Sunday afternoon will be a special moment for me coming up against my former side.
I’m really looking forward to it having missed out on the Round 2 clash with a hamstring injury, but I’m a bit nervous to play against some of my good mates.
Spending six years of your life with a group of people, you get to know their game really well.
One person I’m looking forward to playing against is my best mate, Ryan Lester. We got drafted together and have been close ever since.
In a way it feels as if I am going to be playing against my brother. There was a group text the other day and some of the boys said ‘watch your head’, which was in good fun.
Leaving Brisbane was far from easy. I had a lot of niggles throughout last year and had a bit of trouble away from footy.
I struggled to get myself up each week to play — it was a tough year mentally for myself. In the end, I thought it would be best for my football to get a fresh start and the club were more than helpful with that and I was lucky enough to end up at Essendon.
After speaking to Woosha it was a no-brainer where I wanted to play. The club has great facilities and a great history — there was no reason why I wouldn’t want to come here.
The thing I am enjoying the most about Essendon is the drive to taste the ultimate success. I’m at an age now where I want to see success, I have been in the system for seven years and haven’t played in a final.
It’s gone past the time where I’m worrying about my position in the team, I just want to see finals footy.
I didn’t enjoy the easiest start at Essendon as a foot injury delayed my pre-season. At that stage, I just wanted to get around the boys but I was by myself doing rehab. Since Christmas I have formed some strong relationships and put my head down and worked hard to try and earn the respect of the group, which I think I’ve done.
Coming to Victoria, I wanted to improve my consistency. Being a small forward is difficult so I wanted to make sure I was in games for longer and to minimise the down moments. Despite the difficulties, I quite enjoy knowing you can turn a game with a moment of brilliance and become a hero.
Small forwards enjoy the company of one another, it’s a similar situation I found myself in at Brisbane with Lewis Taylor and Dayne Zorko. It’s great when you can have a strong relationship with guys who play a similar role.
As a group, we talk about bringing excitement to the game. We want to bring that manic and perceived pressure to force turnovers in the forward half to help the team hit the scoreboard.
Since joining the club, Hayden Skipworth, my forwards coach, has had the biggest influence on me as a player. He has simplified things for me and rammed home the importance of putting in the hard work so you get the best out of yourself. That empowerment has been a real driver for me and my development.
The passion and loyalty the Bombers supporters have shown through the tough times has been outstanding. No matter what, they keep turning up and that’s what drives the boys. As a group, we are keen to give something back.
Success is the one big goal I have for my career. I want to leave the game as an Essendon premiership player.