MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 25: Michael Hartley of the Bombers spoils Ben Reid of the Magpies during the round five AFL match between the Collingwood Magpies and the Essendon Bombvers at Melbourne Cricket Ground on April 25, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

Essendon have announced that key defender Michael Hartley has signed on with the club for an extra year.

Hartley has signed a one-year contract which keeps him at the Bombers till the end of 2019.

Hartley states that he is looking forward to a better 2019 with the club.

“It’s extremely exciting to be a part of this Club at this time. We are a young up-and-coming group that will give the competition a good shake up next year,” Hartley told the club’s website.

“I am excited to get stuck into pre-season and work on my consistency in playing good football for longer periods.

“I’m looking forward to a competitive season and pushing to play at senior level football again.”

Hartley, who was at Collingwood for two years on their rookie list moved to Essendon after being drafted by the Bombers in 2015. He has since played 41 games for the club.

Adrian Dodoro, Essendon GM List and Recruiting manager, states that the club is confident in Hartley’s ability.

“Michael is a proven player at AFL level. He gets an opportunity now to try and cement a spot in our senior team,” Dodoro told the club’s website.

“We have a lot of confidence and faith that he can play at the highest level.”