Bombers wait on banned trio’s decisions

The deadline is approaching for Essendon trio Jobe Watson, Ben Howlett and Tayte Pears to make a call regarding their AFL futures.

The Bombers have secured eight of their 12 players who missed this season because of doping suspensions, notably re-signing Michael Hurley last week.

Disgruntled defender Michael Hibberd remains the only member of that group to tell the club he wants a fresh start.

Former captain Watson, Howlett and Pears remain undecided for a range of reasons.

Bombers coach John Worsfold doesn’t want to rush any of the players but acknowledged that might need to happen as planning for 2017 ramps up.

“They’ve all got their individual circumstances … we’re not putting any extra pressure on any of them but there will be a time when we’ll say we need an answer,” Worsfold said on Tuesday.

“If that gets within a fortnight, we’ll be telling them you’ve got a fortnight to give us your final answer.

“But we’re still a bit off that.”

Hibberd is expected to request a trade to Melbourne, who will be coached by former Essendon assistant Simon Goodwin in 2017.

Worsfold indicated the club wouldn’t drive a hard bargain in trade period.

“What we think is fair may be different to what other clubs think is fair,” Worsfold said.

“But I would guess a pick in the early second round would be fair for us.

“First round pick would be very fair. There’s levels of fairness.”

Meanwhile, skipper Brendon Goddard is expected to return from a groin injury in the Bombers’ season-ending clash with Carlton on Saturday.

The Bombers could yet avoid the wooden spoon if they triumph but Worsfold denied that would be added motivation at the MCG.

“A win is what’s motivating us,” he said.

“We aim to win and push ourselves to the limit in our last game for 2016. There is no talk about anything else.

“It’s not an issue in terms of avoiding it, we’ve done our best this year and we’ll do our absolute best this week.”

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