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Bombers keen to keep Prismall, Hibberd

Guy Hand 05/08/2011 05:46:02 PM Comments (0)

Essendon have offered a lifeline to injured Brent Prismall and an olive branch to errant Michael Hibberd.

Coach James Hird confirmed the AFL club would offer midfielder Prismall, who badly injured his knee last weekend and was coming off contract, a new deal for next year.

And Hird also flagged his wish to keep Hibberd at the club despite the young defender being caught up in a police investigation after being out late while in injury rehabilitation.

Hibberd is currently under a club-imposed suspension over the incident.

"Michael is very much a required player. He's made a mistake and we'll treat him as people should be treated when they make mistakes," Hird said on Friday.

"He's one of our family and we need to educate him in the ways of an AFL player and how you behave in society."

Hird also gave Prismall a fillip as he starts an expected 10-month stint on the sidelines.

"We'll offer Brent a new contract," he said.

"Brent's a required player and we're pretty sure he'll be here next year.

"There's a lot of football left in Brent Prismall and he should be back by May next year, so it's not the worst thing that can happen in his career."

Prismall is one of three changes for the Bombers going into their clash with Sydney at Etihad Stadium on Saturday.

Midfielder Travis Colyer has a foot injury, while ruckman Tom Bellchambers has been dropped.

The Bombers recall star defender Dustin Fletcher, as well as Michael Hurley and busy midfielder Heath Hocking from injury.

"We were unsure if we'd get Heath back this year, but his foot's come up really well after two weeks' rest and Fletcher's come off the corky, and Michael Hurley is looking pretty good," Hird said.

"They're three good players to have in there, but they all have to play well obviously for us to be a chance on the weekend."

Sydney name an unchanged line-up for a match with huge finals implications.

Sixth-placed Sydney risk conceding ground to a chasing pack of finals aspirants, including the ninth-placed Bombers, should they lose.

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