Delisted Hawthorn winger Tom Phillips could be set to join his third club, with reports that Essendon has set their sights on the endurance runner.

After trading the AIA Centre for Bungil Bagora at the cessation of the 2020 season, the 26-year-old made just 26 appearances in brown and gold and only four throughout the 2022 season.

As a proven pacy option, Phillips is said to have entered Essendon's plans for the 2023 season, with AFL Media's Callum Twomey claiming on SEN that a lifeline could well eventuate.
“The Bombers are looking for some running depth to add to their midfield squad,” Twomey said.

“They’ve unearthed Nic Martin and Sam Durham as well as wingman, but they are a bit light-on in that area and are keen to increase their running power.

Tom Phillips could be an option there, he’s recently delisted by the Hawks and was obviously a part of that Collingwood trade period in 2020.

“He’s desperate to play on at a third club, he’s still just 26 and has 115 games or so under his belt.”

Given his clubless status, the former Magpie and Hawk would be able to cross to Tullamarine with relative ease, as per league laws.

“He could be one clubs can get as a delisted free agent as well in that window, that’s what makes these guys appealing,” Twomey added,

“You don’t have to go through the process to trade, negotiate, or anything like that.

“If something fits, you can just make it happen.”

Twomey also revealed that Phillips' name was known to Bombers recruiters due to the club's previous efforts to pry the winger loose during his tenure as a Magpie.

St Kilda could also be interested in the Caulfield Grammar graduate should the run-and-dash of Bradley Hill be off their books next season.

Still, despite being linked with a shift to Arden Street and a reunion under former coach Alastair Clarkson, Twomey stressed that trade talks between the Saints and the speedster were yet to commence.

Phillips will be forced to wait until early November to officially learn his fate, as the delisted free agency period is not set to commence until November 3.

Across the course of his seven seasons at AFL level, Phillips has produced means of 20.9 disposals, 2.56 inside 50s and 4.75 marks each appearance.

Phillips' career peak came during Collingwood's 2018 season, a campaign in which the Oakleigh Charger's product averaged 26.56 possessions throughout his 25 outings and narrowly missed out on a premiership medallion.