Bombers warned not to expect AFL success

Oct 5, 2017 - 4:32 PM Essendon coach John Worsfold warns the hard work has only started.

Worsfold has cautioned the Bombers against expecting continued AFL success after their recovery from the club's supplements debacle.

After finishing bottom last year, Essendon welcomed back 10 banned players and made the top eight for the first time since 2014.

The signs are good for the future, with the club about to announce plans for an expansion of their new Tullarmarine training base.

Jake Stringer, Devon Smith and Adam Saad have been linked to Essendon ahead of the trade period.

But Sydney easily beat them in their elimination final to end the Bombers' season.

"We've heard a lot about how successful this year was, but ultimately we didn't win a final," coach John Worsfold told Thursday night's club best and fairest function.

"We made the finals and in terms of where we came from, that was successful - but it's not the success we're looking for.

"It is a great era of opportunity, but most importantly, it is not an era of entitlement.

"The opportunity is not going to just happen because we are Essendon - we have to knuckle down and do the work."

All-Australian key forward Joe Daniher won his first best and fairest award, becoming the third member of the famous family to claim the honour after his uncles Neale (1981) and Terry (1982).

Last year's winner Zach Merrett, who also made the All-Australian team this year, surprisingly only managed fourth place behind runner-up Brendon Goddard and Dyson Heppell.

Jobe Watson, one of several departing Essendon players honoured at the function, gave an emotional farewell speech and received a standing ovation.

Watson was among the 34 current and past Essendon players banned for doping as a result of the club's disastrous 2012 supplements regime.

He spoke of the strong bond among those players.

"It's a lifetime bond of a shared experience, that I think everyone has come out stronger from," Watson said.

"It will always be a really special bond that I have with you guys ... we'll always be friends."

In his speech, chief executive Xavier Campbell praised Watson's leadership during the crisis.

Campbell also lauded Watson's performance in 2012 and raised loud cheers as he added 'or, as I like to refer to it, his Brownlow year.'

The AFL stripped Watson of the Brownlow because of his ban.

Source: AAP

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