Ex-AFL journeyman Michael Hartley has joined Goulburn Valley League side Seymour for the 2022 season.

The former Hawks, Bombers and Magpies defender was not offered a new contract by Hawthorn for next year, ending a 49-game game career in the top flight.

Hartley was nearing a move to Collingwood's VFL side last month in making a return to the Holden Centre a decade after first joining the Magpies via the 2011 Rookie Draft.

The New South Welshman is also set to balance his time as an assistant coach, while also holding a role with the Magpies' AFLW side.

The Penrith product failed to feature in Collingwood's AFL side across his two-year tenure, heading to Coburg after being delisted in 2013.

Hartley was soon recruited to Essendon amid their infamous supplements saga investigation, where he gained greater exposure at AFL level given the reduced list.

After departing the Bombers last year, the Hawks swooped on Hartley services, where he played just the three matches.

Seymour now look to benefit from his departure, with Hartley set to share his time between Collingwood and the Lions throughout next year.

Speaking to Goulburn Valley News' Brayden May, Seymour coach Ben Davey stated his excitement to have the ex-AFL backman at his disposal.

“We’re getting a terrific footballer and an even better person,” he said.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 08: Angus Clarke of Werribee and Michael Hartley of Essendon compete in a ruck contest during the 2019 VFL Second Semi Final match between the Essendon Bombers and the Werribee Tigers at Adcon Stadium on September 08, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

“It’s not everyday you get someone straight out of the AFL system come into your club and I think a lot of our guys are going to learn a lot from him.

“He made it clear to us he wants to be spending as much time as possible with our group. If he is to play VFL on a Sunday, he will be at our game on Saturday helping out on the bench.

“I’m excited to see what he is going to bring to the club.”

Former premiership Richmond defender Alex Rance called Seymour home for a one-game showing this year, pulling in a strong crowd at Kings Park.

Hartley will join former Western Bulldogs and Greater Western Sydney defender Sam Reid in venturing to the GVL for 2022, with the latter signing with Echuca.

Williamstown and former Giants ruckman Tom Downie is also understood to have signed with Benalla for next year.