Bombers AFL ruckman Sam Draper re-signs

Emerging Essendon ruck Sam Draper has re-signed with the Bombers for the next three years in an important endorsement of new coach Brad Scott.

Draper, who is coming off a breakout season where he played all 22 games as Essendon's No.1 ruckman, has committed to the Bombers until the end of the 2025 season.

"I absolutely love this footy club and I'm really excited for this next chapter at the Bombers under Brad (Scott)," Draper said.

"I'm committed and willing to do everything I can to take this great club back to where it needs to be."

Draper's signature comes six weeks after Scott's appointment.

It follows Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti return to the club for next season, which was announced on Thursday, six months after his shock AFL retirement.

"Sam has developed enormously since arriving at the club in 2017 and has become a crucial player for the future of our club," list boss Adrian Dodoro said.

"We look forward to seeing Sam continue to refine his craft and become a dominant force throughout the competition."

Meanwhile former Bombers forward Dean Rioli has become the club's first Indigenous board member.

Rioli, who played 100 games for Essendon between 1999 and 2006, will also chair the club's National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Council.

"Having quality Indigenous footballers at the footy club is great but we need to get out to the community and show there is a real pathway to football," Rioli said.

"It is important for Aboriginal communities to touch the footy club and feel a deep connection to its history and its future."

"The focus of the Advisory Committee is about getting people from different parts of Australia to provide insights on how the footy club can make an impact in their local communities.

"Essendon is a national club, and we need to make sure we're engaging all Australians."

Rioli fills the director role vacated by Paul Brasher in a recent board upheaval and president Dave Barham welcomed his appointment.

"One of the key recommendations of the external review, was the appointment of an Indigenous director," Barham said.

"We have acted immediately on that, and we are absolutely delighted to have someone of Dean's calibre join our board.

"Dean will help us reset our club so that we again become a destination for all young Indigenous talent around the country.

"We want more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and players to be connected to the Essendon Football Club and the role of the Advisory Council will be to drive this across Australia."