Former Western Bulldogs and Gold Coast Suns player Jarrod Harbrow has returned to his junior side Manunda Hawks for season 2023.

Drafted with Pick 27 in the 2007 Rookie Draft by the Dogs, Harbrow played 70 games across four seasons at the Kennel before joining the Queensland expansion side.

The dashing defender played 192 games for the Suns, and was the first to reach 100 matches for the club.

Returning to the Hawks was always on the agenda for the 34-year-old, who has a deep connection with the club.

"It's something that I always wanted to do post my AFL footy career," Harbrow said in a club announcement.

"I've got a strong connection with the Hawks. I don't know how many games I'll be able to play.

"Some of that will depend on my work schedule.

GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 31: Jarrod Harbrow of the Suns kicks during the round two AFL match between the Gold Coast Suns and the Fremantle Dockers at Metricon Stadium on March 31, 2019 in Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

"But I'll be able to bring the family up and get the kids involved which will be great."

The 2018 Suns best and fairest winner also played junior footy for the South Cairns Cutters, before moving to Victoria to better his chances of being drafted to the AFL.

In Victoria, he played for the Mooroopna Football Club before joining the Murray Bushrangers in the TAC Cup.

"I got my start at Souths in a lot of ways and obviously, I have a special connection to both clubs," he said.

"But coming to Hawks this year just felt right to me."

The proud Yirrganydji and Kuku Yalanji man is a three-time Indigenous All-Star, and since retiring has mentored some of the game's most promising First Nations stars, and worked with the Suns in a variety of roles.

Coming up in the system in a different time to today's stars, Harbrow says there is even more opportunity now, but hopes he can still provide something to the future generation.

GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 21: Jarrod Harbrow during a Gold Coast Suns AFL training session at Metricon Stadium on March 21, 2017 in Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Jason O'Brien/Getty Images)

"Making it to the AFL as a Cairns junior is pretty different now to when I was coming through the ranks," he said.

"If anything, there are greater opportunities through the Suns Academy and other pathways that weren't there previously.

"Hopefully, by coming back and playing in Cairns, I can pass onto others what I learned and guide them on their journey to becoming an elite footballer as well."