Recently retired Essendon ruckman Andrew Philips has returned to his junior club Lauderdale in the Tasmanian State League for the 2024 season.

Phillips, who called time on his three-club, 82-game career near the cessation of this season, moved back to his home state shortly after hanging up the boots at Tullamarine.

The 32-year-old would play his 20th game of 2023 and the last of his career in the Bombers' season-ending loss to Collingwood, seeing Phillips bid farewell to the game alongside Essendon forward Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti.

The proud Tasmanian spoke of his eagerness to return to the Apple Isle with his family shortly after his decision to retire.

"The time feels right to finish up and head home to Tassie," Phillips said. "To my family, Teagan and the kids, thank you. You've been there for most of my career, I couldn't fault your support and I love coming home to you, win or loss."

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While Phillips won't be with Essendon next year, the 201cm big man will still be donning the red and black and representing the Bombers in 2024 as he links up with his old club Lauderdale.

Phillips was drafted out of the bayside Tasmanian town in 2010 as a rookie draft selection with GWS, who he played 14 games for before departing for Carlton at the end of 2015.

As a Blue, Phillips would 27 appearances over four seasons, 16 of which came in his maiden season at Princes Park.

Phillips would then be traded to his third club ahead of the 2020 season, joining Essendon where he would add a further 41 games to his career. Phillips would play a career-high 20 games this year, averaging 7.6 disposals and 20.7 hitouts per game.

He'll now look to bring further AFL experience to Lauderdale, with former Geelong and Brisbane midfield-forward Allen Christensen the Bombers' player-coach.

A premiership player with the Cats, Christensen recently recommitted as Lauderdale's coach for the 2024 season.

The Bombers recorded six wins from their 18 matches this year, finishing sixth on the TSL ladder.