ESSENDON has started its pre-season with an ambition to restore pride and respect to the club after a forgettable 2013 season defined by the ASADA investigation.

The Bombers were stripped of their finals berth and fined $2 million, with coach James Hird's 12-month suspension among sanctions given to individuals for bringing the game into disrepute.

Three days into their 2014 pre-season campaign, the Bombers are training at their new state-of-the-art Melbourne Airport facility and have signed Fujitsu General as a new co-major partner for the next four years.

Coach Mark Thompson, who will lead the Bombers in 2014 in the absence of Hird, said it was time to make amends for what happened this season.

"It's really important that we restore the faith and the respect," he said on Wednesday.

"There are a lot of people that are so close to this football club; it's like their family, their association, tradition.

"For them to lose any, even 1 per cent, of respect for us, it hurts all of us.

"We have to give our time and efforts and make them happy again about their club."

Thompson, who was Hird's senior assistant for the past three seasons after 11 as Geelong's coach, said it had been easy jumping back in the senior seat.

He has spent years writing down how he did things throughout the Cats' successful era and hopes the Bombers can use his knowledge in 2014.

With the younger players back already and the older ones to resume next Monday, Thompson, fresh from a holiday in Vietnam, said the list was in good physical shape.

"We've had post-season operations like most clubs but they haven't been serious," he said.

"We'll have 95 per cent of the squad [ready to go] … the old boys are still away, they come back on Monday.

"We'll just jump straight into training and we'll be in good shape."

Michael Hurley, who underwent an ankle operation at the season's end, is back running and will be involved in training straight away.

Thompson said he saw the key position player as "a natural defender" and "a fantastic backman" but admitted it wasn't just his call on where he would play in 2014 following the loss of Stewart Crameri to the Western Bulldogs.

He said the Bombers had been keen for Crameri to stay.

"We tried [to talk him around] and honestly, no club likes losing players they want to keep and that was unfortunate.

"Hopefully our club is strong enough in the future that no players ever want to leave for just a little bit more money."

Dyson Heppell had surgery on his foot at the end of August after sustaining a crack around an old growth plate, which needed to be pinned.

He missed the final two games of the season against Carlton and Richmond.

He is expected to see the surgeon next week to try to get the green light to go on the Bombers' altitude training camp to Colorado later this month.

The Bombers will head to next week's NAB AFL Draft with their first pick at No.26 and their second at 55.

Thompson said a ruckman would be on their agenda with gifted Western Australian forward Dayle Garlett looking an unlikely acquisition.

"I'm not sure [if we'd look at him] … there's a lot of good players out there and we don't have a pick until 26 and then 50-something," he said.

"That's two players and we'll probably pick a young ruckman. I don't think he can play in the ruck."

Garlett trained with the Bombers in December last year but they didn't offer him a spot on their list after reports of continuing off-field bad behaviour.

Twitter: @AFL_JenPhelan