Tom Hird, son of club great James, has earned a fresh one-year contract at the Bombers.

Hird, a Category B rookie, joined Essendon in March 2020 and has been developing internally at VFL level over the past two years.

"It's great to be continuing at such a great club and I'm really looking forward to putting a lot of work into my body and craft over the pre-season to really attack next year," Hird said, via the club's announcement.

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"It's a really exciting time at Essendon with the young group we have and the trust we have in our coaches and system and I can't wait to continue to develop with these players."

Bombers list and recruiting boss Adrian Dodoro praised Hird and fellow re-signed Category B rookie Cian McBride's perseverance and development.

"Both have dealt with respective injuries at different times this year but Cian as a key forward and Tom as a small midfielder have natural talent we're looking to cultivate.

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"With a substantial phase of development ahead of them in the club's upcoming pre-season campaign, we hope they can give themselves every chance next season to feature in league football games."

During what panned out to be an incredibly promising 2021 campaign for Essendon, the club has also re-signed game-changers Zach Merrett, Jake Stringer and break-out midfielder Darcy Parish this year.

On the other hand, veteran midfielder David Zaharakis was informed he wouldn't receive a new contract, but has expressed his interest in extending his career at a second club.