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Club welcomes tribunal decision

Simon Conway  March 31, 2015 7:13 PM

The Essendon Football Club has welcomed the AFL’s Anti-Doping Tribunal ruling that 34 past and present players did not breach the Anti-Doping code.

Club Chairman Paul Little said the club had learnt many lessons but was now looking forward to getting on with the season.

“Our focus on sound governance for the good of our players will have no finish line and will be continually reviewed,” Little said.

Essendon Coach James Hird paid tribute to the players for their unity.

“Your strength and resilience, your compassion, your ability to keep getting off the canvas. Your ability to want to stay together and prove your innocence shows what character you have.

“I am very proud to be your Coach and I believe we can have a great football team very shortly and be part of something very special.”

The Bombers Coach also made special mention of his family. 

“I love the Essendon Football Club, it’s been part of my life since I was born, part of my father’s life, part of my grandfather’s life.

“I am so sorry for anything that has been done wrong to our players and our football club.

“We would never do anything intentionally to harm this football club or to harm the game of AFL football that has given me so much and given so many people so much."

Hird will have a strong list to choose from when he names his side for the club’s opening match of the season against Sydney.

The Essendon Coach thanked the club’s loyal fan base and called on supporters to continue to back the club.

“The way you have stood by the players and the club shows your greatness.  Your loyalty and commitment to the Essendon Football Club and the great game of Australian Rules Football has been incredible.”