Miscellaneous VFL comments and articles

What? A signing!
I don’t believe it.

Huge Bomber fan as a kid.

Excellent family background, he’s a quality young man

Nice. Seems like the kind of player that should dominate at VFL level. We’ve got better options for the AFL list, though…


I wonder what his younger brother Ed is up to. He 15 games of AFL with the Saints.

:thinking: I wonder if it could be us? Tiwi link?

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Chances of playing on the AFL again? 0.00001%

Brendan Rhodes lists a a couple more departures than arrivals.

Leigh Tudor is back as Essendon coach after one season on the AFL coaching panel. Tudor, who led the Bombers to a 2-8 record in 2021, will be Essendon’s first full-time VFL senior coach. Club great Brent Stanton coached the VFL team last year, recovering from a 0-8 start to finish with an 8-10 record, and will become a full-time AFL development coach in 2023.

Youngster Lockie Rayner has headed north to join his older brother Cam at the Brisbane Lions. Rayner, 22, played two matches in his debut VFL season for the Bombers.

Developing youngsters Max Simpson and Kyle Weightman have flown out of the Hangar, growing their manes to walk into Coburg. 21-year-old Simpson played 10 matches for the Bombers last year for a total of 14, while Weightman, the son of Richmond great Dale, earned seven appearances and kicked six goals at Windy Hill.

Essendon captain Joe Atley won the Bombers’ best-and-fairest but won’t be back to defend it after heading home to Goulburn Valley league club Rochester full-time, according to the Weekly Times. The former Port Adelaide midfielder played 17 games last year for a total of 24, averaging 20.5 disposals, 6.5 clearances and 5.4 tackles.

Rookie key position player Cam McLeod has switched from the Bombers to Werribee. McLeod, 20, from Albury, played two games and kicked one goal at Windy Hill last year to add to his one for GWS in 2021 while part of the Giants Academy.

Possibly the biggest feelgood story of the VFL off-season is the return home of Williamstown games record holder Ben Jolley. The competition’s fourth most-experienced player of all time, Jolley, 36, has played 290 VFL matches for Bendigo Bombers, Williamstown, Port Melbourne and Essendon, including a record 218 for the Seagulls. He played only three games for the Bombers last year but needs just 13 games to break the long-standing VFL record of Port Melbourne and Williamstown legend Billy Swan. It will be one of the biggest stories in football if he can get there.

Tom Phillips will play in the VFL for Essendon if he doesn’t receive an AFL lifeline. Picture: AFL Photos

The Bombers have potentially picked up some important experience, with unlucky Hawthorn delistee Tom Phillips committing to the VFL team while also trialling for an AFL Supplementary Selection Period spot. Phillips, 26, lined up eight times for the Box Hill Hawks last year. He has 24 VFL and 115 AFL matches behind him for the Hawks and Collingwood. Overlooked NAB League graduates Mitch Szybkowski and Hudson O’Keeffe are also training for that SSP position.

The third Murray brother out of New South Wales club Henty is on his way to the VFL. The 199cm Toby Murray, 19, the younger brother of former Sydney and Collingwood flyer Sam and Adelaide defender Nick, will play for the Bombers. Toby played 12 NAB League games for the Murray Bushrangers for 12.8 disposals and 4.7 marks. He also played for the Allies in the National Championships and made a VFL debut for Collingwood, picking up nine touches and a goal.

Cody Brand’s exit from the AFL list takes a key player out of the VFL team. Brand, 20, returns home to Ballarat league club Sunbury Lions after playing 17 times for the VFL Bombers and averaging 11.6 disposals.

Alec Waterman was a key player for the Bombers’ VFL but his AFL delisting has seen him head home to Perth, signing with West Coast’s WAFL team. Waterman, 26, kicked 14 goals in nine games while averaging 12.2 disposals in the VFL.

Port Melbourne has jumped on a famous name, signing Tom Hird after he was delisted by Essendon. The son of Bombers legend James, the 21-year-old did not miss a VFL game in his two seasons at Windy Hill, playing all 28 matches for an average of 14.9 disposals on the wing, while also kicking 15 goals. He was unable to become the fourth generation of his famous family to play at the top level.


Ronald Fejo Jr. Is playing for GWS in the VFL this year.


Anymore news for us, or just updates on everyone no longer with us?

What is going on at North?
Every couple of days a new ex afl signing?


Signing News:

Cootee - re-signs
Brad Lynch
Bernacki - re-signs
Tom Phillips
Jack Cleaver
Declan Wilmore


Phillips and Lynch should be good gets.

I don’t know the other new ones.

More to come, too. Fitzgerald, Murray and Conforti at least.


Thank god Bernacki is sticking around. Cootee had some pretty strong games for us last year, too.

Hopefully with our new additions, we’ll have a strong VFL midfield this season.


Declan Wilmore (Calder Cannons 2022 B&F) and Jack Cleaver (East Fremantle)


Any regular VFL watchers seen much of Goy Lok at Sandringham?
He has just signed at Norwood for this year and from all reports it sounds like he is doing a bit of multicultural work. He has apparently been in a role at St Kilda where he had involvement with their NGA program

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I don’t mind Kiraly, can play a range of roles much like a Guelfi he just needs to find that harder edge.


I’ve seen him a few times, great physical specimen but lacks a bit of footy IQ. Quick and powerful, he is somewhat similar to kwayme boake from Southport (non racist)

Thanks, keen to see how he goes and what he brings to the table