Familiar nerves accompany Brad Scott's Bombers debut
Brad Scott has 211 AFL games under his belt as a coach but admits he is feeling the first-game nerves ahead of leading Essendon for the first time.
Former North Melbourne mentor Scott will debut as Bombers coach in Sunday's clash with Hawthorn at the MCG.
"Personally, I'd be really worried if I didn't (have some nerves)," Scott said.
"Everyone, regardless of how experienced you are, there's some trepidation heading into round one.
"There's all the training, all the hard work, all the practice games and match simulations that you do - (they) all count for nothing now.
"It's a matter of getting out and testing yourself and there's always that sense of the unknown - both from the opposition's perspective but also what we can produce.
"Everyone's excited but no doubt there's some round-one nerves and that should be the case for everyone."
Recruits Sam Weideman and Will Setterfield have been selected along with father-son selection Alwyn Davey Jr but Peter Wright leads the list of unavailable players after dislocating his shoulder on Friday.
Scott said Jake Stringer (hamstring) was medically fit to play but needed conditioning, stressing he had no plans to focus on quick-fix selections over Essendon's ongoing development.
"One thing we won't do is sacrifice the long-term journey that we're on for any short-term sugar hits. That's clear at selection," he said.
"We've got guys who are available and are really good players but for one reason or another they're not cherry ripe and ready to go.
"We could bring some really good players into the team who are available but they're not ready to go, so we're not going to compromise that and try and have little sugar hits here and there at the expense of what we're trying to do long term."
Hawthorn and Essendon have a rich rivalry but Scott does not plan to focus on it.
"We've got to make sure our focus as a team is where it needs to be, which is at the contest," he said.
"As far as Hawthorn goes, it's interesting. There's been some obvious changes to their team, but Jai Newcombe was still their number one centre bounce involvement player last year so that won't change, I wouldn't have thought.
"They've still got a lot of capability and and talent on every line.
"They certainly play an attacking style and they'll test us in that regard, no doubt."