MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 01: Matt Dea of the Bombers and Shaun Atley of the Kangaroos compete for the ball during the 2018 AFL round15 match between the Essendon Bombers and the North Melbourne Kangaroos at Etihad Stadium on July 01, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Essendon have delisted defender Matt Dea, after 39 games in three seasons with the club.

Dea made the move to the Bombers from Richmond in 2016, and was one of the club’s ‘top-up’ players for the 2016 season.

“Matt is a quality person and is the ultimate professional, both on and off the field.” Essendon’s GM of Football Dan Richardson told the club’s website.

“Even while he was trying to cement his spot in the team, he was prepared to support the younger guys that were looking for the senior opportunity as well, which speaks volumes of his character.

“This time of year is never easy and unfortunately after discussions with Matt, we were unable to offer him a contract.

“On behalf of the Club, I want to thank Matt for his hard work and efforts during his time at The Hangar and wish him all the best with his future endeavours.”