Recently retired ruckman Tom Bellchambers is returning to the club as ruck coach. (Photo: AFL Photos)

Essendon is delighted to welcome Tom Bellchambers as its ruck coach for the 2021 season.

Bellchambers, who retired at the end of the 2020 season after 136 games with the Bombers, will commence the part-time role immediately, working closely with the recently re-signed Andrew Phillips, new arrival Peter Wright and emerging ruckmen Sam Draper and Nick Bryan.

The 31-year-old played a big part in Draper's progression in 2020, mentoring the 22-year-old in a season that saw Draper play his first eight AFL games and be named the club's Lindsay Griffiths Rising Star.

Bellchambers said he was excited to build on his relationship with Draper and the club's entire ruck division.

"I'm very happy and grateful to be back working with the club I love," Bellchambers said.

"I'm excited to work with Sam (Draper), Nick (Bryan), Andrew (Phillips) and newcomer Peter Wright.

"The improvement I saw from Draper last year was another factor in wanting to help continue what we started in the hub.

"I look forward to the opportunity to develop the younger brigade and think I have a lot to offer in this area."


Senior coach Ben Rutten said Bellchambers would be an asset to the Bombers' coaching ranks.

"To have someone of Tom's experience and his knowledge of the game to mentor and support our emerging ruckmen is a wonderful fit for our football program," Rutten said.

"Tom has been a terrific servant of our football club and returning so soon after his retirement to support our young players just highlights his loyal commitment to the red and black."