While the AFL exchange windows have closed, local football clubs across Victoria are ramping up their recruitment drives to land former stars of top-flight football.

Whether players have looked to return to their roots, are continuing in the local footy merry-go-round market or are looking to rekindle their young careers with a new club, an extensive list of former AFL players have signed with clubs across the state.

Many will share their seasons with VFL clubs, others have taken on player-coaching roles at their new sides.

The Northern Football League and Goulburn Valley League have seen a strong off-season of signings in recent months, with both metropolitan and regional clubs managing to attract high-profile players.

Lin Jong has signed with Northern Football League club Montmorency
Lin Jong of the Bulldogs looks upfield during a Western Bulldogs AFL training session at Whitten Oval. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

Ballarat Football League 

Delisted Docker Brett Bewley has made his return to Victoria, returning to his roots in signing with Darley Football Club.

Brett Bewley (Darley)
Jackson Merrett (East Point)

Bellarine Football League 

Ex North Melbourne and Cats forward Aaron Black will be a full-time feature for Modewarre next year after signing on for 2022, while former GWS and Bulldogs player Sam Darley has also made the move to the Bellarine league.

Aaron Black (Modewarre)
Sam Darley (Geelong Amateur)

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 27: Aaron Black of the Kangaroos runs with the ball during a North Melbourne Kangaroos AFL training session at Arden Street Ground on January 27, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

Eastern Football League

High-profile local football talent Cameron Cloke has linked up with Templestowe following stints in the Northern Football League and in country footy. Former Tiger Matt Arnot and ex-Docker and Blue Josh Deluca have also made moves east.

Cameron Cloke (Templestowe)
Matt Arnot (Vermont)
Josh Deluca (Doncaster East)

Essendon District 

The EDFL have added a pair of ex-Saints and Bombers talls for 2022, with Craigieburn seeing Jake Carlisle return to the club, while Shaun McKernan joins Tullamarine after a year at Moorabbin.

Paul Ahern (Pascoe Vale)
Jake Carlisle (Craigieburn)
Shaun McKernan (Tullamarine)

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 30: Jake Carlisle of the Saints celebrates a goal during the round two AFL match between the North Melbourne Kangaroos and the St Kilda Saints at Etihad Stadium on March 30, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

Geelong Football League 

Former Cats and Blues midfielder Darcy Lang will share his duties as a player and co-coach with Colac in a return to the club.

Darcy Lang (Colac)

Gippsland Football League

The far eastern regions of Victorian have seen several former AFL players arrive for 2022, with former Carlton pair Nick Graham and Jed Lamb among the list of profile recruits.

Logan Austin (Bairnsdale)
Brett Eddy (Traralgon)
Nick Graham (Warragul)
Jed Lamb (Warragul)
Jack Leslie (Sale)

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MAY 12: Jed Lamb of the Blues in action during the 2018 AFL round eight match between the Carlton Blues and the Essendon Bombers at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on May 12, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Adam Trafford/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Goulburn Valley League

The GVL has seen a string of players return to the league, with 234-game Kangaroos Shaun Atley having signed with Rochester. Ex-AFL journeyman Michael Hartley is set to balance his time between Seymour and Collingwood's AFLW program, where he has been appointed as a specialist coach.

Shaun Atley (Rochester)
Jack Hutchins (Mansfield)
Sam J. Reid (Echuca)
Michael Hartley (Seymour)

Hampden Football League 

After retiring this off-season to end his tenure at West Coast, premiership Eagle Nathan Vardy has linked up with North Warrnambool in the HFL.

Nathan Vardy (North Warrnambool)

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 08: Nathan Vardy of the Eagles and Brodie Grundy of the Magpies contest the ruck during the AFL Second Qualifying Final match between the West Coast Eagles and the Collingwood Magpies at Optus Stadium on September 8, 2018 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

Mornington Peninsula Nepean Football League

A trio of former Saints have signed on in the MPNFL for 2022, with Dylan Roberton sharing his time between Frankston YCW and the Western Bulldogs AFLW side as a forwards coach.

Dylan Roberton (Frankston YCW)
Shane Savage (Pines)
Brandon White (Devon Meadows)
Ryan Bastinac (Pearcedale)

Murray Football League 

Former Demon and Blues onballer Brock McLean links up with Tongala after departing Shepparton United for next year.

Brock McLean (Tongala)

Northern Football League

The NFL has seen a plethora of former AFL names sign for 2022, with former Bulldogs pair Lin Jong and Mitch Honeychurch linking up at the Montmorency Magpies. Ex-Suns and Blues tall Daniel Gorringe will join former Carlton and Brisbane player Tom Bell at Greensborough.

Daniel Gorringe (Greensborough)
Mitch Honeychurch (Montmorency)
Lin Jong (Montmorency)
Jordan Schroder (Northcote Park)
Jarrad Waite (Whittlesea)
David Zaharakis (Bundoora)
Brayden Sier (Heidelberg)

ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 24: David Zaharakis of the Bombers celebrates a goal during the 2018 AFL round 23 match between the Port Adelaide Power and the Essendon Bombers at Adelaide Oval on August 24, 2018 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by James Elsby/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Ovens and Murray Football League 

The ex-Magpie makes the move from Seaford in the MPNFL after claiming the club's best and fairest honours, heading up to North Albury.

Tim Broomhead (North Albury)

Southern Football League 

Former Hawk and Tiger Tyrone Vickery will join Springvale Districts from Coleraine next year, with the forward's 2021 season highlighted by a 14-goal game with the South West District Football League side.

Liam Sumner (St Paul’s)
Tyrone Vickery (Springvale Districts)

LAUNCESTON, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 17: Ty Vickery of the Hawks gestures during the AFL 2017 JLT Community Series match between the Hawthorn Hawks and the Geelong Cats at the University of Tasmania Stadium on February 17, 2017 in Launceston, Australia. (Photo by Adam Trafford/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Victorian Amateur Football Association 

Former West Coast and Geelong midfielder Scott Selwood and ex-Demons bull Aaron vandenBerg have joined Ivanhoe and Old Xaverians respectively, adding plenty of grunt to the VAFA.

Scott Selwood (Ivanhoe)
Aaron vandenBerg (Old Xaverians)

West Gippsland Football League

Former Collingwood midfielder Brent Macaffer joins Tooradin Dalmore after a strong stint with Eltham in the Northern Football League's second division.

Brent Macaffer (Tooradin Dalmore)

GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - JULY 05: Brent Macaffer of the Magpies handballs during the round 16 AFL match between the Gold Coast Suns and the Collingwood Magpies at Metricon Stadium on July 5, 2014 in Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

Western Region Football League

Deer Park's string history of signings has continued this year, with former three-club forward Aaron Edwards and retired Collingwood hard-nit Levi Greenwood both moving to John McLeod Oval.

Aaron Edwards (Deer Park)
Levi Greenwood (Deer Park)
Connor Menadue (Altona)

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