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Bombers move to shore up list

Signing up: The Bombers' Brent Stanton.

Signing up: The Bombers' Brent Stanton. Photo: Sebastian Costanzo

ESSENDON and Brent Stanton are close to agreement on a three-year contract extension, as the ascending Bombers begin an intensive period of re-signing their large contingent of players who come out of contract this year.

Patrick Ryder's management is in discussions with the club, as is that of fellow Western Australian Ben Howlett, while the greatly improved Sam Lonergan and Leroy Jetta (also from WA) and Angus Monfries head the list of those the Dons will try to re-contract over the next 10 weeks.

Ryder, who has been of interest to Greater Western Sydney, is expected to seek a deal of four or more years.

The Dons have an even larger group of players coming off contract than Collingwood - 16 or 17 senior list players - but the fact that many are either veterans nearing the end of their careers or players without huge names, has meant there has been little focus on them.

In addition to Stanton, Ryder, Howlett, Lonergan, Jetta and Monfries, the players whose contracts for 2013 have yet to be secured include Alwyn Davey, David Myers, Kyle Reimers, Ricky Dyson, Brent Prismall and veterans David Hille, Mark McVeigh, Dustin Fletcher and Nathan Lovett-Murray.

Key forward Michael Hurley was re-signed earlier this year on a five-year deal that will make him the club's highest-paid player.

While there has been speculation about Essendon's desire to recruit a blue-chip midfielder to press for a premiership, chief executive Ian Robson said last night that the notion that the club had a ''war chest'' to embark on ''a massive raid in the name of free agency'' was not coming from the club, which remained focused on recruiting and developing its own players.

''If feelers come along, we'll look at them, [but] our definite priority is that we'll continue to grow from within,'' he said.

Robson said the club was ''concentrating plans over the next 8-10 weeks to get the [contract] outcomes''.

Stanton and Monfries are eligible for free agency this year, with Stanton set to become a young veteran-listed player from next year under the new rules (giving Essendon a salary cap discount of $112,000).

The Bombers will meet with player manager Colin Young next week to discuss the futures of Jetta and Myers. The situations of McVeigh, 31, Hille, 30, and Fletcher, 37, are likely to be left until later in the season.

Coach James Hird has said that Fletcher has the right to determine whether he plays on in 2013 in what would be the defender's 21st season and would put him close to 400 games.

While Essendon carries the perception it doesn't have the A-graders on its list like some other clubs, the Dons are pleased they have demonstrated - amid a plethora of soft-tissue injuries - they have a depth of players who can perform and fulfil a role for the team.

''We've been delighted at how we've been able to respond,'' Robson said of the injuries in the opening six rounds.

Negotiations over Stanton, who was runner-up in the best and fairest last season, have been handled by his former teammate Adam Ramanauskas at Elite Sports Properties.

8 comments

  • I dont think essendon has much to worry about their list, players that have been with the club for that length of time are not likely to go anywhere. Like all the main power clubs they seem to retain their players quite well. I think the only bomber that a fair few clubs would have on their radar is Stanton.

    Commenter
    johnson
    Location
    syd
    Date and time
    May 10, 2012, 8:45AM
    • Really 'johnson'? He's played 5 good games in his career, and they've been all in 2012. Nobody has missed the way Essendon fans have treated Stanton for so long. He'll be out at the first good offer just to stick it up them... and so he should.

      Commenter
      Countin's The Silverware
      Location
      Visy Park
      Date and time
      May 10, 2012, 1:15PM
    • Interesting 'Countin's The Silverware'... you have this immaculate memory for how you believe he was treated by Bomber fans, yet can't seem to recall any good games outside 2012...
      Selective memory? Or just don't watch enough football?
      He's finished top 3 in the club best and fairest in 3 of the last 4 years - so the club definitely rates him. As for his 'treatment' - well, there are idiots at every club, and the last time I went to a game where he was jeered, it was actually the opposition supporters thinking they were funny.

      Commenter
      Monty
      Location
      Glen Waverley
      Date and time
      May 10, 2012, 5:00PM
  • But unlike a lot of the so called 'power clubs', they haven't raided other clubs lists. I believe that creates a more stable environment.

    Commenter
    bomber
    Location
    Ballarat
    Date and time
    May 10, 2012, 9:51AM
    • Bombers actually in a handy position. McVeigh and Hille (with Bellchambers improvement and Joe Daniher coming next year) won't be missed if they go north, and plenty of space in the cap to sure up their current underrated list.

      Commenter
      DJCJ
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      May 10, 2012, 9:52AM
      • Next A grader just as likely to come from within than trying to land a big fish from elsewhere. Zaharakis will be starting to come of age soon and getting up around that seemingly important 100 game mark late next season. Has a lot of tricks does Zaka.

