Trending topics

Select your station

We'll remember your choice for next time

New mature-age Bomber “wrote to a few clubs” in attempt to get drafted


Essendon draftee Garrett McDonagh has revealed it was an email he sent to the Essendon recruiting department that got him in touch with list manager Adrian Dodoro and finally onto an AFL list.

McDonagh was drafted with pick 50 on Thursday night, the 25-year-old now finally living his AFL dream after years of struggling to make the big time.

He toured the ‘The Hangar’ for the first time on Monday and told reporters he had emailed several clubs in a bid to take destiny into his own hands.

"I was expecting nothing," McDonagh said.

"I wrote to a few clubs after last season, just to get my name out there. I had no manager so I was trying to do it myself, I just wrote to a few clubs and had a response from a few of them.

"A couple of weeks ago I had a call from Adrian (Dodoro) and it was an amazing call, one I'll never forget."

The emails were part of a renewed desire to play AFL, having given up on the code just a few years earlier.

"There was faith lost, I gave up footy at the start of 2018, I went and did (American football) punting with Nathan Chapman at ProKick," he said.

"(Afterwards) I sat down and had a really good think, (I) wanted to put my best foot forward and spend some money on my body, I did that and here I am."

McDonagh had a breakout season in Richmond’s VFL team in 2021 as a result of the investment in himself, averaging 20 disposals, five rebounds 50s and three inside 50s in nine games.

He finished sixth in the team’s best and fairest and hopes to win a spot at half-back for the Bombers.

Dodoro believes McDonagh would play “a lot of senior footy” for Essendon.

"Garrett is player who deserves an opportunity," Dodoro told the club's website.

"We felt he was one of the better ready-made players in the pool this year. Even though he's 25 years of age, we think he's got a lot of football left in him.

"He's an elite left-foot kick and has fantastic endurance. We're looking forward to him playing a lot of senior football for us."

McDonagh is set to start training on Wednesday morning.


More in AFL