ESSENDON father-son prospect Mason Fletcher will return to the TAC Cup in 2019 after opting not to nominate for this month's NAB AFL Draft.
The son of Bombers champion Dustin, 18-year-old Mason will attempt to overcome a persistent back injury next year before considering his options in 12 months' time.
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Following recent discussions between Essendon, Fletcher and his management, TLA Worldwide, the decision was made to sit out the 2018 NAB AFL Draft.
Already listed at 199cm this year while playing for Calder Cannons in the TAC Cup, Fletcher suffered lower back stress fractures in May, ruling him out for the remainder of the season.
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Mixing time between Penleigh and Essendon Grammar school football commitments and the Cannons, Fletcher was named in the under-18 Vic Metro squad before being succumbing to injury.
Rules in the under-age competition allow a number of 19-year-old players to play, paving the way for Fletcher to complete his third year at the Cannons in 2019.
Following Dustin's club-record 400 AFL matches, Mason will again be eligible to be selected as a father-son selection in next year's draft.