Dustin Fletcher will play on in 2015, his 23rd AFL season.
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Essendon veteran Dustin Fletcher has agreed to play on next season after signing a one-year contract extension with the Bombers.
The 39-year-old currently sits on 393 games and will likely become the third player to reach the 400-game mark in what will be his 23rd AFL season.
Fletcher currently sits third on the list of most AFL career games behind Hawthorn’s Michael Tuck (426) and Richmond’s Kevin Bartlett (403).
“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 told the club’s website.
“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.”
Bombers coach James Hird said Fletcher’s experience was invaluable to his teammates.
“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.”
Fletcher won his first premiership in his debut season in 1993 after being drafted under the father-son rule.
He was also named best and fairest in the Bombers’ premiership year in 2000 and is a two-time All-Australian.