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Ex-Pie joins Richmond's VFL side, hopes to resurrect career

Jonathon Marsh in action for Collingwood in 2016 - AFL,Jonathon Marsh
Jonathon Marsh in action for Collingwood in 2016

EX-MAGPIE Jonathon Marsh will return to Melbourne and line up for Richmond's VFL team in 2019 in another step towards restarting his AFL career.

The 23-year-old, who has spent the last two years with WAFL team East Fremantle after retiring from Collingwood at the end of 2016, missed out on a second AFL gig after he was overlooked last month's NAB AFL Draft.

But he'll be back on the radar of AFL clubs next season after inking a two-year contract with the Tigers' VFL team, where he'll offer experience to the backline largely led by youngsters Ryan Garthwaite and Ben Miller in 2018.

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He's also shown an ability to play as a big-bodied midfielder during his time back in his home state and it's understood he'll be used in a flexible defence/midfield role.

Marsh placed second in East Fremantle's best and fairest this season after a strong finish to his year.

He told AFL.com.au in November he was "110 per cent in" about an AFL return after he put his career on hold two years ago because of struggles with his mental health.

After three seasons and 15 AFL games at Collingwood, Marsh returned to his family and friends in Perth and started a course in primary school teaching after making the brave call to retire.

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His mental wellbeing improved over the course of 2017, and late this year, he made the call to return to Melbourne with his girlfriend as she completes her master's degree at university.

Marsh is set to be reunited with Tigers' VFL coach Craig McRae, who he worked with during their time at Collingwood, when he arrives at Punt Road.

The Tigers' VFL team has nine spots remaining and around 20 hopefuls currently vying for a 2019 contract.