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Recruits hit ground running

Simon Conway  February 8, 2016 4:48 PM

Stokes and Kelly have five premiership medals between them.

Stokes and Kelly have five premiership medals between them.

John Worsfold says he is pleased with the fitness levels of his new recruits, despite their varying training programs over the last few months.

The Bombers have secured eight new players. 

All except James Polkinghorne were on an AFL list last season. 

When the 18 clubs finalised their playing lists in late November, some of the eight continued training with state league teams, while others took some time off. 

“They’re all in pretty good shape when you consider they’re just recently out of the game,” Worsfold told ABC Radio.

“Their running ability is already stacking up pretty well.  They wouldn’t be ready to play a full game of footy in the next few weeks but they’re ready to play parts of games.  

“I think we’ll be able to get them to that point by the time the season kicks off, they’re all tracking along really well.” 

The eight new players bring six premiership medals and almost 1,000 AFL games experience. 

“We’ll be aiming to put a really fit side out there that wants to play tight together and develop together throughout the year and really have a go,” Worsfold said.

“Depending on the actual line-up and the injuries we may have to key players, that may dictate how strongly we match up against certain other opposition, but we think we’ll be able to put a lot of pressure on the opposition throughout the year.” 

As Essendon’s membership tally closes in on the 50,000 mark Worsfold paid tribute to the contribution of the Club’s fan base.

“It’s been quite remarkable - they are extremely passionate,” he said.

“I’m very proud to be associated with the Club, and seeing the people sticking by them and supporting them through this.

“A lot of these people have been members for 40 or 50 years, (they’re) unbelievably loyal.

“It’s wonderful that they’ve committed and are supportive of the Club because we really need their support moving forward. 

“I’m drawing on all of my experience to stay focused on and put together the best possible program to get a strong Essendon team out on the field this year and represent the Club with pride.”