FORMER North Melbourne midfielder Mitch Hibberd is among five players who have been delisted by Essendon after the Bombers' poor season.
Hibberd, who won an AFL reprieve last year when the Bombers selected him as a rookie, played five games this season but has been cut by the club.
Midfielder Kobe Mutch and forwards Josh Begley and Noah Gown were also told they will be delisted, joining Shaun McKernan as the Bombers who weren't offered new deals after exit meetings in recent days.
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Begley played 17 games across four seasons with the Bombers, while Mutch ran out five times at AFL level in a career that was hampered by injuries at Tullamarine.
Gown, an aggressive key forward, was drafted two years ago but was not able to capture an AFL debut.
"This time of year is always difficult but decisions need to be made in the best interests of the football club moving forward, and as a result we were unable to offer Shaun, Mitch, Kobe, Josh and Noah contracts for the 2021 season," Essendon's football manager Dan Richardson said.
"We thank all five players for their contributions to the Essendon Football Club during their time with us and wish them the very best for their future endeavours."
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The five departures take Essendon's list changes to seven already, joining retirees Tom Bellchambers and Conor McKenna as leaving the club's list.
Essendon faces an uncertain off-season with a number of key players, including Joe Daniher, Adam Saad, Jordan Ridley and Andrew McGrath, remaining out of contract.