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James Stewart

Last played for Essendon Bombers in 2022
Games: 78     Born: March 4, 1994     Origin: Sandringham Dragons
Playing Height: 199cm     Playing Weight: 99kg     Position: Defender
Drafted: Round 2, Pick #27 2012 National Draft by GWS Giants
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James Stewart Biography

Thursday, 24 August 2023
James Stewart is keen to continue his AFL career after being delisted by Essendon with a year to go on his contract.

"He sees this as a chapter to unfold and he's looking forward to finding a team that can support him for next year," Stewart's agent Peter Jess told

"Given a club's going to be able to get him for nothing as a free agent and the Bombers paying his [remaining] contract, it would make sense for someone to get him in."

Tuesday, 9 March 2021
James Stewart will miss at least two months after suffering a serious hamstring injury.
Wednesday, 2 December 2020
James Stewart signs a two-year contract to remain at Essendon until the end of 2022.

“2020 has been such a unique year and on reflection, I have absolutely loved the challenges that have been brought about from it. I feel like I have grown both as a person and as a player during this time," he said.

“I’m looking forward to developing my game closely under ‘Truck’ (Ben Rutten) over another pre-season as we move into the 2021 season."

Tuesday, 23 June 2020
James Stewart will be quarantined for 14 days after being identified as a "close contact" of Conor McKenna who tested positive for COVID-19.

Every other Essendon player has been cleared to play this week.

In a strange twist, Conor McKenna's latest sample returns a negative test result for COVID-19 despite testing positive only days before.

James Stewart, McKenna's wrestling partner in training drills, had found himself being told to self-isolate for 14 days as part of McKenna's positive result, perplexing Stewart's manager Peter Jess.

"What I'm struggling with is if the science tells us that the guy is a negative and that somehow he's recovered in 48 hours of being positive of the virus that this is some feat," Jess said.

"James has tested negative, negative, negative right through the testing regime."

Victoria's chief health officer Brett Sutton, however, explained that McKenna's test was to be treated as a "confirmed positive".

"There are lots of people who test positive one day, they're at the very tail-end of their infection and then they test negative the following day. If you get two negative tests 24 hours apart, you as a case are clear," he said.

"But your close contacts, [from] when you are potentially infectious, they have to go through their 14-day quarantine period. That will apply to Conor McKenna's contacts."

Wednesday, 12 September 2018
James Stewart signs a two-year contract extension to remain with Essendon until the end of 2020.

"I'm excited to spend the next two years at Essendon. I believe this side is on the cusp of something special and I'm excited to see what we can achieve together as a team," Stewart said.

Monday, 29 May 2017
Saints coach Alan Richardson calls for an overhaul of the deliberate rushed behind rule in the wake of a contentious call.

The AFL ticked off the decision to penalise Richmond defender Jayden Short for a deliberate rushed behind just before half-time of the Dreamtime at the 'G clash.

With 40 seconds remaining in the second term, Essendon third-gamer James Stewart attempted to kick a long-range goal by bombing the ball inside a vacant forward 50.

The rolling ball stopped just a couple of metres short in the goalsquare, as Tiger Jayden Short led Bomber Josh Green in a thrilling foot race.

Short slid forward and pushed the loose ball over the line – unaware Green had given up the chase – and was penalised by umpire Curtis Deboy for a deliberate rushed behind.

Green converted the resultant free kick from point-blank range, gifting the Bombers a four-point lead at half-time.

When asked about the controversial call, Richardson said he would be in favour of penalising a player who deliberately rushed the ball over, irrespective of pressure.

"In the spirit of our game where we didn't like blokes deliberately ducking and playing for free kicks," Richardson said on Fox Footy.

"So I would take any of the grey out and adjudicate that … like you do on the boundary line. And that is, if you rush it, that's deliberate.

"Now, the defender, he has no doubt. So even if Green is closing really aggressively and not backing off and being smart, you're going to keep it alive because you know that – even if it's only a foot – you can't rush it over."

Geelong coach Chris Scott was not fully sold on Richardson's idea.

"But if we did that, the penalty is too heavy, isn't it?" Scott replied.

"If we said, 'Let's make it black and white and if you rush it, it's deliberate and the interpretation goes out of it', then surely it should be a bounce 15m out."

Thursday, 20 October 2016
Essendon bolsters its key forward department after acquiring James Stewart from Greater Western Sydney in exchange for pick 77 in the NAB AFL draft.

"I watch a bit of footy and I saw how competitive Essendon were last year and I think with the players coming back it's going to be a really strong outfit," Stewart said.

"It's an extremely exciting time, the place is going to be buzzing and I’m rapt to be a part of that going forward.

"I was really excited with the list that they’ve got as well and obviously the amazing facilities they’ve got out here at Tullamarine.

"There are so many positives and in the end I felt it was a really good fit for me."

Tuesday, 18 October 2016
James Stewart requests a trade to Essendon from the Giants.

"We've tracked James since he was at the Sandringham Dragons a number of years ago," Essendon list manager Adrian Dodoro said.

"He's just found it really difficult to break into a really strong forward line at GWS. When you’ve got the likes of Patton, Cameron and Lobb in the forward line it’s very difficult to get a game."

Friday, 12 June 2015
James Stewart says he is enjoying his time at GWS after being overlooked by the Magpies who opted not to draft him under the AFL's father-son rule.

"I'm so far loving my time here. I've really warmed to the city as well," Stewart said.

"It was a bit of a blessing in disguise looking back now. Being able to move to Sydney all happened very quickly.

"To move away from my family and friends has enabled me to really focus on football, work really hard and also develop some skills outside of footy and become quite independent, so it's worked in a number of ways."

Thursday, 21 May 2015
Former Collingwood player Craig Stewart lashes out at the club for the way in which it neglected his son James as a potential father-son recruit.

Collingwood decided to pass on 198cm James Stewart, who was subsequently drafted by Greater Western Sydney with pick No.27 in the 2012 NAB AFL Draft.

"That was their decision and that was their right. [But] the club hadn't spoken to James all year and they waited until the last day of draft camp to tell him they weren't taking him," Stewart said.

"That was two weeks before year 12 exams. Never should they be telling boys that news so close to exams. Year 12 is such a massive year. And for families to have to deal with that sort of news at such a critical time when it could be avoided ... They talk about man management. That's not man management."

Sunday, 9 November 2014
After getting a taste of AFL football in 2013, James Stewart hopes to take his game to next level in 2015 with a solid pre-season.

"This pre-season is probably going to be the hardest we've had or certainly the hardest I have had in my short career," Stewart said.

"With my second full pre-season, touch wood, it's going to be really important for me to take the next step, so I am really looking forward to it."

Sunday, 1 September 2013
James Stewart makes his AFL debut for GWS with 2 disposals (a kick and a handball), a mark and a tackle in an 83-point loss to Gold Coast.
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