FORMER Bendigo Pioneer Kobe Mutch isn't sitting around dwelling on his de-listing from Essendon.
Rather, Mutch is making sure he will be ready to go if he gets an opportunity at a second club, with the 22-year-old still determined to add to his five AFL games.
Mutch spent the past four seasons on Essendon's list, enduring his fair share of injury frustration throughout.
Drafted from the Bendigo Pioneers with selection 42 in 2016, Mutch - who has returned home to Gol Gol for the meantime - says he is grateful for the experience at the Bombers and still has a strong desire to return to AFL level.
Even if that means he has to fight for a place again on an AFL list via a state league next year.
"I'll continue to keep training and keep fit so that if there is a bit of interest out there from another AFL club you want to be ready to go," Mutch said on Wednesday.
"But if that's not the case then I'll look to play in a state league. I've been talking to quite a few SANFL and VFL clubs over the past week or so.
"I'm not just going to sit around and wait and hope. I'll get on with my life and if there's an AFL opportunity I'll jump at it.
I'll get on with my life and if there's an AFL opportunity I'll jump at it.- Kobe Mutch
"If not I'll go to a state league and have a real crack there and try to get back into the AFL because that is still my dream."
Mutch had hoped 2020 would prove to be his breakout season, but after a strong pre-season a broken wrist and concussion added to his frustrations on the sidelines.
"The fact the team under-performed this year and I couldn't get into the team apart from one game was disappointing," Mutch said.
"I felt I had a really good pre-season and set myself up for a good year. But getting a broken wrist prior to round two and another concussion meant another five weeks in recovery
"Later in the season as I started training regularly and being out of rehab, I felt the continuity in my game was improving... you can't under-estimate just how important it is to get out on the track and train with the main group."
Mutch worked his way into the Essendon team to take on St Kilda at the Gabba in round 12.
However, the Bombers lost by 35 points and wielded the axe, with Mutch one of six players omitted the following week.
The game against the Saints, in which he had 11 disposals, was Mutch's last for the Bombers.
"I felt like I played my role that game... I didn't do anything outstanding, but they made seven changes after that game and I was one of them," Mutch said.
"After that I knew that I'd probably be in the firing line as far as not getting a contract for next year.
"I've loved the lifestyle of being at an AFL club and I definitely didn't take it for granted. I feel that I did everything I could to forge a career and although it didn't go to plan, now it's time to get back to work and try to get another opportunity."
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