ESSENDON defender Martin Gleeson has been delisted after not being offered a new contract for 2022.

The 27-year-old, who was taken with pick No.53 in the 2012 NAB AFL Draft, played 97 games for the Bombers.

He managed only six games this year, including the elimination final loss to the Western Bulldogs.

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General manager of football Josh Mahoney said Gleeson was a fan favourite and devoted clubman.

Essendon's Martin Gleeson (left) and Dylan Shiel share a laugh during a training session on August 25, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

"He has been such a respected, dependable person for us over a number of years and it's tough saying goodbye to someone as popular as he is," he said.

"Marty should be proud of his efforts, in particular his resilience to overcome a significant ankle injury and the way he has helped shape the culture of our club.

"We wish him all the best for his future and he will forever be an Essendon person."

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Gleeson played 69 games in his first four years at the Dons before a serious ankle injury in a pre-season game.

He spent the entire 2018 season on the sidelines, before returning in round 15 of 2019.