Lifetime bomber David Zaharakis hopes to continue his AFL career elsewhere
Essendon veteran David Zaharakis will not be offered a new contract by the club for next season, but he hopes to continue his AFL career elsewhere.
The midfielder grew up as a fan of Essendon, was selected with the 23rd pick in the 2008 National Draft and will never be forgotten by the Red and Black faithful.
The 31-year-old played 226 games for the Bombers, most famously in the 2009 Anzac Day clash with Collingwood. It was only his fourth AFL football game and he delivered the fatal blow from long range with just five seconds to go.
But his most recent game at an absolute level this year was in the 19th round against the Giants and Zaharakis admits to having had “really transparent discussions with the club in recent months.”
Both Zaharakis and Cale Hooker, 32, were outscored by younger players in the pecking order at Bomberland this season – Zaharakis had a tough time landing a game, outbid by Zach Merrett, Darcy Parish, Dylan Shiel and Andy McGrath.
Zaharakis was nominated for the NAB Rising Star on his debut, and just two seasons later he won Essendon’s best and fairest award, the Crichton Medal. He also won the Anzac Day medal against Collingwood in 2013, on the stage where he became famous.
Speaking to the Essendon website, Zaharakis, Essendon’s best clubman in 2019, said: “I lived my childhood dream of playing for Essendon Football Club, and for that I will always be incredibly grateful. It has been an honor to be part of this club.
“I leave the club knowing that I gave it my all and hopefully I have brought some joy to our members and fans along the way – they have gotten fat with the club and we are a better place for it.