Essendon’s mid-season draftee Jaiden Hunter is ready to grasp his AFL chance and contribute to Bombers’ charge in 2023.

After missing out on selection in the 2020 national draft and enduring injury-riddled campaigns over the past two years, Hunter has experienced a longer-than-expected journey into the AFL system.

But Wednesday’s mid-season draft truly was picture-perfect timing for the 196cm key forward, having slotted a huge five goals in the WAFL over the weekend, continuing his impressive form for Perth with 10 goals from three senior games.

After being selected with pick No.9 and finally earning his chance at the elite level, Hunter is keen to make the most of it.

“I’m over the moon, super wrapped to get an opportunity and keen to contribute,” Hunter said.

With Essendon losing young key forward Harrison Jones for the season due to injury, Hunter has an opportunity to work alongside senior players Sam Weideman and Peter Wright to learn his offensive craft off.

And as he moves over from Perth with the likely prospect of playing in Essendon’s VFL side this weekend, the 21-year-old is ready to crack in with the hope of earning an AFL debut in the second half of the season.

“’Weids’ (Sam Weideman), (Peter) Wright and Langford are the perfect tools to learn from and keep developing my craft and game,” Hunter said.