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Walsh returns as Collingwood football boss

AAP logoAAP 4/12/2016 Michael Ramsey

Collingwood have confirmed Geoff Walsh will again head up their football department, replacing banned administrator Graeme Allan.

One of the key figures in Collingwood's 2010 AFL premiership, Walsh served eight seasons with the Magpies before heading to North Melbourne in 2013.

The Kangaroos on Monday confirmed they had accepted Walsh's resignation, allowing him to return to Collingwood.

Walsh will be the Magpies' fifth football boss since 2013 and his appointment comes at a critical time for the Magpies, with coach Nathan Buckley and president Eddie McGuire under pressure to perform to keep their jobs.

"Geoff understands what is required to create a successful football environment," Magpies chief executive Gary Pert said on Monday.

"He played a pivotal role in building our last premiership team and under his watch the club featured in finals every year. I think that he is exactly the person Collingwood needs for a stable, seamless transition into 2017."

Walsh's appointment follows Allan stepping down in November after just three months as football boss over his role in the Lachie Whitfield affair.

Allan, the Giants' football boss at the time, was banned after Whitfield stayed at then-GWS welfare manager Craig Lambert's house for three days in May last year, allegedly to avoid a potential drug test.

The trio were ultimately penalised for breaching the AFL's rules and not the anti-doping code.

Whitfield will miss seven games of the 2017 season after accepting a six-month ban and Lambert has copped a 12-month suspension, with all sanctions ticked off by ASADA.

Allan replaced Neil Balme in August after initially joining the club in more of a development-based role in May, with the Pies aware he was under investigation when they hired him.

But in accepting his resignation, the club revealed they were not made fully aware of all facets of the investigation.

"Collingwood received from Allan, in the form of a statutory declaration, a satisfactory account of the events in question," a club statement read.

"Collingwood was not aware or informed of the fact the matter was with the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority at the time of Allan's appointment."

A former North Melbourne chief executive, Walsh stepped down as football boss in October but had remained involved with the Kangaroos until resigning on Monday.

He will start with the Magpies on December 12, with interim football boss Marcus Wagner to return to his role of football operations manager.

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