Club great Tim Watson isn’t particularly fussed if Essendon miss finals this year.
The Bombers have exceeded expectations in 2021 and have put themselves in a strong position to make the top eight, currently sitting ninth following their loss to GWS.
They finish the season with Sydney, the Western Bulldogs, Gold Coast and Collingwood and their fate may just be in their own hands despite the cluster of teams lining up for eighth spot.
Watson feels the young group would benefit from September action, but believes it’s more important that they focus on building a long-term successful culture.
“It won’t be the end of the world (if they don’t make finals),” Watson told SEN Breakfast.
“If you’re building a great team, and that’s what they’re attempting to do, they’re certainly not a great team yet, but you’ve got to build it on a winning culture.
“If you get there, then that’s great because you’ve won enough games to get there and that’s great for you as a group of players and what you get out of that and what you’re building as a result of that is going to hold you in good stead going forward.
“But if you don’t, then it’s not the end of the world for this group.
“I think the most important thing is that you have an honest handle on where you are at as a team and we have seen that time and time again where clubs have overrated their playing list and where they’re at and there’s this fool’s gold that’s part of AFL football and you believe you’re almost in reach of playing off in big finals when you’re not and you need to be realistic about that.
“That’s what they need to do. They need to go back and be realistic and I think they are. I think they’ve handled it pretty well.”
The Bombers lost their spot in the top eight losing to GWS in Round 19 and we will learn more about their credentials against Sydney this weekend.