Essendon talent and operations manager Matt Rosa has offered some insight into the Bombers' list planning for 2024 while responding to a question about a potential free agency target for the club this year.

Rosa's first off-season with the Victorian club was a successful one, with the club managing to acquire Ben McKay, Jade Gresham and Todd Goldstein through free agency, Xavier Duursma via a trade with Port Adelaide and still hold onto their first-round draft selection for the 2023 count.

All four experienced additions have contributed to the Bombers' third-place finish on the ladder after nine games, but Rosa and his team remain "open to all avenues" to further strengthen Essendon's list going forward.

Through free agency and trade levers, the Tullamarine club is keen to add to its young core of players this season, with Rosa telling Gettable the Bombers are keen to better its list while remaining in a strong position come the draft.

"We're certainly open to all avenues in terms of bringing in talent onto our list," the former West Coast and Gold Coast midfielder said.

"We value our draft capital and will continue to value that. I think you do need to keep an open mind to everything. We've got an emerging list in terms of our age profile.

"Clearly the strategy last year was to bring in experienced players to fill specific needs but also hold onto our draft capital, which was effective.

"At this stage we're working really hard to get our head around the talent pool and make sure we give ourselves the best opportunity there."

The Bombers have been linked to GWS free agent Harry Perryman this year, with the Giants defender expected to garner strong interest from a number of rival clubs.

CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 25: Harry Perryman of the Giants celebrates kicking a goal during the round seven AFL match between Greater Western Sydney Giants and Brisbane Lions at Manuka Oval, on April 25, 2024, in Canberra, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/AFL Photos/via Getty Images )

While Rosa played a straight bat when questioned on Essendon's interest in Perryman, the Dons list manager said the club is "always open" to talking with players keen to find a new home that would suit the side's needs.

"I won't comment on players from other clubs, but if there's an interest from players to come home or shift clubs then we're always open to those discussions if it's going to make our list better," Rosa said.

In the shorter term, the Bombers will make at least one selection at this month's Mid-Season Draft, with uncapped forward Jaiden Hunter placed on the inactive list after suffering an ACL injury during the pre-season.

 2024-05-19T03:10:00Z 
Essendon WON BY 40 POINTS
Marvel Stadium
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The Mid-Season Draft will be held between Rounds 11 and 12 on Wednesday, May 29, Rosa speaking on the importance of getting their list planning in place over the coming weeks ahead of the rookie intake.

"We've got the one spot as a result of Jaiden Hunter being on the inactive list. We'll be taking a pick," Rosa said.

"There's plenty of work at the moment, scouting the nation trying to find some talent. The next couple of weeks will be important.

"We're keeping an open mind. Ideally, you find a medium to long-term player you can add to your list who can also come in and fill a specific need at the moment.

"A lot can change in the next couple of weeks, so we're casting the net wide and hopefully we can bring in someone for the long term."

Rosa noted he'd 'love to see' Peel Thunder talent Jacob Blight get an opportunity in the AFL following a strong year-and-a-half with the WAFL club.

Peel Thunder player Jacob Blight during pre-season training with Fremantle, 2024 (Image via Fremantle FC)

The key defender joined Peel from Claremont while Rosa was football boss of the club. Blight is among the top-rated tall defenders outside of the AFL and looms as a formidable Mid-Season Draft prospect.

The Bombers currently hold Pick 15 for the Mid-Season Draft, which would be the final selection of the first round of the count.