New senior coach Ben Rutten says he wants the Bombers to be known as a “blue-collar” team on-field ahead of his first season at the helm.
Rutten is now officially in charge of Essendon’s playing list following a year-long coaching succession plan under experienced premiership coach John Worsfold.
Ahead of his first pre-season as senior coach with the first to fourth-year players set to return to the NEC Hangar in December, Rutten has laid down his aspirations for his playing group.
And his first point of order is to establish an "identifiable" Bombers brand on the field.
“We need to be really clear on who we are as the Essendon Football Club, who our players are and what it takes to be a Bomber,” Rutten said.
“I think for me, (the important thing for) this footy club is about being a really strong blue-collar footy side.
“I want us to be disciplined on and off the field. I want us to have a really strong work ethic and I want us to be a dependable footy club - that’s the basis for any high-performing environment or organisation.
“I’d love nothing more than for our supporters and our members to be able to turn up to the footy each week and know what they’re going to get from the Essendon Football Club.”
A 229-game All-Australian defender with the Crows in his own right and as a 2017 premiership assistant coach with the Tigers, Rutten is well credentialled when it comes to AFL experience.
For his on-field plans, the new senior coach says he will be steadfast in ensuring there’s a noticeable balance between a strong defence and well-coordinated offence.
“I want to create a strong high-performance environment and ensure we’re preparing our players to perform in winning finals,” he said.
“I want to defend in a way that’s going to complement the way we want to move the ball and score as well.
“Ultimately, I want to have a really strong and well-balanced game of footy between defence and attack and I know our players have got a really strong appetite for the contest.”
Rutten revealed he would be setting clear standards as senior coach, unapologetically so in pursuit of premiership success.
“The other thing for me as a senior coach is the need to provide some really strong leadership for the entire football club,” Rutten said.
“That’s going to come from setting some really clear boundaries and expectations about who we are and who we aren’t.
“That’s going to be built on trust and reliability and those clear expectations will allow everyone to be really clear on what their job is and what they need to deliver on.”