UPDATE: Essendon confirm Ryan Crowley will be one of the club’s 10 top up players.
FORMER Fremantle Football Club favourite Ryan Crowley is one-step closer to calling the Essendon Football Club (EFC) home this season, subject to passing a medical test set by the AFL.
In an ironic twist of fate, the former Doig medallist who completed a 12-month suspension after taking a banned substance for a back complaint, could sign with the Bombers as a top-up player following the ban of 12 senior players including captain Jobe Watson last week.
Crowley was set to join WAFL club Swan Districts Football Club (SDFC) in a two-year deal this season that would have him take on the role of midfield coach as well as player.
It is understood conversations between Crowley and Bombers officials started last Wednesday, with the John Worsfold-led club then contacting the Swans Thursday to inform him they were interested in signing the delisted player.
It follows the two-year ban handed down to 34 past and present EFC players by the Court of Arbitration for Sport last week.
Crowley had been training with the Swans since October and according to chief executive Tom Bottrell was fitting in well.
“If, as reported, Essendon do take Ryan it will be a blow to the club,” Bottrell said.
“In a short space of time Ryan has shown a very high level of professionalism and leadership and looks to still have the goods if he is presented with that opportunity.
“We will of course be expecting compensation from Essendon if that was to happen as, not only do we lose a prime midfielder, we also lose our midfield coach at a time of the season when he will be very difficult to replace in both of those roles.”
Bottrell added the club would be working with the WA Football Commission to ensure adequate compensation was forthcoming.