ESSENDON ruckman Andrew Phillips could become the AFL's latest four-club player after attracting interest from Melbourne.
Phillips remains without a deal at the Bombers for next season and has been identified by the Demons as a potential back-up for skipper Max Gawn.
A move to the Demons would make Phillips the first player to play for four clubs since Ben Hudson (Adelaide, Western Bulldogs, Brisbane and Collingwood) retired in 2013.
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Phillips, 29, played 14 games for Greater Western Sydney from 2012-2015 before moving to Carlton for a four-year stint that netted 27 matches.
Last October he was the first player to be traded between the Blues and Bombers for 16 years and played five games for the Bombers behind Sam Draper and Tom Bellchambers this season.
The Demons have been scouring the market for extra ruck support after contracted No.2 Braydon Preuss informed the club of his desire to move to the Giants as the main big man.
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Delisted Bomber Shaun McKernan was a player on the Demons' whiteboard, however he has accepted a one-year deal at St Kilda to provide forward/ruck support.
The Demons have high hopes for last year's No.3 pick Luke Jackson to play in tandem with Gawn, but the 19-year-old is seen as more of a forward at this stage of his career.
Category B ruckman Austin Bradtke has one year remaining on his deal at the Demons and is seen as a long-term prospect.
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It is not believed Phillips would play alongside Gawn, but rather provide readymade backing should the four-time All-Australian succumb to injury.
Should Phillips depart, Essendon's ruck structure will centre heavily on 22-year-old Sam Draper next season following the retirement of Bellchambers and delisting of McKernan.
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Last year's draftee Nick Bryan (202m) holds a contract to 2021, while 2020 pre-season rookie signing Henry Crauford (202cm) is without a deal for next season.
Elsewhere, AFL.com.au revealed the Western Bulldogs' interest in Brisbane veteran Stefan Martin, who is yet to be offered an extension for 2021 at the Lions.
The Dogs also hold an interest in out-of-contract Geelong ruckman Darcy Fort.
Contracted West Coast big man Tom Hickey, who previously called Gold Coast and St Kilda home, could also join Phillips in the four-club group after being offered a three-year stay at Sydney.
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Richmond is open to pursuing ruck support with premiership tall Ivan Soldo to miss most of 2021 with an ACL, while Hawthorn is keen on more depth behind Jonathon Ceglar and Ben McEvoy after missing on Preuss.
Other notable four-club players include Martin Pike, Phil Carman, Scott Cummings, Geoff Raines, Justin Murphy, Richard Osborne, Matthew Clarke, Peter Francis, Brian Wilson and Adrian Fletcher (included Brisbane Bears/Lions).
Dale Kickett played for five clubs – Fitzroy, West Coast, St Kilda, Essendon and Fremantle.