Main content

Recommended videos

Highlights: Richmond v Carlton

11:17pm Mar 27, 2014

Malthouse rues costly mistakes

11:44pm Mar 27, 2014

Recommended articles

Sunday football as it happened

Sunday football as it happened

Recap Port's Showdown upset, plus big wins for the Hawks and Tigers

11:45am Apr 14, 2013

St Kilda v Richmond as it happened

St Kilda v Richmond as it happened

 Recap Friday night's MCG clash as the Tigers make their best start to a season in 16 years

04:00pm Apr 5, 2013

Carlton v Collingwood as it happened

Carlton v Collingwood as it happened

Recap Friday night's blockbuster as the Blues capitulate in front of 78,000 at the MCG

10:36pm Jul 5, 2013

Saturday football as it happened

Saturday football as it happened

Recap a day bookended by two major boilovers

01:00pm Mar 30, 2013

Fantasy review: round three

Fantasy review: round three

It was a tough round for AFL Fantasy coaches, Warnie writes

10:42pm Apr 6, 2014

Football world sends off Hafey in style

Football world sends off Hafey in style

Tom Hafey remembered as a great coach and a wonderful man

06:15pm May 19, 2014

Return of footy a welcome sight for Bombers

Ben Guthrie  February 27, 2016 11:47 AM

AFL 2016 Training - Essendon Intra-Club Match

Brendon Goddard in action during Bombers' training

It's about looking forward. I use the analogy, 'You don't walk into the future backwards,' so it's all about looking forward and looking to the future

THE RETURN of competitive football will allow Essendon to move past the calamitous events of the past few months, captain Brendon Goddard says.

The Bombers' plight took a turn for the worse in January with 12 of their players receiving season-long bans from the Court of Arbitration for Sport for taking banned drug Thymosin Beta-4 during the 2012 season.

Goddard, who has been appointed as the stand-in leader in Jobe Watson's absence, said the Bombers could not afford to get caught up in the past during 2016.

"It has been a slow build up for a lot of us," Goddard said at the club's training base at Tullamarine on Saturday morning.

"It's been relatively smooth the transition getting back into footy. That's the good thing about footy clubs, when there is controversy we're very quick to move on.

"It's really been a focus on what we can do and control.

"It's about looking forward. I use the analogy, 'You don't walk into the future backwards,' so it's all about looking forward and looking to the future."

The Bombers open their NAB Challenge campaign against Carlton at Ikon Park – the scene of many memorable battles between the clubs – on Sunday afternoon.

Essendon's squad lacks in experience and the Bombers have named just four of their top-up players for the clash against Carlton.

Ryan Crowley, Sam Grimley, Sam Michael and Matt Dea were the new players selected by coach John Worsfold.

However, it appears Dea, Jayden Laverde and Adam Cooney will all be late outs from the squad named to face the Blues with the trio all taking part in an intraclub VFL scratch match ahead of training on Saturday.

James Kelly, Mathew Stokes, Nathan Grima and Mark Jamar were also part of the match as they continue their preparations for the season ahead.

Goddard said the experience and mentorship of the experienced top-up players had been invaluable for the young group.

"It's been more difficult (to gel) than most clubs. The new guys who have come in have embraced the whole footy club and their roles," Goddard said.

"Publicly I'd like to thank those guys because it's made the older guys' lives a bit easier having a bit of experience and teaching the younger guys about footy.

"Having those guys come in has helped settle the place really quickly."

Goddard said he was looking forward to seeing what his younger teammates, including top draft pick Darcy Parish could deliver in his first game for the club on Sunday.

However, he will also be keeping a close eye on the opposition and, especially, the son of a Blues champion.

"When Woosha (Worsfold) was talking before (in the team meeting), I was actually tuning out because I saw Jack Silvagni's name up on the board," Goddard said.

"I used to kick the footy with Jack when SOS (Stephen Silvagni) was an assistant coach at St Kilda.

"It's quite weird to see Jack when he was knee-high to a grasshopper and now I'm playing football against him. It's pretty surreal actually."