ESSENDON has rewarded forward Shaun McKernan with a new two-year deal.
McKernan, who started the year as a rookie, has been upgraded to the senior list and will be at the Bombers until at least the end of 2020.
The 28-year-old, who ended his season with a badly torn hamstring in round 18, played 10 games this year and kicked 16 goals.
McKernan also averaged 5.6 marks and 13.3 disposals a game in 2018.
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He has taken his career tally to 62 matches: 28 for Essendon and 34 for Adelaide, between 2009 to 2014.
McKernan said he was believed the Bombers, who finished 11th this year, just one win out of the top eight, were building "something special".
"I felt this year I was able to contribute strongly to the side and I'm looking forward to continuing that over the next two years," McKernan said.
"Over the pre-season I want to build on my game and not rely solely on my marking, but also offer defensive pressure in the forward line.
"I am eager to get back on the track and work hard over the off-season and see what we can achieve as a team in 2019 and beyond."
Coach John Worsfold said McKernan's ability to play both as a strong marking forward and spend time in the ruck made him a valuable asset.
"His attitude and work ethic are outstanding and make him a well-respected member of this team," Worsfold said.
"We are extremely happy to see Shaun fulfilling his potential and we believe he will be an important part of our team in the future."