K rock Football

Byrnes lured back to Cats

TWO-time premiership forward Shannon Byrnes has become the latest former player to return to Geelong in an off-field role.

Byrnes, who appeared in the 2007 and 2009 grand final wins during 108 games in the Hoops, will rejoin the Cats as a player development manager.

He has served in a similar role at Melbourne since retiring at the end of 2014 after two seasons as a player with the Demons.

“Shannon enjoyed an excellent playing career with the Cats, and he has been at the forefront of player development at the Demons for the past seven years,” football boss Simon Lloyd said.

“To be able to welcome Shannon back to the club is significant, and an exciting addition for us.

“Shannon brings expertise in the player development area, is a strong relationship builder and has a deep love of the club.”

Byrnes joins premiership teammates James Kelly and Harry Taylor in taking a role at the club under new CEO Steve Hocking.

Kelly will be an assistant coach under Chris Scott, while Taylor will head up Geelong medical and conditioning department.

Fellow former player Matthew Egan is also back after a decade away, taking the position as head of player development.

Drafted by Geelong in the 2002 AFL Rookie Draft from TAC Cup club Murray Bushrangers, Byrnes made his debut in 2004.

As well as playing 108 games, he also kicked 100 goals for the Cats, with hauls of 35 in 2010 and 32 in 2009.

Byrnes was a member of the VFL premiership team in 2012 before heading to Melbourne, where he played 23 games before retiring late in the 2014 season.

While working with Melbourne, he played in multiple premierships with Western Region League club Deer Park.

In 2021 he played alongside Kelly at Gordon in the Central Highlands League under former Geelong VFL coach Ron Watt.

Byrnes will start his role on November 29 – the same day the Cats’ first to fourth-year players return to training.

Twitter: @tom_king79