THEY mightn't know it yet, but Essendon star Brendon Goddard says the difficulties his young teammates faced over the summer have silver linings.

Friday night's emphatic 35-point win over Adelaide officially marked the end of what's arguably been the Bombers' toughest-ever pre-season amid ASADA's ongoing investigation into the club.

It's not the first time Goddard has endured substantial controversy; he was one of St Kilda's biggest names when the club was rocked by the 'St Kilda girl' scandal at the end of the 2010 season.

Now at Windy Hill, the 27-year-old told the pressure and spotlight surrounding the current investigation would eventually see Essendon's players emerge stronger than ever.

"When you face controversy, and it's quite significant to be honest, what the allegations and speculation was, you face adversity like that and you come out the other end better people and in this industry better footballers," Goddard said on Friday night.

"With this young group it's more subconsciously, they don't realise it's happening.

"From my experience and dealing with a few things in the past, that's definitely something that comes out of it."

In Essendon's rooms after the club's win, Goddard spoke of the "relief" he and his teammates felt as the final siren sounded.

Bombers coach James Hird was overjoyed as he entered the change rooms; hugging and high-fiving staff and grinning from ear to ear.

Singing passionately under the watchful eye of ASADA personnel, the weight of the victory given the circumstances and release of pressure on all involved was obvious.

"It was just important tonight that the boys just had a crack and we put everything behind us over the last eight to 10 weeks," Goddard said.

"It's obviously a pretty big challenge coming over here and playing a team that played off in a prelim last year and a has a very strong midfield, strong defence, obviously lost (Kurt) Tippett but they've still got some pretty good weapons up forward.

"It was almost relief that footy's here and we get to play and forget about the rest of the stuff that's been going on."

While admitting Friday night's win was an emotional one, Goddard denied Essendon had something to prove.

But in order to continue dealing with the pressure on the club, the two-time All Australian said it was imperative players continued to prepare well for games.

"We've got no point to prove or anything like that, it's not letting our footy do the talking but more so our effort … focus on the controllables," he said.

"That's really important in your preparation, just so that you don't get caught up in the stuff that has been bubbling away.

"The guys have been fantastic, they're a young group and let's not forget about that; they haven’t dealt with too many issues of this significance before.

"To do what they've done and respond like they did tonight was really important."

In his post-match press conference, Hird praised Goddard's performance – not only on Friday night, but throughout the pre-season.

Along with captain Jobe Watson, Hird said Goddard's leadership had been invaluable for the group.

"Brendon definitely has [led], he's been fantastic as a leader for us in the whole time he's been here," Hird said.

"Jobe's been outstanding as well."

Harry Thring is a reporter for AFL Media. Follow him on TwitterL @AFL_Harry.