Essendon is pleased to announce that exciting forward Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti will return to the Bombers for 2023 after accepting a new one-year contract.

The 29 year-old today confirmed he is ready to return to Essendon and start his pre-season campaign in the next few weeks. Today he met with AFL Senior Coach Brad Scott to confirm his intentions and map out his return to football.

McDonald-Tipungwuti last played an AFL game in Round 21, 2021 and managed a handful of VFL games in 2022.


General Manager of Football Josh Mahoney said Essendon is excited by McDonald-Tipungwuti’s decision to return to the club.

“We are thrilled that Anthony has decided to come back to the Bombers. Anthony took time away from the club in 2022 to focus on life outside of footy. We’re comfortable he has taken the time he needs to bring a renewed enthusiasm to return to the AFL and play for Essendon,” Mahoney said.

He is a committed Essendon person who loves playing football and our conversations with Anthony recently led us to believe there was a realistic chance he would come back to Essendon.”

“Once we knew he was keen to return we worked with the AFL on the right pathway back to the club including approval from a list management perspective.”

“We will continue to support him on and off the field and assist in his quest to return to football. We acknowledge a lot of hard work is ahead but feel confident he can achieve his football ambitions and goals at the club he loves.”

“He is loved by players, coaches, staff and fans and we look forward to him returning to Essendon,” Mahoney said.

Recruited from the club’s VFL side, McDonald-Tipungwuti made his debut in 2016, and soon became a mainstay of the senior side. In July 2020 he achieved the record for consecutive games played for Essendon in the AFL era with 115. He announced his retirement in May after 126 games and 153 goals for Essendon.

During his 126-game career, McDonald-Tipungwuti kicked 153 goals and claimed the club’s Matthew Lloyd Leading Goalkicker award in 2020.

McDonald-Tipungwuti is expected to return to pre-season in the coming weeks.