After a breakout 2021 season, Nick Hind is targeting a bigger and better 2022. (Photo: AFL Photos)

Nick Hind says he was stunned to receive a message from the Victorian Government Department of Health that ultimately ruled him out of Essendon’s elimination final loss to the Western Bulldogs last week.

The dashing defender was notified on Wednesday night that he had visited a Tier 2 exposure site, just three days before the Bombers flew to Launceston for their do-or-die final.

It was a cruel blow for the 27-year-old, who having missed St Kilda’s finals series last year, was cruelly denied a first final in the unluckiest of circumstances.

“Obviously at first I was just in shock,” Hind told SEN Breakfast on Wednesday.

“I just snuck into the supermarket to get a roast chicken. I was in there for two minutes. It hadn’t been a hotspot yet and it was the only one in my area I could get to.

“Probably in hindsight, I wouldn’t have gone to the supermarket at all.”


While gutted, Hind said he turned to his teammates and kept a broader perspective to help him cope with the disappointment.

“I quickly tried to turn my attention to the boys and I was pretty confident they could get the job done without me,” he said.

“It wasn’t meant to be, but I know the general public has been doing it tough over here, so I didn’t sook and just tried to move on and be the best teammate I could be for my boys.

“Don’t get me wrong, it was quite tough watching the game on the weekend.”

Despite missing out on finals, Hind played a big role in helping the Bombers qualify for them.

He played every game in the home and away season after crossing over from the Saints, averaging 22.5 disposals and leading Essendon for kicks and bounces with his customary dash and unpredictability off half-back.


Having been reunited with his teammates this week as the players undergo their exit interviews at the club, Hind said he wanted to become a complete package in 2022.

“I think a big thing for me is continuing to work on my defensive stuff,” he said.

“My offensive stuff will always be an instinctive thing for me, but [it’s about] just knowing when to use that.


“At the start of the year I would have struggled a bit with that (defensive game), but Truck’s (senior coach Ben Rutten) messaging and Gia’s (backline coach Daniel Giansiracusa) messaging is very clear; it’s about my value to the team.

“Sometimes I’ll need to play on a dangerous small forward or provide a bit more run. It’s whatever the team values, and it doesn’t matter how many touches I get.”