Bomber fan favorite Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti announced his retirement. Round 24 will be his farewell game. He retired in 2021 due to injury and weight issues but came out of retirement for the 2023 season. He managed just nine games this year. He will finish on 133 games. Through Round 23, he has kicked 157 goals. Essendon also informed tall forward/defender James Stewart he would be delisted.
Coach Brad Scott said, "He did joke that he'd just replay the vision from last year. He's come to a decision and we've been talking for a long period ... about his future and he's decided that he will retire ... Friday night ... will be an unbelievable opportunity for all Essendon people to ... celebrate what's been an incredible career. I said to the playing group that of all the great champions who have come through the Essendon Football Club, it's actually hard to think of something who has made such an impression on our supporter base and on our club on so many different levels. It's a celebration for 'Walla'." The turnaround from where he was to where he is now has been incredible but by his own admission next year is just a bridge too far for him, both physically and mentally. "
Recruited from Essendon’s VFL side in 2016, McDonald-Tipungwuti became a fan favorite and a mainstay of the forward line, winning the club’s goalkicking award in 2020. He also broke the record for consecutive games played for Essendon in the AFL era with 115. He received a standing ovation when he came on the field as a substitute in Round One. McDonald-Tipungwuti, 30, was dropped back to the VFL after Round 11.
Stewart, 29, had one more year on his contract and is keen to continue at another club. He has battled an ongoing foot injury which has kept him sidelined for most of the year. He was originally drafted by GWS where he played 18 games. He played 60 games for Essendon. His agent Peter Jess believes Sydney would be one option with the retirement of Paddy McCartin.
Article last changed on Sunday, August 27, 2023 - 12:17 PM EDT