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Should Essendon swoop on ex-Saint?


Brownlow Medallist Gerard Healy has urged Essendon to consider recruiting midfielder Luke Dunstan.

The 26-year-old parted ways with St Kilda after playing 116 games across eight seasons at Moorabbin.

Dunstan told Sportsday on Monday night that he needed a fresh start at a new club.

“We had the exit interview a couple of weeks ago and I think even if I was to get offered a contract I probably wouldn’t have taken it anyway,” Dunstan said.

“I was probably ready to move on with the next phase of my life if it was that it was going to be another 12 months there.

“Obviously I want to keep playing footy and I think I’ve got a lot left to offer as I’m only 26, so I’m not that old.

“I’m really keen to try and go somewhere else and get a bit of a new lease on life.

“I wouldn’t say I didn’t get on with him (Brett Ratten), he’s a good fella, I think it’s pretty clear that he didn’t rate me, which is fine.

“It’s hard to change opinions of coaches and that’s footy, I’m not holding that against anyone.”

Healy thinks the Bombers could do with an inside midfielder of Dunstan’s ilk.

“You look at the group, I don’t think he’s not rated, but you’re just too far down the list,” he told Sportsday.

“They’ve got (Brad) Crouch, (Jack) Steele, Hunter Clark, (Dan) Hannebery, Seb Ross, (Jack) Bytel … they need speed in there.

“I look at somebody like Essendon who have got two really good young midfielders in (Zach) Merrett and Darcy Parish. But you saw them side by side, they’re not big bodies. (Jake) Stringer goes in there and he goes forward, so he’s not your general midfielder.

“Some of the footy I saw Dunstan play this year, if I’m the Bombers, I’m at least asking the question.”

Dunstan declared he would like to join Essendon and play alongside former St Kilda teammate Nick Hind.

The delisted free agent averaged 25.3 disposals, 11.2 contested possessions and 5.8 clearances from 12 games in 2021, polling 11 Brownlow Medal votes in the process.

Essendon St Kilda

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