NEW ESSENDON coach Ben Rutten has called on undecided free agent Joe Daniher to make a decision on his future sooner rather than later as the Bombers prepare for a busy off-season.
Rutten officially took the baton from departing coach John Worsfold on Saturday with the pair holding a joint press conference following the Bombers' 19-point loss to Melbourne.
BOMBERS v DEMONS Full match coverage and stats
While confirming forward Shaun McKernan wouldn't be offered a new contract, Rutten said Daniher had everything at his disposal to make a decision on whether he wants to stay.
"He'll make his decision, but we need it reasonably quickly because things start to move when you finish the season," Rutten said.
"He knows exactly where he stands from my point of view and the footy club's point of view.
"I'm confident… I think the way he's fought back and hung in there over these last two years has been really difficult for him… and (he's shown) that level of commitment and work to get himself back.
"They (Daniher and his management) know exactly where they sit. If they're ready to make a decision, we're ready to roll."
Daniher had just two disposals in the first three quarters before turning the match on its head as a ruckman with seven touches in the final term as the Bombers almost pulled off a stunning upset.
Should Daniher opt to depart as a restricted free agent, the Bombers will have the option to match a rival offer or let him walk and accept free agency compensation.
Speedy defender Adam Saad is another Bomber with his future up in the air having not yet committed to staying at Tullamarine for 2021.
Worsfold, who will return directly to Perth from Queensland, said he was undecided about what his future held for next year.
"I've been focusing on my role here, I've enjoyed that," Worsfold said in finishing his five-year helm at the Bombers.
"If I end up working in footy that'll be great but there's some other some exciting possibilities out there for me to explore."
Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin said his side had taken steps forward this season to put itself in the frame to play finals after a 17th-placed finish in 2019.
The Demons must rely on Fremantle beating the Western Bulldogs in order to progress.
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"We sat here 12 months ago in 17th position and we've progressed as a footy club, we aspire to play finals, we're a chance to do that," Goodwin said.
"If it doesn't happen, we need to get better, that's pretty much where it sits for us.
"In '18 we probably overachieved (making a preliminary final), '19 we went right down.
"We're aiming to be a top club. We've still got work to do but we present ourselves with another opportunity potentially. We still need to get better as a team, we know that."
Goodwin praised Christian Petracca's "outstanding" season as a full-time midfielder which continued with 23 disposals and a goal on Saturday.