Essendon Scores AFL Star Goldstein, Initiates Six-Year Contract for McKay, Welcomes Gresham’s Transfer


Seasoned ruckman Todd Goldstein has officially switched sides to become an Essendon Bomber, having transitioned as a free agent. In tandem, the process to enrol his companion Ben McKay on a six-year contract has been initiated.

Anticipations are high for Jade Gresham’s transfer from St Kilda to Essendon as a free agent this week, following confirmation of dialogues with Port Adelaide wingman Xavier Duursma by Adrian Dodoro, Essendon’s list manager. Dodoro staunchly rejected speculation that the Bombers were contemplating trading robust midfielder Dylan Shiel to the Saints in exchange for Gresham, affirming the essential role of 30-year-old Shiel in the team.

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Goldstein, a stalwart who demonstrated his prowess with 315 games over 17 years at North Melbourne, is eager to mentor and challenge the Bombers’ youthful ruck duo, Sam Draper and Nick Bryan.

Expressing gratitude for the fresh chapter in his career, Goldstein stated, “I’m thrilled to support and guide Sam Draper and Nick Bryan as they aspire to become the best rucks in the league. Watching their growth has been inspiring and I anticipate a collaborative pre-season with them.”

Regarding the equal opportunity policy for senior-level participation, Dodoro asserted that the prowess of the 35-year-old Goldstein would be at par with Draper and Bryan. Dodoro emphasized that the veteran ruckman’s ability to continue playing league football hinges on form.

Underlining coach Brad Scott’s favoured strategy of deploying two ruckmen, prompted by Andrew Phillips’ retirement, Dodoro expressed his optimism in Goldstein’s ability to assist Bryan in honing his skills.

Success in Sam Draper’s groin surgery means he is now in line to play in the first round of next year. Rounding out the club’s free agents is Xavier Duursma. Although he is yet to request a trade, Dodge believes he could be a valuable fourth target.

Discussions regarding Xavier’s potential transition have begun, but Port Adelaide’s football manager Chris Davies made clear no official request had been submitted by the player at this point.

The Bombers expect Jade Gresham to join them, alongside McKay and Goldstein, as a restricted free agent rather than through trade, according to Dodoro.

Touching on the subject of Dylan Shiel, Dodoro reiterated that there had not been any conversations about a potential transfer for Shiel with St Kilda. Despite his limited game time due to a foot issue, Shiel continues to be a vital part of the Essendon line-up.