Dual All-Australian Michael Hurley has joined local footy side Macleod after he announced his retirement from AFL football in August.
The faithful Bomber, who almost couldn't play football again following a life-threatening hip injury in 2021, will play for the club from 2023 alongside some potential AFL/VFL coaching commitments.
The 32-year-old defender was a staple of Essendon's setup for the best part of 13 years, with the latter part of his career being marred by injury, however, he still managed to be one of the club's most consistent performers in defence.
Speaking in a post on Macleod's Instagram, Hurley exclaimed his excitement at being able to go back to his boyhood club and play football alongside those he grew up with.
“It’s great to be coming home. Macleod Football Club holds a special place in my heart, going back to the junior club and playing some senior footy in 2006," Hurley said.
"Our family still has very close ties with the club so to pull on a Macleod jumper again will be a thrill.
“A lot of the guys I played junior footy with are still playing and I can’t wait to be out there alongside them again."
There is no doubt that the addition of Hurley's quality is massive for Macleod, with a two-time All-Australian being a huge get for any local side.
Hurley reportedly has plans to take up a backroom job at AFL/VFL level, citing back in August that he had started talks with Essendon to come in in a coaching or player welfare role.
The defender had an emotional final game against Richmond in Round 23, booting a goal in the dying minutes which garnered praise from both sides and sets of fans.
The 2009 Pick 5 finished with 194 games to his name, booting 105 goals and becoming a fan favourite in the process.