Despite a tough loss to Fremantle on Saturday, Essendon midfielder Jye Caldwell is confident that his side’s review can hold them in good stead to recover winning form.

Caldwell told Essendon FC that the Dons were always aware of the challenge presented with venturing to Optus Stadium to take on the Dockers.

With AFL sides now at a total record of 2-10 coming off the bye this season, Caldwell also admitted it was frustrating not to take advantage after their week off.


“It’s always hard to come over to Perth, we knew what we were coming into,” Caldwell said.

“Coming off the bye, we know teams haven’t done that well and we were trying to turn that, but obviously (it’s) disappointing.”

With the Dons remaining in sixth on the ladder after the defeat, the week-to-week development is still the driving force for Caldwell and the young group.

Despite the major team statistics on the night showing a relatively even contest, Caldwell also knows a strong week on the track will paint the picture for where the team can improve.

“It’s still a bit raw (to assess the loss). Around the ground they were able to transition pretty easily, so we’ll have a look at the tape and see what we need to work on during the week,” Caldwell said.

“If we can just get back (and) practice what we need to, we’ll be back next week.”


A positive for the Bombers from the weekend was the successful return of Darcy Parish from injury, racking up 24 disposals and nine clearances.

Caldwell noted that the Dons’ youthful midfield mix can reap the benefits of an experienced ball-winner such as Parish slotting back into the fray.

“Obviously, he’s one of the best stoppage players in the league. He brought that, but even just his communication and leadership out on the ground (stood out),” Caldwell said.

“We’ve been pretty young in there the last four-to-five weeks, so for an older head and the calibre of player he is (to come in and) play the way he did is awesome.”

The Dons are looking towards an enticing matchup at the MCG on Saturday night, taking on a Port Adelaide side that has won its last 11 games in a row.

Despite their streak of wins, Caldwell says the Bombers shouldn’t be afraid to meet the Power head-on.

“They’ve got pretty quick players but it’s nothing that we (should) fear. We’ll be back in Melbourne at the ‘G at night, and we’ll take it right up to them,” Caldwell said.