Sam Lonergan said the Richmond Football Club brand was the deciding factor in his decision to return to the AFL system.
The Beauty Point product played two games for the Tigers in 2013 but is better known for his eight-year, 79-game spell with Essendon which coincided with the club's notorious supplements scandal.
Since calling time on his AFL career at the young age of 26, Lonergan has worked in his home state and South Australia but said an approach from the 2017 AFL premiers was too good to turn down.
TIME TO DECIDE:
- AFL need to believe, says Brad Green
- Q&A: Chris Fagan on Tasmania's bid for an AFL team
- 'There's a thirst': Brady, Thorp, Sanders talk logistics
- Tasmanian AFL team: Getting the economics right
- Footy pathway needs earlier start: Sanders
- Time for Tas to sever team ties, says former AFL boss
- Editorial: Now is the time to believe
- AFL bid is now or never
- Sign the pledge here
"I was asked if I was interested, I said I was and it just grew from there," he said after accepting a job as a development coach at Punt Road.
"Richmond is a fantastic footy club. I loved it when I was there and wished I could have had more time there.
"It's been a good year and I probably would not be leaving if it was not such a proud AFL brand as Richmond.
"The organisation they are is the reason I've decided to go."
The Launceston-born Tassie Mariners and Devils midfielder was Tasmania's most valuable player at the under-18 championships in 2005 when he also won the Mariners' best and fairest award and was drafted at pick 50.
He was a playing-coach at Glenelg (2014-15) and took his junior club Launceston to a preliminary final while being named TSL coach of the year before returning to the SANFL to join Woodville West Torrens in October 2018.
I probably would not be leaving if it was not such a proud AFL brand as RichmondSam Lonergan
He said he is excited to be relocating back to Melbourne with wife Kirrie, daughter Harper, 5, and son Ellis, 3.
"I do feel it's a bit like coming home because I've lived there for such a long time. My main network of friends is still there and it's nice to go back to that.
"I'm excited because I feel I've been on my own for a long period and I'm looking at developing my skillset with more resources.
"My role will be group focused on the midfield, one-to-five-year players while assisting the other coaches."
Lonergan will begin the role at the end of October.
Richmond's general manager of football, Neil Balme, said that the club was excited to welcome Lonergan back.
"We look forward to having Sam and his extensive skillset as part of our coaching panel for the 2020 season," he said.
"Sam will be a great asset to our young players and across the entire club."
Lonergan is the second Tasmanian this week to make an off-field move after Devonport's Jade Rawlings joined North Melbourne as a senior assistant.
It will be a family reunion at Arden Street, with his brother Brady having served as the club's general manager of football since December.
Subscriptions are available here.
Sign up to our Sport emailhere.
Know a junior sport star? Make a nomination for our 2019 Junior Sports Awards here.