Essendon CEO Xavier Campbell says he is confident the Bombers can display the improvement the club’s passionate fans crave in 2019.
Public expectations are high for the side this year after an impressive finish to the 2018 season and Campbell has full faith in the team’s ability to compete consistently well.
“Our supporter base wants to see improvement, they want to see consistency and they want to see a team that competes hard for four quarters every week in an increasingly competitive competition,” Campbell said on SEN on Tuesday.
“We’ve got a competition that is more even than it’s ever been and it’s a good thing, we want to see that.
“We’ve got great talent on our list, and we’ve spoken about that on a number of occasions, with good coaching staff.
“They want to see improvement year on year and I think they’ll see that.”
Campbell said the patience many have shown during the long-term development of the club’s current squad can pay off soon, praising the efforts and understanding of his list management staff.
“That was probably a really hard part for our list management team and others; to build a list strategy that wasn’t necessarily going to be a flash in the pan, that was hopefully going to be sustainable to build for a period of opportunity to achieve success.
“I think we’ve been able to do that, our under-25 (years old) list is really strong and that’s been a very deliberate strategy.
“I think we’re like any other team, we want to challenge to be playing finals and clearly for us we want to be challenging to win finals games and that’s no different to so many others.
“But we want to do it in the way that we think can be sustainable over a period of time and that’s been a big focus for John (Worsfold) and his coaching staff, a big focus for the list management committee.”
The addition of several stars in the last two off-seasons including Devon Smith, Jake Stringer, Adam Saad and Dylan Shiel has provided a significant boost of class to an already exciting list full of both emerging talents and experienced heads.
Campbell said Worsfold is confident he has the tools at his disposal on and off the field to push towards sustained success.
“I think in John’s words, he feels comfortable with everything he’s received; with the structure we’ve put around him, with the playing group.
“He’s already adjusting his defensive game plan this year and that’s a year-on-year piece.
“You sort of saw that through our JLT form (two losses) where there’s still some work to be done on that, and John and Dyson have spoken to that openly in the last week.
“You’ll still see elements that are still a work in progress, but generally speaking I think John is pretty comfortable with where things are at.”
The Bombers’ home and away campaign will kick off on March 24 against Greater Western Sydney at Sydney Showground Stadium.