“Mitch has shown great resilience throughout his career, and is a skilful, versatile player who has proven he is capable of having an impact at AFL level.
“We feel his experience at both ends of the ground and his elite endurance will make him a great addition to our list. We are confident Mitch will transition smoothly into our football program.”
Brown played 15 games for the Cats before joining the Bombers. In 2019 he played 16 games and kicked 21 goals for a career tally of 68.
Meanwhile Bennell, who was delisted by Fremantle after an injury-ravaged stint in Western Australia, has begun officially training with the Demons.
The former Docker and Gold Coast Sun participated in a gym session at Melbourne’s AAMI Park base on Tuesday.
He hopes Melbourne select him, like Brown, as an SSP player.
The 27-year-old went for his first run in five months last week as he battles to overcome persistent calf injuries which have required multiple surgeries.
The Suns selected Bennell with pick two in the 2010 national draft. He made an immediate impact in 2011 and continued strong form through to 2015.
However after round 22, 2015 he did not play another game until late 2017 due to injury. He played two games for Fremantle that year and hasn’t managed to return to an AFL field since.
Bennell played 81 games at Gold Coast and two with Fremantle.
Brown’s signing, and Bennell’s training appearance, round out a busy off-season of player acquisition from the Demons. They secured Giant Adam Tomlinson and Fremantle’s Ed Langdon in the trade period to play as wingers while they selected Luke Jackson (pick three), Kozzie Pickett (12) and Trent Rivers (32) in the national raft.
Melbourne were ravaged by injures in the 2019 pre-season and slid from a preliminary final berth the year prior to a dismal 17th position.
• Collingwood premiership player Tyson Goldsack has joined Port Adelaide’s SANFL side. He has signed a one-year playing contract, and will work as a development coach.
The 32-year-old retired from AFL football at the end of the 2019 season, his final game the losing 2018 grand final.
Anthony is a sports reporter at The Age.