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Bombers re-sign Welsh, Lovett-Murray

09/11/2009 07:14:38 PM Comments (0)

Essendon have re-signed Andrew Welsh and Nathan Lovett-Murray to two-year AFL deals, but teammate Adam McPhee remains out of contract and could be headed to Fremantle.

Welsh, a veteran of 145 games, had been linked with a move to rival Collingwood, but can now build on the encouraging signs he showed in 2009 when he returned from a serious leg injury to impress in the midfield.

The re-signing of Lovett-Murray, a utility who is set to play his 100th career game in round one next year, came after a turbulent 2009, as he was charged in August with possessing drugs and will appear before court in November.

Essendon football operations general manager Paul Hamilton said Welsh and Lovett-Murray, both 26, were expected to play big roles in 2010-11.

"Andrew and Nathan are two of the real leaders at the club and as two senior players with strong bodies they will be important to our future success," Hamilton said on Monday.

"Nathan played some really good football this year and, while Andrew was restricted with a serious leg injury, he returned and also showed what he is capable of.

"They will both now have a big pre-season and we expect them to be primed for 2010 and show their trademark courage and determination on the field."

But the Bombers are yet to come to terms with McPhee, who could be headed to Fremantle, where he began his career in 2001.

McPhee has reportedly met with Fremantle staff including coach Mark Harvey and been offered a three-year deal, and could join the Dockers via the pre-season draft.

McPhee played 25 games for the Dockers in 2001-02 but established himself as a utility with the Bombers, where he has played 142 games.

Young Fremantle midfielder Rhys Palmer said the experience of McPhee, 27, would be a great acquisition for the Dockers.

"He's a great player, I wouldn't mind him at all back here," Palmer said.

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