The AFL free agency period has officially begun, with Adelaide Crows defender Jake Kelly and Richmond Tigers tall Mabior Chol the first players to find new homes for 2022.
Kelly confirmed the long-known news he will be at Essendon next season, with the Bombers landing the 26-year old as an unrestricted free agent on a three-year deal.
Free agency rules meant the Crows were unable to match the offer for the 110-game backman.
“We know Jake brings important experience and will work really well alongside the likes of Jordan Ridley, Nick Hind, Jayden Laverde, Mason Redman and Dyson Heppell in our new-look backline,” Essendon list manager Adrian Dodoro said in a statement.
“He is very excited and motivated by the direction the club is headed, and we look forward to seeing what he can contribute to our emerging playing group in years to come.”
Our newest Bomber checking in ???? pic.twitter.com/FALMjrH7z4
— Essendon FC (@essendonfc) October 1, 2021
Kelly might have been the first official move of the period, but player manager Ralph Carr had already confirmed his client and Richmond ruckman Mabior Chol will be at Gold Coast in 2022, having reportedly agreed to a four-year deal.
Carr Tweeted a photo of Chol in his new colours, albeit before the AFL had confirmed the switch.
— Ralph Carr (@RalphCarrRCM) September 30, 2021