MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MAY 09: Paul Chapman, James Kelly, Cameron Ling, Steve Johnson and Shannon Byrnes of the Cats sing the song in the rooms after winning the round seven AFL match between the Geelong Cats and the Sydney Swans at Skilled Stadium on May 9, 2010 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Former Geelong utility Shannon Byrnes has returned to Kardinia Park to join the Cats' new-look coaching strikeforce.

Byrnes departed the Cattery at the end of the 2012 season to join Melbourne, where he played 23 games.

The 37-year-old has most recently been serving as the Demons' player development manager, holding down a key role in their drought-breaking premiership campaign this year.

The Shepparton product first joined Geelong in 2002, playing 108 games in the Hoops and winning premiership medals in 2007 and 2009.

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Byrnes is now set to make a return to Geelong as the club's new player development manager, joining the likes of Harry Taylor, James Kelly and Matthew Egan in venturing back to the Cats this off-season.

Egan has been appointed as head of player development, with Taylor taking on duties in the Cats' medical department while Kelly has joined as an assistant coach.

“Shannon enjoyed an excellent playing career with the Cats, and he has been at the forefront of player development at the Demons for the past seven years,” Geelong boss football Simon Lloyd said in the club's announcement.

“To be able to welcome Shannon back to the club is significant, and an exciting addition for us. Shannon brings expertise in the player development area, is a strong relationship builder and has a deep love of the club.”

Byrnes is set to officially begin his new tenure at the end of this month as a handful of young Cats begin their pre-season preparations for the 2022 season.

The arrival of the aforementioned coaching quartet headlines a revamped coaching structure at the Cats, with former Blues and Crows forward Eddie Betts also joining Geelong as a development coach.

AFL Rd 3 - Geelong v Carlton
GEELONG, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 20: Eddie Betts of the Blues (L) in action during the round 3 AFL match between the Geelong Cats and the Carlton Blues at GMHBA Stadium on June 20, 2020 in Geelong, Australia. (Photo by Graham Denholm/AFL Photos via Getty Images )

The Cats have bid farewell to assistant coaches Corey Enright, Matthew Scarlett and Matthew Knights in recent months, while chief executive Brian Cook has also departed as former AFL general manager of football operations Steve Hocking has been appointed as his successor.

Senior coach Chris Scott is understood to have had his contract extended until the end of the 2024 season, adding a further two years onto his current deal.