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ESSENDON defender Dustin Fletcher will play on for a record-breaking 23rd season after signing a new one-year deal.

The 39-year-old agreed to terms with the Bombers on Saturday morning and looks set to become just the third player in history to reach 400 games.

Fletcher currently sits on 393 games after managing just 15 this year with a finger injury cutting his season short.

"I did have to sit down and really think about this decision but I know that my body is feeling good and I feel that I still have something to contribute to the team," Fletcher said.

"I'm not particularly motivated by records, but I am motivated by my teammates and this great club.

"I think walking in to the coaches office and knowing that they wanted me to go around again really had a positive impact on me.

"The game has changed in many ways since I first started, but my hunger for success hasn't so I'm keen to go around again and give it another crack. I'm excited to be back in and ready to go again for the pre-season."

Coach James Hird said the decision was up to Fletcher, but the club always hoped he would continue his decorated career.

"We made our desires clear to Fletch that we wanted him to play on, but ultimately, the decision was left up to him," Hird said.

"It is just great for football that he is going around again. He adds so much experience to our side and is a terrific mentor for our younger players."