Bombers sign McKernan to new AFL deal

Essendon have signed former Adelaide ruckman Shaun McKernan to a new AFL contract.

His signing continues a busy period for the Bombers, who have also agreed to terms with Brent Stanton and Courtenay Dempsey in the past week.

McKernan played nine games off the rookie list for Essendon this year after he was delisted by the Crows at the end of the 2014 campaign.

He did enough to earn himself elevation to the senior list next season on a one-year contract.

“I really enjoyed my first season of footy at Essendon, so to secure a new deal and be elevated onto the senior list is obviously extremely exciting for me,” McKernan said on Wednesday.

“With Tom Bellchambers and now Matthew Leuenberger coming on board, there’s some great talent and experience amongst our ruck group.

“There’ll obviously be competition for spots in the lead up to round one, so I can’t wait to get stuck into preseason.”

The Bombers will be a major player at the coming national draft with four picks inside the top 25 selections as new coach John Worsfold embarks on a rebuilding program.

In other list moves, Elliott Kavanagh and Alex Browne were told they would not be offered new contracts.

Kavanagh was the 19th overall pick at the 2011 draft, while Browne was a third-round selection in 2010.

Both midfielders struggled for opportunities at senior level this season, managing just five and three games respectively, despite the club’s onfield struggles.

Browne endured a difficult run with injuries and spent all of the 2014 season on the sidelines after undergoing a knee reconstruction.

Rookie Kurt Aylett and onballer Lauchlan Dalgleish were cut by the club in September, while Jake Carlisle, Jake Melksham and Jon Giles were traded, with Dustin Fletcher, Paul Chapman and Jason Winderlich all announcing their retirements at the end of the season.

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