Essendon Football Club wishes to thank Jacob Townsend and Henry Crauford for their services in the red and black, after they were informed they would not be offered contracts for the 2021 season.

The club also acknowledges the services of Martin Gleeson and Dylan Clarke, who were informed they would be delisted with the intention to be reinstated on the rookie list should they be available for selection in the upcoming AFL rookie draft.

Townsend was given a lifeline by the Bombers at the end of 2019 during the AFL pre-season supplemental selection period, after being delisted by the Tigers in the same year. The premiership player arrived at the NEC Hangar after stints at Richmond and Greater Western Sydney, playing 12 games for Essendon in 2020. 

Crauford was also taken via the pre-season supplemental selection period from SANFL club Norwood. The 204cm prospect won the SANFL reserves’ best and fairest award in 2019 but failed to make a senior appearance for the Bombers in 2020. 

General manager of list and recruiting Adrian Dodoro thanked Townsend and Crauford for their contributions to the Bombers.

“On behalf of everyone at Essendon, I’d like to thank both Jacob and Henry for their services during their 12 months at the club,” Dodoro said.

“They are both terrific young men and it’s always a difficult part of the year having to say goodbye so we wish them all the very best for their futures.

“We have also advised Marty and Dylan of our intention to re-draft them as rookies via the AFL rookie draft in December and we look forward to seeing them develop further as footballers.”

Townsend and Crauford join Shaun McKernan, Mitch Hibberd, Kobe Mutch, Josh Begley and Noah Gown as delistings. Retired pair Tom Bellchambers and Conor McKenna have also departed, while Joe Daniher (Brisbane), Adam Saad (Carlton) and Orazio Fantasia (Port Adelaide) have found new homes.

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