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Bombers join queue for Tiger Dusty

Football

Essendon have confirmed they are considering a bid for Richmond star Dustin Martin when he becomes an AFL free agent at the end of the season.

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The Bombers’ potential interest in Martin comes as the AFL weighs up relaxing the rules surrounding free agency.

Any changes to free agency would be part of the new players pay agreement, which is understood to be close.

Martin and Fremantle captain Nat Fyfe are the biggest names among the players who become eligible for free agency at the end of the 2017 campaign.

St Kilda and North Melbourne have also been linked to Martin, while former Richmond assistant Mark Williams has lughed off suggestions he could move to the Crows.

Essendon chief executive Xavier Campbell said yesterday that their list management committee were considering a range of potential targets.

He admitted that they are keen to see how the scenario unfolds with Martin, but added it was “very preliminary stages”.

“We’re open to exploring all those ways that we can add value to our list, and we’ll continue those discussions,” Campbell told SEN.

“We certainly haven’t been to the point where it (going after Martin) has been raised anywhere outside list management or certainly at a board level – when it gets to the free agency market, that’s a pretty pivotal part of the process.

“Dustin’s a super talent and he’s a genuine match-winner, and we’ll see what happens.”

The Age has reported that the players association is pushing for free agency changes as part of the new collective bargaining agreement.

One proposal is free agency for life, where a player remains eligible after eight years in the game, no matter how many years he has been at a club.

-AAP

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