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New Essendon recruit Jake Stringer has cut his off-season holiday short to begin preparation for his first season with his new Club.
Stringer returned from America ten days ahead of schedule and hit the track with his new teammates for the first time today.
“There are a few family reasons and also to get a good jump on pre-season and to make sure come day one of pre-season I’m ready to go,” he said.
“It’s very exciting … it’s good to be able to walk in somewhere with a fresh slate, a clean start and it was good to get out there and do a bit of running.
“I’m just making sure I could spend enough time to get myself right to go for the start of pre-season, so if that meant cutting the trip a little bit short then that’s what I had to do.”
Stringer joins the Bombers after playing 89 games with Western Bulldogs, including their drought-breaking premiership in 2016.
The All Australian said he’s determined to earn the respect of his new teammates.
“After the last sort of month or two – it has been pretty rough on myself, my family and my kids,” Stringer said.
“It’s just making sure I put my best foot forward and coming in early and starting to earn the respect and the trust of all of the boys, the community and all of the Bombers supporters.”
The Bombers returned to the finals in 2017 on the back of a season that saw the Club produce three All Australians (Joe Daniher, Michael Hurley and Zach Merrett) and the Rising Star (Andrew McGrath).
The level of optimism surrounding the Dons on-field prospects was a key factor in luring Stringer to Tullamarine.
“Where they’ve come from after the whole saga and how they’re really grown after the last year or two, I think that’s massive and it sort of ties in really well with me,” he said.
“As soon as I got the opportunity to jump on board I was really keen to take that and see where we can take it in the coming years.”
Stringer was the Dons third key signing of the trade period after the Club landed midfielder Devon Smith and defender Adam Saad.
“I was absolutely rapt when Devon and ‘Saady’ got across … I think we can add a little bit to team that already made the finals,” he said.
“It should be pretty exciting as long as everyone comes back ready to go for day one of pre-season.
“I’m really looking forward to getting to work with those guys and really trying to grow my game to the next level and get it back to where it should be.”
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