Essendon has boosted its midfield stocks by picking up big-bodied onballer Mitch Hibberd with pick 10 in the NAB AFL Rookie Draft on Friday.

The powerful 23-year-old midfielder played four games for North Melbourne in 2017 before joining Williamstown in the VFL this year where he had an immediate impact for the Seagulls.

Hibberd was among Williamstown’s best players in its narrow loss to Richmond in the Grand Final, racking up 25 disposals.

A strong runner, Hibberd booted 10 goals and averaged 24.3 disposals and 6.9 tackles across his 20 VFL games this year to claim a spot on the wing in the VFL Team of the Year.

Club general manager of list and recruiting Adrian Dodoro said Hibberd's strengths and experience make him capable of having an instant impact at the club. 

“Mitch is a premier player in the VFL competition, he is a big inside midfielder, has outstanding endurance and deserves an opportunity,” Dodoro said on Friday.

“Throughout this whole period we were looking for a ready-made inside midfielder and we believe we have found one in Mitch.

“We believe Mitch’s impact on the side will be immediate.”


Club – Williamstown
Height – 191cm
Weight – 90kg

VFL stats

Games – 20
Goals – 10
Average disposals – 24.3
Average tackles – 6.9

This news is brought to you by Orchard HRO, the club's official recruitment and list management partner.