Essendon coaching great Kevin Sheedy says he believes the new "Baby Bombers" can rise, similar to the group that he led to the 1993 premiership.
Sheedy didn't declare that the Bombers would win the premiership this year, but said that the club lay the foundation to get back to where they used to be.
The Bombers will be without the likes of key figures such as Jobe Watson, Dyson Heppell, Cale Hooker and Michael Hurley this season, arguably their four best players.
Sheedy wasn't scheduled to do a press conference today but spent a short time speaking to the media and talking to the wave of fans that turned out at the club's opening training session.
"I remember back in 1992 when we started playing kids, and brought in kids in the early part of '93 and we didn't expect to win a premiership and we won by eight goals," he said.
"Morale at that time was a bit sort of flat.
"It's about people believing, people working together and the confidence grows."
Sheedy reflected back on his time at the GWS Giants saying that if the Giants can break even in a season within three years, then the Bombers can too.
"That's what we did at the Giants and they're starting to really benefit from that last year with 11 wins and 11 losses," he said.
"It'll be up to a great effort by John Worsfold and the coaching staff to get the team right for this year."