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Castaway Essendon defender Rhett Montgomerie has earned an opportunity with a VFL club as he sets his sights on an AFL lifeline.

Montgomerie, who finished runner-up in Essendon VFL's best-and-fairest race this year, was offloaded by the Bombers amid an off-season of vast change for the Tullamarine-based club.

The former Bomber has joined forces with the Footscray Bulldogs for next season, per Code Sports reporter Paul Amy.

Montgomerie, who hails from Angaston, South Australia and previously played in the SANFL for Central Districts, was swooped on by the Bombers at the 2022 Rookie Draft, though played no senior games for Essendon during his single-season tenure at the Hangar.

Instead of returning to his home state for next year's campaign, Amy notes Montgomerie will again try his hand in Victoria; this time with Footscray, a club that has historically produced numerous AFL talents.

The 23-year-old was joined by Alastair Lord, Cian McBride, Anthony Munkara, Will Snelling, James Stewart, and Patrick Voss in receiving their marching orders by Essendon this off-season, with the latter, Voss, since earning a train-on chance with Fremantle before penning a contingency deal with VFL stalwart Port Melbourne.