With just a few days until teams must submit their finalised lists for 2010 to the AFL, Essendon has successfully re-signed key players in Andrew Welsh and Nathan Lovett-Murray. Each player will be 27 come the start of next season, and have played some of their best football in recent times.
Andrew Welsh has played 145 games for the club, and has emerged as one of the leaders of the team. He spent 2009 as a part of the leadership group, making his re-signing all the more valuable. Under coach Matthew Knights Welsh has become the team’s number one tagger, after starting his career in defence. Although he missed the first half of 2009 with a debilitating leg injury sustained in a practice match, he lead by example and carried himself well during his rehabilitation showing the young guys what they needed to do to get back on the track after an injury.
Nathan Lovett-Murray is sitting on 99 games after 2009, meaning his will play his 100th in his first 2010 game. Unfortunately for him a standing 2 match suspension means he will have to wait until at least round 3 to make this milestone. In 2009 he manages 14 games, often playing “fill the gap” roles when injuries arose. He spent most of his time in defence, but was seen up forward and even as a makeshift ruckman when required. He will be hoping to continue improving on his good form and have a stellar year in 2010 to repay the faith Essendon has shown in him.
Meanwhile, Essendon are yet to re-sign leadership group member Adam McPhee. There is talk that he might be moving club, but Essendon continue to say they are “committed to re-signing” him.