Former Richmond midfielder Sam Lonergan will return to Punt Road as a development coach next season.

The 32-year-old played 79 games for Essendon and two for the Tigers between 2006 and 2013 after being drafted as an All Australian U/18 via the Tasmania Mariners.

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A strong midfielder, Lonergan worked hard to get back from a severe ankle injury and surprise delisting from Essendon to play a season on the rookie list at Richmond.

He called time on his AFL career at the young age of 26 to take up a role as a playing senior assistant coach (midfield) at Glenelg in the SANFL where he remained for the 2014-15 seasons.

Lonergan has since held the top job at Launceston (2017-18) in the Tasmanian State League and Woodville West Torrens (2019) in the SANFL.

He took Launceston, which is also his junior club, from second-last to a preliminary final in his first season at the helm and was subsequently named as the TSL’s Coach of the Year.

Lonergan again finished in the top three in his second season before being appointed as the Head Coach of Woodville West-Torrens in October 2018.

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Richmond’s General Manager of Football, Neil Balme, said that the Club was excited to welcome Lonergan, along with his wife Kirrie and two young children Harper and Ellis back to the Swinburne Centre.

“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.”