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KALLEN Geary's retirement from football has been short-lived, with the Strathfieldsaye star to pull the boots back on in the Bendigo Football-Netball League next year.
Geary retired from the Storm following their 2019 grand final win over Eaglehawk - a game in which he earned the AFL Victoria Medal for a stellar performance off half-back and through the middle.
He said at the time he was content with his decision to hang up the boots.
However, the Storm have confirmed Geary will be pulling the blue and white hoops back on next year where one of his coaches will be his brother, Shannon.
So what changed Geary's mind?
"A while back there were a few of us having a hit at Intagolf and at that stage I hadn't spoken to him about playing again," Shannon said on Friday.
"But he said he had a bit of interest and was thinking about coming back.
"I didn't put any pressure on him to make a decision; we sat back and just let it play out.
"I'm sure he has had plenty of phonecalls to go and play at other clubs, but we're fortunate that he's got a good relationship with the footy club and with him being my brother.
"To be honest, I'm not exactly sure what has changed his mind to come out of retirement, but it's obviously a huge positive for the club, in particular our young players who will get to play alongside him."
Geary joined the Storm in 2015 and has played in three flags with the club - 2015, 2017 and 2019.
As well as winning the AFL Victoria Medal in the 2019 grand final, Geary was also the Nalder medallist as best on ground in the 2017 premiership victory.
He was named on the half-back flank in the BFNL's 2010s Team of the Decade, but Shannon envisages him playing anywhere except the defensive end next year.
"I reckon we'll use him just about everywhere except for the backline," Shannon said.
"We think from a leadership perspective we're fairly sound in the backline and we're going to have a lot of kids in other parts of the ground, so it will be more of a balancing act as to where he will be best positioned as a leader.
"That could be midfield, it could be on the wing, it could be up forward, but I think it would be very rare if he was to go and play that half-back role again."
With the return of Geary, it means the Storm have now lost only four members of their 2019 premiership team - Bryce Curnow, Sam Heavyside, Hugh Robertson and premiership coach Troy Coates.
"Kal hasn't trained with us yet, but I'd say he's probably fitter now than he ever has been," Shannon said.
"He has been doing some boot camps and gym, but when he does get into training it will be full throttle because he's an all-or-nothing type of person, which is something that has probably caused him a few issues over the past couple of years.
"We're really looking forward to having him back again at the club."
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