombers."

Essendon 2023 campaign will commence on Sunday when the Bombers clash with close rivals Hawthorn at the MCG.