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Essendon defender Michael Hibberd traded to Melbourne

Get excited: Michael Hibberd a Dee This dashing defender provides plenty of rebound

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MICHAEL Hibberd is officially a Demon after Melbourne sent its second-round pick at this year's NAB AFL Draft to Essendon in exchange for the defender.

The Bombers have received picks No.29 and 68 in the deal for Hibberd and their selection No.59.
The clubs had been haggling over whether the Demons' second-round pick this year or next would form the nucleus of the deal, with Melbourne relenting and giving up its opening pick at the 2016 draft.

The move means Hibberd is the only one of the 12 Essendon players hit with doping bans to have changed clubs. Ten will be returning to the Bombers in 2017 while Tayte Pears has retired.

• Latest draft order: Which picks are the Demons and Bombers taking to the draft?  

Hibberd's acquisition on a four-year deal continues a strong NAB AFL Trade Period for the Demons, who also secured four-time premiership player Jordan Lewis earlier this week.

"Michael was targeted throughout the year as a player who would add experience to our young defence," Demons football manager Josh Mahoney told the club's website.

"Any deal involving a player during the trade period is stressful for the player involved, particularly in this situation with Michael.

"We are happy that we've been able to agree on a trade and Michael can now look forward knowing he is a Melbourne Football Club player."

Essendon now holds three picks inside the first 30 selections at November's draft, including the prized No.1 choice.

"Obviously we're disappointed to lose Michael, who has been a quality player for us over a number of seasons," Essendon list manager Adrian Dodoro said.

"We wish him all the best at Melbourne and thank him for the contribution he made to the club.

"Once Michael declared his intention to leave, we sought to achieve the best possible outcome."

Greater Western Sydney forward James Stewart has nominated the Bombers as his preferred new home as he looks for more opportunities.