AFL: Young star Andy McGrath has signed a new two year deal with Essendon
Orazio Fantasia has confirmed he wants out of Essendon amid a raft of walkouts but Rising Star winner Andy McGrath says he believes in Bombers and signed a new two year deal.
The new deal will see the 22-year-old remain at the Bombers until at least the end of 2022.
His decision is finally some good news for Essendon in the wake of walks-outs by Joe Daniher and Adam Saad, Conor McKenna returning to Ireland.
Adelaide also this morning confirmed Orazio Fantasia wanted to leave Essendon and get back to South Australia and the Crows would talk to him.
There have been rumblings of player discontent and the Bombers have been lashed by former club greats for the current state of the club culture after not making the finals this year.
But McGrath, the 2016 number one draft pick and 2017 Rising Star Award winner, said he believed in what the club was building,
“It’s great to be able to put pen to paper on a new deal and I’m thankful to the club for the opportunity and faith they continue to show in me. I am extremely determined to get the best out of myself and this whole playing group in order for us to move forward as a club,” McGrath said.
“There is real belief amongst the players in the next phase we enter under ‘Truck’ (Ben Rutten), and there is some great young talent throughout our playing group so our supporters should be excited by this. Our young group combined with our experienced leaders are extremely committed to growth, improvement and success in the coming years.”
Adelaide Head of Football Adam Kelly confirmed on radio the Crows would talks to Fantasia who wanted to return home to SA.
“We understand he wants to come back to South Australia,” he told SEN SA Breakfast.
“Any player that’s gone interstate who wants to return home we’re keen to talk to and understand what their motivations are.
“We’re just not sure where that one will lie and how that will play out, but we’re always keen to talk to South Australians who want to come home.”
McGrath’s season finished early due to a leg injury but Essendon list manager and head of recruiting Adrian Dodoro said the club was delighted to secure McGrath’s signature for a further two years.
“Not only is Andy a quality footballer, he is a wonderful person who continues to set the example with his professionalism both on and off the field. Clearly, Andy has very natural leadership qualities at a young age and he is highly respected by his teammates,” Dodoro said.
He has been one of our most consistent performers through the midfield this year, and his drive and determination to get the most out of himself week in and week out is a credit to him.
“Working closely with our leaders in the midfield, Andy has adapted well to his new role this season and he will continue to learn and develop his game over the coming years.”