Former Geelong star Paul Chapman is bullish about his new AFL home, saying Essendon are a genuine premiership chance.
Chapman will join the Bombers on November 1 when they sign him as a delisted free agent.
The midfielder and forward was a key part of Geelong’s three premiership teams between 2007 and 2011 and is confident he can make that four flags before he retires.
“That (premiership contention) was probably one of the criteria I did have,” Chapman told the AFL website.
“If I’ve got one or two years left, I wanted to go to a team who are not far off and who are a good chance of making it (to the grand final).
“In round 18 Essendon were playing Hawthorn for top spot, so they can definitely play.
“I’m very thankful that I’m going to the Bombers, because I do believe we’re a big chance next year.”
The 31-year-old has played 251 matches, but only managed eight games this season because of injury and had medical tests with Essendon and Carlton.
Chapman’s comments on Thursday came only a couple of hours after Essendon lost forward Stewart Crameri in a trade to the Western Bulldogs.
After several weeks of negotiations, Essendon had to settle for the Bulldogs’ original offer of draft pick No.26.
“We’re disappointed but realistic that that was the position we were put in, and the best possible result was to get a second round draft pick,” said Essendon list manager Adrian Dodoro.
Crameri and fellow forward Scott Gumbleton appear the only players likely to leave the Bombers after their tumultuous year.
The AFL hit the Bombers with several big penalties because of the club’s supplements scandal, including their relegation from the finals.
Senior coach James Hird is serving a one-year suspension and Chapman’s old Geelong coach Mark Thompson will be in charge for next season.
But Chapman said Thompson was not a factor in his decision to join Essendon.
“When we had our meeting (with Essendon), they actually didn’t have a coach,” Chapman said.
“I asked who the coach was going to be, and they weren’t quite sure.
“A couple of days after that Bomber came out and said he would take the job, so that was a bonus.”
A day out from the end of the trade period, three trades involving Brisbane players were confirmed.
Elliot Yeo will go to West Coast for pick 28 and Sam Docherty is now a Carlton player in exchange for draft selection No.33.
Former first-round recruit Jared Polec will go to Port Adelaide in a complicated three-way trade that involves Greater Western Sydney and several draft selections.
Two more Lions are likely to leave on Friday, with Billy Longer keen to go to St Kilda and Collingwood trying to strike a deal for Patrick Karnezis.