Essendon ruckman Tom Bellchambers has praised the Club’s "seamless" senior coaching succession handover between John Worsfold and his successor Ben Rutten.
With the AFL season set to resume next week when the Bombers take on Sydney, Worsfold will lead the red and black for his fifth and final season at the club.
“It has been a seamless transition so far. I know people want to know about the in-depth detail of what goes on day to day. But to be honest, not a hell of a lot has changed. 'Woosh' runs the program and he’s in charge, and Ben has more to do with the game style and training,” Bellchambers told ABC Grandstand.
“From our point of view as players, nothing has changed. We might hear Ben’s voice a bit more in meetings about the game style, but John is still very much in charge of the program and he’s steering the ship.”
Having been the Bombers’ No.1 ruckman for a number of years, the end of 2019 saw the arrival of fellow big man Andrew Phillips from arch-rival Carlton.
Bellchambers said the two-ruck model could work for the Bombers in 2020.
“I’d like to think there will be times we can both play in the same side. Personally over my career, I’ve really enjoyed playing with another ruckman, whether that be 'Hilley' (David Hille) early days, or Paddy Ryder when he was here,” Bellchambers said.
“I feel like personally I’ve actually played some of my better footy when there’s been two ruckmen in the team, so it’s been a great battle over the pre-season and to have someone like Andrew come in and push you has been great.
“I guess I haven’t had that help over the last few years so I’m really enjoying having him there and battling out at training together. I can see us both playing this season moving forward.”
Bellchambers revealed he spent much of his time during the enforced AFL shutdown on his property in rural Victoria, swapping a traditional weights program for manual labour.
“I was living in Port Melbourne and the timing worked out really well, because (just prior to the coronavirus pandemic) I had recently purchased a property near Daylesford. I have about 10 acres up here and spend a bit of time on the land,” he said.
“We had a fair bit of time away from the club and you had to find different ways to motivate yourself. But for me it was getting out on the land, with manual labour and not as many traditional weight sessions but it was more chopping wood and pulling fences down.
“It was a different way of training and I really enjoyed that period.”
Despite the wood chopping, the 30-year-old said he was raring to go for the home and away season after completing a “solid” pre-season campaign earlier in the year.
“For me this year, it’s about getting out there and enjoying my football. I had a solid pre-season this year, and I played the majority of the games last year, so I’m really enjoying football at the moment.
“What happens post this year, I haven’t given it any thought and I won’t until the end of the season. We’ve got some good young kids coming through, and for me it’s about playing football and contributing to the team and winnings games for the Essendon Football Club.”