Essendon’s ‘squad mentality’ is starting to pay dividends as the season progresses, according to Assistant Coach Daniel Giansiracusa.

It’s become more prominent in his midfield group, where players such as Sam Durham and Jye Caldwell have relished added responsibility at centre bounces and embraced opportunities in dual roles.

In the case of Caldwell, whose 25-disposal, nine-clearance effort on Sunday was critical in the Bombers’ 40-point win over North Melbourne, Giansiracusa was full of praise for his intent against a competitive Kangaroos outfit.


“Every win’s hard in this competition and (it’s) a credit to North, they were really strong around the ball and tested our midfielders,” Giansiracusa said.

“Slowly we won the arm wrestle in a really pivotal third quarter where we could put a score on the board.

“’Calders’ was one of those guys at the coal face that was unrelenting, he goes at the contest 100 per cent every time and I’d add ‘Duz’ (Durham) to that.

Alongside Caldwell and Durham, Nic Martin is another Bomber flourishing across different positions this year, winning plenty of the ball off half back and in attack.

With Elijah Tsatas and Dylan Shiel both performing when called upon as late changes, Giansiracusa has been impressed with the depth found across all lines for the Bombers.


“We flicked (Martin) around a little bit tonight because of what the Kangaroos were doing, he adjusted really well and was flexible,” Giansiracusa said.

“It’s great to see those guys taking their opportunity and as the challenges come, we’re going to need them because it’s a real squad mentality.

“Even guys that are playing in the VFL, we saw a few late changes and they stepped up, came in and had an impact for us as well, so that’s important for the squad.”

Restricting the Roos to 66 points, Sunday continued a strong run for the Bombers on the defensive front, conceding just 71 points per game across their last six games.

Drawing a focus towards bolstering the team defence after conceding 100 points twice in the opening month, the Bombers haven’t allowed a team to crack over 85 points since round four.


“(There’s been) an emphasis on defence. It’s well documented that the first month of the season we needed to improve that area, so there’s a lot of hard work going into it,” Giansiracusa said.

“We’re not a finished product and we need to continue to work on that, but it has been pleasing to keep a side to 66 points.

“All goes well for our defence, but we’ve got to keep going and make sure we refine it all the time because opposition teams look at how they can exploit you and we’ll have to be onto that as we plan each week.”

The Bombers are set for another marquee clash when they face Richmond for Dreamtime at the ‘G on Saturday, marking the 20th time the two clubs have met for the main occasion of Sir Doug Nicholls Round.

For the Dons’ wider coaching group, it’s just another week to go back to work and get better.


“Like Brad (Scott) always says, there’s opportunities to grow and learn and that’s how we’re talking about it, so we’ll go to work again for another big game in six days’ time,” Giansiracusa said.

“That’s the beauty of being involved at Essendon, we’re involved in big games so they’ve had plenty of practice (in front of big crowds).

“What we’re about is the process and making sure we’re consistent with our planning and preparation throughout the week, and that’ll be the same. We’ll plan really well for Richmond and hopefully get the result we’re looking for.”