Former Melbourne footballer Matthew Bate is excited about his next football challenge set to take place at Essendon in 2013.
Bate has signed on to play with Essendon’s stand alone VFL team for this season and is expected to play a key leadership role in what is expected to be a young team.
“After Melbourne I had to reassess everything and met with a few clubs,” Bate said.
“I met with Hayden Skipworth and Matt Little and I was just really impressed with the direction they wanted to take the team.
“I was really impressed with the stand alone set up and that was just something I wanted to jump on board with”.
Bate said he looked forward to stepping up to assist in the development of the younger players at the Bombers.
“Leadership is one thing, it is something I really want to work on and obviously they wanted to get that on board with the team,” he said.
“I can help with the younger players and also with the Essendon senior players who play VFL on a given week, I can help guide them.
The 25-year-old spent eight seasons at Melbourne where he played more than 100 games and hopes the move to Essendon will be the stepping stone for re-launching his AFL career.
"The club wanted to choose players which they thought could get back into the system, that’s something I’m really aiming for,” Bate said.
“Being able to play under and AFL like game plan is going to give me the best opportunity”.
“That’s one of the reasons why I chose here, the whole development program and the stand alone team is to train and teach the boys in the VFL team a game plan that is of AFL standard.”