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Dons dump McKernan, but rookie list beckons

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 28: Shaun McKernan of the Bombers in action during the 2016 NAB Challenge match between the Carlton Blues and the Essendon Bombers at Ikon Park, Melbourne on February 28, 2016. (Photo by Adam Trafford/AFL Media)
Shaun McKernan has been delisted, but Essendon plans to add him to the rookie list

ESSENDON has delisted Shaun McKernan, but will draft him as a rookie if the forward has no other suitors.

McKernan, 26, played just six matches in an injury-plagued year as the Bombers finished on the bottom of the ladder and battled to find a forward option to play alongside Joe Daniher.

The club has had former Sydney tall Xavier Richards and delisted Brisbane Lions small forward Josh Green tour its facilities, with the Bombers considering picking up either or both as delisted free agents.

"Shaun is a very focused and competitive young man, and when given the opportunity at senior level he's shown he can add real value to the team, particularly in his versatility to play as both a key forward and ruckman," Essendon list manager Adrian Dodoro told the club website. 

"Shaun is driven to play regular senior football and we hope with a big pre-season and continued development in specific areas of his game, he can achieve this goal at Essendon."

McKernan was first drafted by Adelaide in 2008 at No.28. The Crows delisted him at the end of 2014 before the Bombers picked him up in that year's rookie draft.

He was elevated to the senior list at the end of the last season and signed to a one-year contract.

Also used as a relief ruckman, McKernan has played 49 career games.