Former Roo bounds to Bombers

Updated: February 18, 2016
AFL News

AFL NewsNATHAN Grima is confident his back woes are behind him after becoming Essendon’s ninth top-up signing.

Grima, who played 86 games in seven seasons with North Melbourne before retiring during the 2015 season, missed around 100 due to injury after being taken with pick 14 in the 2008 Rookie Draft.

“I’m really excited about joining the Essendon Football Club this season, and can’t wait to have a second chance at playing AFL,” the 30-year-old said.

“At first it was my surgeon, John Cunningham, who gave me the confidence that I could get back and play senior football. And after the Club’s medical staff put me through my paces, I had no doubt in my body or my decision.

“My heart is in this 100 percent. My wife, family and friends are behind me 100 percent, and I was never content finishing my career the way I did.

“I feel I still have plenty to offer the Essendon Football Club and can help mentor a young list that will face some unique challenges this season.”

Grima will fill a hole in defence for the Bombers, who will be missing 12 players suspended last month by the Court of Arbitration for Sport over the 2012 supplements scandal.

“We didn’t make this decision overnight. We’ve had ongoing discussions with Nathan, his surgeon and the North Melbourne medical team, and obviously needed to conduct significant due diligence before we put an offer on the table,” list manager Adrian Dodoro said.

“We know Nathan is a very talented player, but we needed to make sure his body is capable of enduring the physical demands and challenges of an AFL season.

“He passed an extremely thorough medical, a tough fitness assessment by our strength and conditioning team, and was given the all clear to resume full contact sport by his surgeon.

“Nathan will provide us with some much needed experience in defence and I’m positive our young players will benefit from his presence around the club.”

The Bombers have already signed Ryan Crowley, Matt Dea, Sam Grimley, Mark Jamar, James Kelly, James Polkinghorne, Jonathan Simpkin and Mathew Stokes.

Twitter: @tom_king79