David Zaharakis defends Essendon Bombers’ culture after Matthew Lloyd criticism


The 208-game midfielder said Worsfold’s arrival, coupled with the recent influx of high-quality football staff from rival clubs, had improved Essendon’s culture to a position better than it has been at any other stage since Lloyd retired at the end of 2009.

“[Worsfold] came in as a culture-driven person and completely changed the club and changed the personnel within the club,” Zaharakis said on Thursday.

Essendon veteran David Zaharakis has defended his club’s culture.Credit:AAP

“We’ve gotten rid of some people that were in the club and brought some other people in that have been awesome for us.

“Having ‘Truck’ [Ben Rutten] and Blake [Caracella] and Richo [Dan Richardson] come in from Richmond, such a strong club, has just put the icing on the cake in terms of what Woosha’s brought in.

“They’ve been great for us too and we’re building a really strong culture with the footy club.

“A lot of our younger group have seen that and seen how to actually behave as athletes and professional footballers.”

Lloyd retired after kicking a club-record 926 goals in 270 games.

Zaharakis said the 2000 premiership full-forward is out of touch with how the club is now positioned.

“Everyone is buying into what we’re trying to build and I think the footy club right now is in a really strong position – stronger than what it’s been in the last 12 years,” Zaharakis said.

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“So I would dispute that highly, what Lloydy’s saying.

“If you’re not involved in the four walls of the footy club then you don’t really know what’s going on.”

Lloyd’s criticism comes on the back of Essendon’s 0-5 finals record since its most recent finals win in 2004.

The Bombers have also been through the supplements scandal and recently announced a coaching succession plan that will see Worsfold hand over the reins to Rutten.

“They don’t know what success is,” Lloyd told Channel Nine’s Footy Classified.

“I think sometimes you’ve got to taste it and build to it. What’s culture? They wouldn’t know what culture is.”

AAP

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