AFL 10 months ago

Fitness no concern for banned Bombers

  • Fitness no concern for banned Bombers

    PERTH, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 30: John Worsfold, coach of the Bombers addresses the team at three quarter time during the 2016 AFL Round 14 match between the West Coast Eagles and the Essendon Bombers at Domain Stadium on June 30, 2016 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Carson/AFL Media)

There are plenty of unanswered questions about Essendon going into the 2017 AFL season but John Worsfold doesn't believe there should be any queries over the fitness of the banned Bombers.

The players who served suspensions in 2016 for anti-doping violations trained with their teammates on Monday for the first time since January.

The 10 players still with the club trained as a group away from its Tullamarine headquarters during the season and Worsfold is delighted with how they've returned for pre-season training.

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"We've had a fair idea about how they've been tracking throughout the year but more so over the past month when the boys have been coming in and doing some stuff," Worsfold said.

"I've been able to watch them running and kicking the footy and doing their program.

"I never had any real worries that they were going to be behind the eight ball.

"I don't think there will be too many issues.

"In my experience of watching players come back from long-term injuries where they miss pretty much a full season of footy is that they transition back in (well)."

The banned players chose to start their pre-season programs earlier than required, joining Essendon's first- to fourth-year players.

"It's been 10 months so looking forward to getting back into it and starting again," Dyson Heppell told reporters as he arrived.

"I'm very excited this morning. It's great to get back around the club and catch up with all the boys again.

"I think we've prepared ourselves really well ... our bodies are in really good shape to tackle the pre-season."

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