Essendon CEO Xavier Campbell can see a ‘changed landscape’ for the Club as it prepares to enter the 2017 season.
The Bombers got the pre-season campaign underway against Collingwood on Thursday with six returning players and three first time Bombers all making contributions in front of more than 16,000 fans.
The match was the first time Essendon has had its full list to choose from in a pre-season match since 2014.
“John [Worsfold] certainly last year brought a real forward focus … that was very helpful, it was about growth and to look beyond the issue,” Campbell told RSN.
“Now with that almost entirely behind us, there is a good sense of optimism.
“It doesn’t mean we think it’s just going to happen, that’s absolutely not the case.
“But it’s a changed landscape.
“There was a good Essendon turnout last night and they see that.
“They’ve [the members] been incredibly loyal, they come to our games, they’ve stayed as members and they’ve been rock solid.
“But I definitely think there is a new horizon and optimism for Essendon.”
Essendon is approaching the 55,000-member mark and launched its new membership commercial during the match against Collingwood.
“Our members are just the most incredible fans, we’re incredibly lucky to have them,” Campbell said.
“They are really the backbone of our football Club and without them over the last few years it would have been incredibly challenging, so we’re thankful for that and hopefully we can reward that faith and passion they’ve displayed for us.”