MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 03: Will Snelling (left) and Andrew McGrath of the Bombers celebrate during the 2019 AFL round 20 match between the Essendon Bombers and the Port Adelaide Power at Marvel Stadium on August 03, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Delisted Essendon forward Will Snelling has returned to the SANFL for the 2024 season, signing with Sturt following his Bombers exit.

A Goodwood Saints junior, the 26-year-old was not offered a new deal by the Dons for next year after a 15-game season under Brad Scott.

Snelling played in 64 matches in the red and black across five years after earning a second chance via the 2019 Mid-Season Draft.

After first joining the league ahead of the 2016 season with Port Adelaide, Snelling would make one appearance for the Power before leaving the club at the end of the 2018 season.

A member of West Adelaide's 2015 premiership side, Snelling has returned to the SANFL with Sturt for the coming season.

"We're very excited to have Will onboard at Sturt," Double Blues football boss Chris Trapp said in a club post.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 03: Will Snelling (left) and Andrew McGrath of the Bombers celebrate during the 2019 AFL round 20 match between the Essendon Bombers and the Port Adelaide Power at Marvel Stadium on August 03, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

"His ability to win the ball through the midfield and go forward to kick goals will be a great asset to the Club.

"On top of that he is an impressive young man and will provide great leadership across the board to the playing group."

The 26-year-old is Sturt's first headline signing of the off-season and joins fellow ex-Bomber Alastair Lord (Norwood) in heading to the SANFL after being delisted by Essendon.

The Double Blues finished second on the ladder at the end of the 2023 home and away season with 14 wins and four losses before going on to lose the grand final to Glenelg.