STAYING PUT: Michael Hurley trains at Essendon's training centre last year.
STAYING PUT: Michael Hurley trains at Essendon's training centre last year. TRACEY NEARMY

'Strong bond' keeps Hurley at Essendon

AFL: You could have heard the sigh from club recruiters all around the country when in-demand defender Michael Hurley finally re-signed with Essendon.

Rival clubs have been clamouring to get his signature in the hope he was looking for a change of scenery after being suspended over the Bombers' supplements scandal.

The Bulldogs were seen as the frontrunners, while Collingwood made its intention clear earlier this week via coach Nathan Buckley.

The 26-year-old All Australian, however, put pen to paper on a five-year deal, which ties him to the Bombers until 2022. It's believed he will earn $800,000 a season.

"I took the time I needed to come to this decision, and to be honest I couldn't see my future anywhere other than Essendon,” Hurley said.

"What became clear was my strong bond with the playing group ... I want to achieve success alongside them.

"John (Worsfold) has had a huge impact in a short period of time and I'm looking forward to playing under him next season and beyond.”

Of the 12 banned Bombers, only Jobe Watson, Michael Hibberd, Ben Howlett and Tayte Pears remain unsigned. Hibberd has been linked to Melbourne.


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