Ben McKay set to leave North Melbourne as a free agent

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Sam Hayes
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Ben McKay set to join Essendon in 2024.

Transfer talk is hot in the AFL and Ben McKay is the next big-name player to move clubs, joining Essendon from North Melbourne.

News Insights

  • Ben McKay has been a mainstay at North Melbourne since making debut in 2017.
  • Having made over 70 appearances for the club, McKay is moving on.
  • Hawthorn and Sydney wanted to sign McKay for 2024 season.
  • However, the 25-year-old has opted to join the Essendon Bombers.

Whilst the cut and thrust of the regular AFL season always captures the most attention with AFL betting sites, player movements during the off-season are always great cause for speculation too.

Talismanic defender Ben McKay has long been associated with North Melbourne but with his contract up, he decided to seek pastures new in 2024.

Syndey and Hawthorn miss out

For the Sydney Swans and the Hawthorn Hawks, the 2023 AFL campaign was largely forgettable.

The Swans could not put any sort of consistent run together throughout the season and although they made the top 8, they ended up bombing out to Carlton in the elimination finals.

For the Hawthorn Hawks meanwhile, the 2023 season was a complete disaster, with many betting sites completely dumbfounded by their lack of form or results.

Both sides had identified Ben McKay as the ideal type of player to kickstart their respective revolutions during the 2024 season.

McKay however has chosen the Essendon Bombers, meaning both sides will have to go back to the drawing board in terms of player recruitment. 

Essendon Bombers to kick on?

For the criticisms and disappointments levelled at Sydney and Hawthorn, Essendon too had a quiet campaign by their standards.

Losing key matches when it mattered most saw the Bombers lose out on a top 8 spot, missing out on the AFL Finals.

Consequently, they will be looking to bounce back in 2024 and acquiring McKay will be a big part of their project moving forwards.

A top 8 finish will be a minimum requirement for Bombers fans next season, and they will be hoping McKay can be a big part of that.

Will the McKay brothers curse finally end?

Despite both Ben and Harry McKay having both been playing in the AFL for over half a decade, they have incredibly never faced each other in a match.

Injuries and suspensions have always kept Ben and Harry apart on the biggest stage of all, but they will be hoping to end that curse in 2024.

With Ben now hoping to climb the table with Essendon and Harry an integral part of a Carlton side that impressed hugely in 2023, it could finally be the year that the McKay twins do battle on an AFL field.