        Commenter
        Reverse Concave Spoon
        Date and time
        May 10, 2012, 10:36AM
        • The only thing Essendon have raided are other teams' coaching ranks (bomber hehehe)...but then again essendon has produced more assistant and senior coaches over the last 10-15 years than any other club, so may that balances things out a bit ;)

          Commenter
          Paul
          Location
          Melbourne
          Date and time
          May 10, 2012, 10:48AM
          • it's great for essendon that they are getting some stability, but it's obvious they need 1-2 more good midfielders in order to step up to the next level.
            This is shown in how hard they went for Josh Caddy at the end of 2011.
            So it means they may end up losing a couple of their favourites to make some room in the cap and set up for the long term.

            Commenter
            Crow
            Location
            Melbourne
            Date and time
            May 10, 2012, 12:53PM
            Comments are now closed

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            AFL 2016

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            NTH vs ADE 19:25ES
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            WBU vs FRE 13:10ES
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            BRI vs NTH 16:35G
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            BRI vs GCF 16:35G
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            WBU vs BRI 19:25ES
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            FRE vs CAR 16:10Domain Stadium
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            GWS vs HAW 16:35Spotless Stadium
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            PTA vs WCE 16:35Adelaide Oval
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            GEE vs GWS 16:35SS
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            WBU vs GEE 19:25ES
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            Fri, 24 JunTimes shown AEST
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            Sat, 25 JunTimes shown AEST
            RIC vs BRI 13:40MCG
            GWS vs CAR 16:35Spotless Stadium
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            Sun, 26 JunTimes shown AEST
            HAW vs GCF 15:20AS
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            GCF vs STK 13:40MS
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            NTH vs PTA 16:35ES
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            STK vs MEL 15:20ES
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            Round 18
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            COL vs NTH 19:50ES
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            SYD vs CAR 13:45ANZ
            GCF vs FRE 14:10MS
            WCE vs MEL 16:35Domain Stadium
            WBU vs STK 19:25ES
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            HAW vs RIC 15:20MCG
            PTA vs GWS 16:40Adelaide Oval
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            Round 19
            Fri, 29 JulTimes shown AEST
            GEE vs WBU 19:50SS
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            GWS vs RIC 13:45SO
            HAW vs CAR 14:10AS
            COL vs WCE 16:35MCG
            BRI vs PTA 19:25G
            NTH vs STK 19:25ES
            Sun, 31 JulTimes shown AEST
            MEL vs GCF 13:10MCG
            FRE vs SYD 15:20Domain Stadium
            ADE vs ESS 16:40Adelaide Oval
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            Round 20
            Fri, 05 AugTimes shown AEST
            RIC vs COL 19:50MCG
            Sat, 06 AugTimes shown AEST
            SYD vs PTA 13:45SCG
            MEL vs HAW 14:10MCG
            GCF vs GWS 16:35MS
            WBU vs NTH 19:25ES
            ADE vs BRI 19:40Adelaide Oval
            Sun, 07 AugTimes shown AEST
            CAR vs STK 13:10MCG
            GEE vs ESS 15:20ES
            FRE vs WCE 16:40Domain Stadium
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            Round 21
            Fri, 12 AugTimes shown AEST
            WBU vs COL 19:50ES
            Sat, 13 AugTimes shown AEST
            BRI vs CAR 13:45G
            HAW vs NTH 14:10MCG
            GWS vs WCE 16:35Spotless Stadium
            STK vs SYD 19:25ES
            PTA vs MEL 19:40Adelaide Oval
            Sun, 14 AugTimes shown AEST
            ESS vs GCF 13:10ES
            RIC vs GEE 15:20MCG
            FRE vs ADE 16:40Domain Stadium
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            Round 22
            Fri, 19 AugTimes shown AEST
            WCE vs HAW 20:10Domain Stadium
            Sat, 20 AugTimes shown AEST
            NTH vs SYD 13:45BA
            RIC vs STK 14:10MCG
            GWS vs FRE 16:35Spotless Stadium
            COL vs GCF 19:25ES
            PTA vs ADE 19:40Adelaide Oval
            Sun, 21 AugTimes shown AEST
            CAR vs MEL 13:10MCG
            BRI vs GEE 15:20G
            ESS vs WBU 16:40ES
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            Round 23
            Sat, 27 AugTimes shown AEST
            HAW vs COL 12:00MCG
            STK vs BRI 12:00ES
            ESS vs CAR 12:00MCG
            GCF vs PTA 12:00MS
            SYD vs RIC 12:00SCG
            NTH vs GWS 12:00ES
            GEE vs MEL 12:00SS
            ADE vs WCE 12:30Adelaide Oval
            FRE vs WBU 14:00Domain Stadium
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            AFL 2015
            Overall standings
            Team P W L D % Pts
            Adelaide Crows 0 0 0 0 - 0
            Brisbane Lions 0 0 0 0 - 0
            Carlton 0 0 0 0 - 0
            Collingwood 0 0 0 0 - 0
            Essendon 0 0 0 0 - 0
            Fremantle 0 0 0 0 - 0
            Geelong Cats 0 0 0 0 - 0
            Gold Coast Suns 0 0 0 0 - 0
            View all
             

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