Brendon Goddard says the unique circumstances surrounding Essendon’s 2016 season presents an opportunity for the entire playing list to ‘stand up’.
The 30 year old was named Captain today, but says the onus is on everyone to cover the loss of the 12 players sidelined by the Court of Arbitration for Sport's ruling.
“We’ve obviously lost a lot of experience but it’s an opportunity for other guys, and particularly younger guys, to really stand up and take responsibility,” he said.
“It’s not just my job. I may have the ‘C’ next to my name but its all our responsibility to take control of this situation and really get this Club back on its feet.”
Goddard said a return to the training track just days after the decision was handed down was an important step in the recovery process.
“We needed to find that normality, that was really important,” he said.
“Each individual deals with it differently. I’m not going to lie; a few of us are still trying to find our feet. There is somewhat of a grieving process to go through; I think that’s only natural.
“The only constant in footy is change and footy doesn’t stand still for anyone so it was really important we came back to training and got back into it because there is still a season ahead."
As difficult as the past two weeks have been, Goddard knows he and his teammates need to focus on their preparation for the year..
“With respect to the other guys and how the situation is, they’d want us to move on,” he said.
“We’re there to offer our support, we feel deeply for the guys involved, but I know deep down in their hearts they’d want us to move on and get the most out of the year.”
Goddard said the arrival of some new recruits had helped lift the spirits of the group.
“Even this morning, introducing a few of the guys, you could see there is still a bit of a spring not only in their step but (also) in the current playing group’s step,” he said.
“Although it’s a unique circumstance and a difficult one, for those guys the silver lining is they get another chance at AFL level.
“We’re confident that we’ve found not only good footballers with great leadership but we’ve actually found good people.”