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Essendon football boss comments on Ben King links, confirms interest in delisted midfielder


Essendon football boss Josh Mahoney has commented on increasing speculation linking the club with a move for gun Gold Coast Suns forward Ben King.

The 21-year-old is out of contract at the end of 2022, recently come off a 47-goal season for the Suns.

While St Kilda has previously publicly voiced their interest in reuniting Ben with twin brother Max at the club, the Bombers continue to hold a strong salary cap position.

When asked about Essendon’s interest in King, Mahoney said the club would keep an “open mind” before weighing up whether to pursue a move for the promising goalkicker.

“There’s all options around that,” AFL Trade Radio’s Trade Afternoons.

“One option is looking at currently what’s on our list and we have some young and developing talls that we think can play a role as well, so we don’t want to all of a sudden think we have to go get someone.

“But you also look at all the different options outside (of the club) so you never want to close any opportunity, you make sure you have the flexibility with your draft hand and with trades regardless of what may come up.

“It’s about keeping an open mind with that.”

Delisted midfielder Luke Dunstan recently said on Sportsday that a move to the Bombers was appealing, as the on-baller looks to find another club after St Kilda let him go.

Mahoney confirmed that list boss Adrian Dodoro had recently made contract with Dunstan, saying there was a chance he would be handed an AFL lifeline.

“It’s a conversation Adrian has had with Luke and that is an option,” he said.

“This period, we’re sitting here and waiting for opportunities. We’re not really going into it with a targeted approach but we’ll see what falls out.

“It’ll be interesting with the salary cap, we’re in a really strong position with the salary cap so it gives us great flexibility in terms of whatever players become available.”

Essendon added to its defensive stocks on Friday, signing former Crow Jake Kelly as an unrestricted free agent.

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