Essendon Football Club is pleased to announce it has re-signed three of its talented young players.
Josh Begley, Kobe Mutch and Jordan Ridley have put pen to paper, extending their contracts for a further two years.
The new deals will see the trio don the sash until at least the end of 2020.
Begley debuted in round 22, 2017 and played the opening five games of the season before tearing his anterior crucial ligament on ANZAC Day.
The 19-year-old said he is thrilled to re-sign with the Bombers.
“I’m excited to re-sign with the club, and extremely grateful for the opportunity Woosha gave me to continue my development this season,” Begley said.
“The knee injury is frustrating, but I am determined to work hard and earn my spot back in the side. We’re a young group but excited about what we can achieve together in the years to come.”
Mutch, a lifelong Essendon supporter, made his much-anticipated debut last week. The 19-year-old midfielder showed plenty of promise, collecting 20 disposals and six marks.
“To debut on the weekend was a dream come true, and my focus is to continue to work hard on developing my game, playing my role for the team and hopefully earning the right to play regular senior football,” Mutch said.
“As a playing group we’re clear on what we want to achieve and the hard work we need to do to get there, and it’s up to us to keep driving the standards to ensure we give ourselves the best opportunity to achieve our goals.”
Ridley is yet to debut in the red and black after an injury riddled start to his AFL career, but the young defender said the thought of pulling on the red and black provides him with great motivation.
“I’m thankful to Essendon for giving me the opportunity to pursue my dreams of playing senior football,” Ridley said.
“Watching Josh and Kobe make their debuts certainly motivates me, and I’ve just got to focus on working hard, playing the role the coaches ask of me and hopefully I get my opportunity this season.”
Begley, Mutch and Ridley were all recruited by the Bombers in the 2016 national draft.
Senior Coach, John Worsfold, said the trio have shown incredible promise since arriving at The Hangar.
“At only 19 and with eight games under his belt, Josh has shown he can play his role and compete at senior level,” Worsfold said.
“Kobe has an incredible work ethic. His form in the VFL last year was outstanding and as a result, he was rewarded with a debut last week, and played his role well.
“Jordan is doing everything right on and off the field, and is constantly pushing for senior selection. We expect he will keep doing the hard work and his opportunity will come.
“There is no doubt Josh, Kobe and Jordan have huge potential and talent, and I have no doubt they can all become regular senior players. We are excited to see what they can achieve at Essendon over the next few years.”
To view the official player profiles, CLICK HERE.