Following the recent announcements of four AFLW players signing long-term contract extensions, the Bombers are thrilled to have three more commit to the next three years. 

Co-Captain Steph Cain, midfielder Georgia Gee and one of Essendon’s newest recruits, Maddison Gay, will all be in the red and black until at least the end of 2026. 

The trio are three of Essendon’s more experienced players, with Cain having 64 games to her name, Gee with 57 and Gay joining the Bombers after 54 games at Carlton and Melbourne. 

Cain has led from the front since joining the Bombers in their inaugural year, finishing equal second in the club’s Best and Fairest for season seven and a top-10 finish in the 2023 count despite missing three games through injury. 

A tough midfielder known for her power around the contest, Cain’s brut strength, speed, and endurance make her a challenge for any opposition to shut down. 

Cain said she will continue driving the program forward over the next three years. 

“It’s a great feeling being locked in donning the sash till 2026. Being a club leader is rewarding; I get so much energy from this group, and I am keen to keep working on the foundations we’ve already created,” Cain said. 

“I want to be the best player I can. I want to continue to grow my leadership and above all, I want to push my teammates to get the best out of themselves & facilitate their growth. 

“As a collective, we are building an environment that allows this. We’re all pretty bullish on our direction and determined to do the hard work together. It’s pretty exciting to be a part of.”

Another inaugural Bomber, Gee’s speed and clean ball use are vital in Essendon’s attack, regularly using her classy skills to transition the ball into the forward line. 

With the ability to play across the wing and forward line, Gee’s versatility and leadership are vital assets to the Bombers. 

Gee said she was excited to be in the red and black for the coming years. 

“I couldn’t be more excited to be a Bomber for the next three years. I’m fully committed to the club and can’t wait to see how far this playing group can go and what we can achieve,” Gee said. 

 “I’m grateful to be a part of such a great club and it feels really special to be donning the sash for the next three years.”  


Joining Cain and Gee in the red and black for at least the next three years is Gay, who moved to Essendon in last year’s AFLW Trade Week. 

A Premiership player with the Demons in Season Seven, Gay brings a wealth of leadership and finals experience to the Bombers, having averaged 15 disposals per game across her past three finals outings.

Across her 54 AFLW games, Gay has averaged 13 disposals per game and kicked 13 goals, earning a reputation as a versatile player who can line up as a defender and an inside midfielder.

Gay said she was thrilled to join the Bombers and is determined by what the club can achieve over the coming seasons. 

“I’m really excited to be a part of this group for the next three years and grateful for the opportunity the EFC has given me,” Gay said.

“The club have done a fantastic job to put this list in a great position to keep growing. 

“I can’t wait to be part of and watch this team go from strength to strength, hopefully going deeper into finals. I also look forward to meeting all the Essendon faithful this coming season.”


AFLW List and Recruiting Manager Georgia Harvey said the trio bring invaluable experience to the Bombers’ side. 

“Steph, Georgia and Maddi are three of our more experienced players. They all bring different skill sets to the side and overall, they are all fantastic mentors and leaders for their fellow teammates,” Harvey said. 

“It’s excellent to have a core group of players from our first two seasons commit to the club on long-term deals, reinforcing our goal of building a football program with strong foundations to produce success.

“Steph made the significant decision two years ago to leave her home state of Western Australia to join our inaugural team and, as our co-captain, has become an influential member of our playing group while also taking significant strides in her football development. 

“Steph’s leadership has been pivotal in building the foundations of our program and her peers, coaches and staff highly respect her. 

“Heading into her eighth AFLW season, Georgia’s experience and composure have significantly improved the style of football our side plays. She is classy by foot and brings a lot of football knowledge to our side, which has been evident since she arrived at the club. 

“We have just welcomed Maddi to the club and are thrilled to have her sign on for at least three years. Having played in 10 finals during her time at Melbourne, Maddi adds experience and leadership that will help take our side forward. We are excited by what Maddi can bring to our program both on and off the field.”