New Essendon coach John Worsfold will seek feedback from players and coaches before giving Jobe Watson the nod to continue as captain of the AFL club.
The Worsfold era officially began on Monday, with the Bombers’ playing squad reporting for the first day of pre-season training, and settling the issue of the captaincy is one of the first items on the new coach’s agenda.
The mental burden of leading Essendon through the prolonged supplements saga took its toll on Watson this year but he is reported to have returned revitalised from an extended break while recovering from season-ending shoulder surgery.
“We’ll get feedback from the players, whether that’s done via a vote or just general dialogue, we’ll work through that,” Worsfold said on the issue of the captaincy.
“But over the next three weeks we definitely need to assess what the group see as the leadership they’re looking for and then we’ll work from that to say who fits that the best.
“But Jobe’s the current captain of the side and he’ll lead us through to that period.”
Worsfold is keen to put his stamp on the club early and said the impending decision by the Court of Arbitration for Sport on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s appeal would not be “a hand brake” on the path he will lay out for the team.
Tuesday’s AFL draft will play a key role in the onfield prospects of the club and Worsfold hinted that key forward Joe Daniher could expect much-needed reinforcements to arrive via the draft.
The 21-year-old was the primary target in a struggling Bombers forward line in 2015 and, with four picks inside the top 30, the club is well-placed to add more firepower.
“There has to be a big focus on scoring more,” Worsfold said.
“It would be nice to have an Essendon forward line where you look at it – at the moment there’s a heavy focus on Joe Daniher – but it would be nice to be able to reel off three or four or even five guys that you just say ‘That’s our forward line and they’re going to kick winning scores’.”
Retired champion Dustin Fletcher had hoped to move into a coaching role with the Bombers but Worsfold confirmed that that wouldn’t be the case in 2016.
Fletcher, who retired after 400 games and two premierships with Essendon, will have an ambassadorial role with the club next year but Worsfold didn’t rule out a coaching role down the track.