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Banned Howlett signs new Bombers AFL deal

AAP logoAAP 24/08/2016 By Jason Phelan

Essendon have welcomed another banned Bomber back into their AFL fold, the club signing midfielder Ben Howlett to a one-year deal.

Howlett's decision to rejoin Essendon when his doping ban expires leaves skipper Jobe Watson and Tayte Pears as the only suspended players yet to announce their intentions for next year.

The Bombers signed star defender Michael Hurley last week to a five-year deal, while Michael Hibberd informed the club of his desire to start afresh elsewhere.

"From what I've witnessed and my discussions with (coach John Worsfold), it's evident the team and club is forging something really exciting and I'm extremely motivated to be a part of this," Howlett said.

"With my first child on the way, I took the necessary time to determine what was best for my career and my family.

"In the end, it was my strong bond with my teammates that made the decision easy."

Dyson Heppell, Tom Bellchambers, Cale Hooker, Heath Hocking, Travis Colyer, David Myers and Brent Stanton are the other banned players to re-commit to the club.

Hibberd has been strongly linked with a move to Melbourne during the coming trade period.

In all, 34 past and present Essendon players were handed doping bans for their part in the club's ill-fated 2012 supplements program.

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