Essendon Football Club can advise it has parted ways with Irving Mosquito, while Ned Cahill and Lachie Johnson have been informed they would not be offered contracts for the 2022 season.
After being taken at pick No.38 in the 2018 NAB AFL Draft, Mosquito was unable to add to his four senior games.
In May, the club granted Mosquito an absence of leave to return to his hometown of Halls Creek as he managed his rehabilitation program from a long-term ACL injury.
Both the club and Mosquito’s management company TLA have since closely supported the 21-year-old as he struggled to meet the demands of AFL football, paired with his desire to return home to be with family and elders in his tight-knit community.
It has since been determined by all parties that it was in Mosquito’s best interests to terminate his contract with the club following the 2021 season.
General manager of football Josh Mahoney said the club thanked Mosquito for his service to the Bombers.
“On behalf of everyone at Essendon, we sincerely thank Irving for his contribution to our club over the past three years,” Mahoney said.
“Since he arrived at the club at the end of 2018, we have closely supported Irving to settle into Melbourne whilst balancing and maintaining a strong connection to his community back in Halls Creek.
“After Irving sustained the ACL injury in September last year, he was open with us about his lack of motivation and desire to play at an AFL level again, and we had granted him time away from the club to return home to Halls Creek to best support him to make an informed decision on his AFL career moving forward.
“While this was not an easy decision for Irving, he feels it will be best for him to return to Halls Creek to start the next chapter of his life, and we understand that. We thank Irving for his time in the red and black and we wish him the very best for whatever lies ahead.”
Mosquito said he was grateful to the club for the opportunity to realise his boyhood dream of playing AFL.
“It was a pretty tough decision to come to, and I had to weigh up whether I could commit to a full 12-month recovery program to get my knee right. In the end, I realised I didn’t have the passion that was required to get back so it’s the right time to consider life away from football,” Mosquito said.
“The club has been great with their support of me and my family. I can’t thank them enough.
“I will miss my teammates and being at the club every day. I wish the boys well for next season. I’ll always love this club.”
Cahill and Johnson join Mosquito in being thanked by the club for their services.
Drafted with pick No.56 in the 2019 NAB AFL Draft, Cahill made six appearances for the Dons in his two seasons with the club – three games each in 2019 and 2020.
Johnson was unable to earn an AFL debut in his two seasons after being selected with pick No.63 in the same draft as part of the Dons’ Next Generation Academy. The son of three-time Brisbane premiership player Chris was hampered by an ACL injury last season, managing to return this year and play 10 VFL games.
Mahoney thanked Cahill and Johnson for their contributions to the club.
“On behalf of everyone at Essendon, I’d like to thank both Ned and Lachie for their services during their two years at the club,” he said.
“They are both terrific young men and it’s always a difficult part of the year having to say goodbye and make these tough decisions.
“We wish them both all the best for the future.”
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