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Bombers land key forward James Stewart from Giants

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ESSENDON has bolstered its key forward department, acquiring James Stewart from Greater Western Sydney in a trade completed on Thursday afternoon.

Stewart was sent to the Bombers for pick No.77 in this year's NAB AFL Draft.

The 22-year-old weighed up the possibility of joining Carlton early in the trade period before settling on the Bombers as his preferred destination.

Stewart played 18 games in his four seasons at the Giants, but fell behind Jeremy Cameron, Jonathon Patton and Rory Lobb in the pecking order up forward.

The 196cm forward managed just one senior game in 2016 and decided to leave in search of the prospect of playing consistent senior football.

 

"I watch a bit of footy and I saw how competitive Essendon were last year and I think with the players coming back it's going to be a really strong outfit," Stewart told the club's website.

"It's an extremely exciting time, the place is going to be buzzing and I’m rapt to be a part of that going forward.

"I was really excited with the list that they’ve got as well and obviously the amazing facilities they’ve got out here at Tullamarine.

"There are so many positives and in the end I felt it was a really good fit for me."

Giants football manager Wayne Campbell wished Stewart the best at his new club.

"James wanted the opportunity to play more senior football and we were willing to work with him to explore options," he said.

"James made a valuable contribution to the Giants and we wish him the best at Essendon."

Stewart, the son of Craig, was overlooked by Collingwood as a father-son pick before he was drafted by the Giants with pick No.27 in the 2012 NAB AFL Draft.

Stewart will join Joe Daniher, who kicked 43 goals in 2016, up forward for the Bombers from next season.

Coincidentally, the two were born on the same day.

Stewart kicked 48 goals in 18 matches in the NEAFL for the Giants this season.