At 1:49AM this morning, Essendon tweeted out a link to a strange statement regarding the future of Michael Hurley.
The "unusual" update from the club's website stated the following:
Michael Hurley will be offered a contract extension that will secure his long term future at the Club.
The 26 year-old has been in regular discussion with the Club before he headed overseas for a holiday with teammates Michael Hibberd, Cale Hooker and Tom Bellchambers.
Hooker and Bellchambers have recommitted to the Club for next season, as has Dyson Heppell, David Myers, Trav Colyer and Heath Hocking.
Chief Executive Officer, Xavier Campbell, remains confident the talented defender will remain at the Bombers.
“Michael is a great young man with tremendous football talent,” said Campbell
“He’s highly respected in the club and is a leader within the playing group.
“We want him to come to the conclusion he wants to be at Essendon and I hope and believe he will come to that conclusion.
“We respect that Michael is going through a process and we will give him the time and space he needs to make that decision.
“He has a year to run on his contract and we have been speaking to Michael and his management for some time about a long term contract extension which we believe illustrates the value he brings to our club.”
Originally recruited as a forward, Hurley has become an integral part of the Bombers’ back six since making the move to a defender.
His efforts were recognized in 2015, collecting his first All-Australian selection and finishing runner-up in the Crichton Medal.
Fans and members of the football media alike were taken aback by the strange timing and nature of the statement: