|ESSENDON veterans Scott Lucas and Dustin Fletcher have signed new one-year contracts which should ensure the pair finish their AFL careers with the Bombers.|
The Dons said they would discuss another contract with forward Lucas, 30, halfway through next season, while fullback Fletcher, 33, is expected to retire in 2009.
"This is really good news for us - between Scott and Dustin they have over 500 games of AFL experience," chief operating officer Travis Auld said on the club's website.
"Both are best and fairest winners, both are premiership players and they are very important to this club."
Auld said that Lucas and Essendon were both happy with the new agreement despite reports that the left-footer wanted a longer contract.
"It's becoming common practice nowadays with AFL clubs that as players come to the latter part of their career they go on one-year deals and they might end up having two or three seasons of one-year deals, and Scott understands that," he said.
"He had a good talk to the coach and we committed to Scott that midway through next year we will start talking to him (about his next contract).
"We're certainly not going to hang him out until late next year before we start discussions and he's happy and we are happy, and there is no reason why he can't play for at least a couple more years."
The new re-signings come a day after midfielder Jobe Watson, the son of Bombers great Tim, signed a new two-season deal.
Fletcher recently said he was keen to play one more season before retiring, but Auld said the club did not want to rule out the chance of the defender playing on into 2010.