Geelong is set to commence their premiership defence with bolstered stocks after the Pivot City club announced the re-signings of Tom Hawkins, Isaac Smith, Zach Tuohy, Zach Guthrie and Tom Atkins on Monday.
Having scaled the September summit after demolishing the Swans on grand final day, the Cats have been busy adding to their already sterling roster, securing the signatures of Tanner Bruhn, Jack Bowes and Oliver Henry during the trade period.
However, with the ability to recall this premiership quintet, the competition has been placed on notice, if they weren't already.
As veterans under Chris Scott's watch, each of Hawkins, Tuohy and Smith will return to Kardinia Park on one-year deals, hoping for one more flag before the sun inevitably sets.
Entering 2022 without roles set in stone, both Guthrie and Atkins continued to blossom as the season grew older, with each performing sublimely before September's end; claiming their first premiership medallions in the process.
Within a prepared statement, Geelong's GM of Football Simon Lloyd spruiked the collective of signings, stressing that each had a vital role to play within the club's program going forward.
“We are thrilled that all five of these players have re-committed to our football program for next season and beyond,” Lloyd told Geelong Media.
“Players like Tom Atkins and Zach Guthrie are key pillars of our medium to long-term future, and as we saw this year, both players demonstrated a drive and a determination to keep improving, which has been a feature of both of their careers since they arrived at the Club. Both Tom and Zach also contribute significantly off-field to the fabric of Geelong with the quality of their leadership and character.
“Zach and Isaac, among a long list of players at our Club, are key reasons why we have been able to achieve what we have this year. Both are experienced big-game players on the field and they drive standards across the Club off of it, but equally, they are exceptional people who we are very proud to call Geelong players.
“Hawk has achieved so much in his career over such a long period of time, and it is a tribute to his hard work and dedication that he continues to get better each and every year he plays the game.
“More importantly, Tom's care and selfless nature for his teammates makes us a stronger Club. It's incredible to think that after 327 games and 732 goals, Tom continues to impact and influence games, and we are proud to have him continue to wear the hoops into next season.”
In addition to these returning names and recent acquisitions, Geelong will enter next month's National Draft with an arsenal of selections comprised of picks 7, 58, 64 and 94.