JAKE Stringer will draw on his experiences with the Western Bulldogs' history-making charge to the 2016 premiership when the Bombers star takes on his former side in Sunday's elimination final.
The in-form match-winner will be crucial to Essendon's hopes of snapping a 17-year drought without a finals win in the knockout clash in Tasmania.
The 27-year-old is the only premiership player on the Bombers' list but he said the group was well equipped to deal with the step-up in big games and that his focus was how he can help the Bombers back up their round 21 win over the Bulldogs.
"I'm just really excited for this group. I obviously played five or six years at the Bulldogs and had a wonderful time but all my energy and efforts are going into this playing group and hopefully we can achieve something pretty special this week and hopefully through the finals series as well," he said.
Stringer's sensational run of form saw him kick 39 goals from 18 games in the home and away season, sign a three-year contract extension and be selected in the Therabody AFL All-Australian squad of 40 this week. If selected in the final team at Thursday's AFL Awards, it will be his second coveted guernsey after previously being picked in 2015.
He said his impact could be put down to having confidence in his body after last year being hit by an ankle injury before a pre-season interrupted by a bleed in his Achilles, with his midfield prowess becoming a key part of Essendon's rise up the ladder.
"I've played a different role week-to-week but at the minute I've just got a lot of trust in my body and my teammates as well, whether I'm playing in the midfield or forward," he said.
"It's good to be able to do different things throughout a game and throughout quarters as well.
"I literally just rock up and (midfield assistant coach) Blake Caracella goes 'You're playing here' or 'You're playing there' and for me it doesn't really matter. It's never driven by me, I'm always told what I'm doing and I love it."
The Bulldogs won the premiership five years ago from seventh position on the ladder and the Bombers enter this week's clash in eighth. Stringer, who remains close with a number of Bulldogs players, said it showed anything was possible.
"There's been no story written so far for the rest of the finals so hopefully we can write one, which would be nice," he said.