MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 03: Jake Stringer of the Bombers celebrates a goal with Darcy Parish of the Bombers during the 2021 AFL Round 03 match between the Essendon Bombers and the St Kilda Saints at Marvel Stadium on April 03, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

After an impressive start to the season that sees them currently one game out of a finals spot, there's a hopeful feeling around the Bombers that three out-of-contract stars will put their signatures on the dotted line and re-sign with the club long-term.

Stars Zach Merrett, Darcy Parish and Jake Stringer are off-contract at the conclusion of the 2021 season, but there is confidence that all will continue their careers at the Bombers.

Speaking on 3AW Sportsday, Essendon coach Ben Rutten said all three players are important to the clubs' direction long-term and believes the Bombers are building an environment that players will want to be apart of.

Jake Stringer is a really valuable player for us,” Rutten said.

“He knows how much we love him and how important he is for us, we have a few guys that are out of contract and we’re working through at the moment.

“We’re really hopeful and confident that we’ll be able to retain all those guys and Jake is one of those at the moment.

AFL Rd 13 - Essendon v Richmond
DARWIN, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 22: Zach Merrett of the Bombers kicks the ball during the round 13 AFL match between the Essendon Bombers and the Richmond Tigers at TIO Stadium on August 22, 2020 in Darwin, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images)

“We were really pleased to get him back into our team last week and he does give us a different element and he does have a unique skill-set in our team.

“We’re certainly confident we’re building something our players want to be a part of.”

The Bombers are set to face off against the reigning premiers, Richmond in Round 12 on Saturday night in the clubs' annual 'Dreamtime' clash, which due to the COVID-19 situation in Melbourne, has been moved to Optus Stadium in Perth.