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Dons prepare to get better

Simon Conway  September 9, 2017 10:41 PM

BTV: EF | Woosha post-game We caught up with the Senior Coach straight after the game.

Essendon Coach John Worsfold expects his players to return fit and hungry for success when the pre-season gets underway later this year.

The Bombers 2017 campaign came to an end against Sydney, but while the final performance was disappointing – the season saw the Dons post their best home and away record since 2014.

Worsfold said the group will have some time off, but will need to return in sound condition as the team strives for its first finals victory since 2004.

“They need to recover, refresh and let their bodies heal but that doesn’t take eight weeks,” he said.

“The players will be back in for a few days next week to talk through what they learnt and what actions they’re going to take to make sure they’re better next year.

“That’s how we’re going to know we actually got some value out of it.

“They’ll be very clear on what they’re doing and how they’re going to be better players when they come back for training.”

The Bombers started brightly against the Swans with Joe Daniher booting the opening goal of the match.

But the home side took control from there booting the next ten goals of the game.

“We played a team that was more prepared, harder and just a better finals group,” Worsfold said.

“So we have to learn from that.

“We had a lot of young players playing their first final … don’t just sit there and feel sorry for yourself, make sure you learn.

“It was a big effort to make the finals this year and we were the ones that drew Sydney – every other Club was happy they weren’t facing Sydney in the first round and for big parts of the game we were matching it with them.

“They were too good, we acknowledge that – we’ve got to work out why they were too good and where our improvement has got to come from." 

The Bombers farewelled retiring champions Jobe Watson and James Kelly.

Worsfold said their legacy would live on through the wisdom they’ve imparted on their teammates.

“Jobe and James won’t be playing next year but they’ve passed on so many lessons around how to play the game, but also about humility, commitment and loyalty,” he said.

“The game doesn’t roll on forever but those guys are better players and better people for having played with those two champions.”