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Welsh wants greater consistency

22/01/2010 10:26:17 PM Comments (0)

Essendon veteran Andrew Welsh says the Bombers must develop more consistency if they are to secure another AFL finals berth.

The Dons reached the finals for the first time in five seasons in 2009, but did so after losing more games than they won and were thrashed by Adelaide in the elimination final.

Welsh, one of the club's more senior players following the retirements of Matthew Lloyd and Scott Lucas and Adam McPhee's move to Fremantle, said the Bombers wanted to be seen as more than a young side on the rise.

"We know there is a task ahead of us but we are on the way up," he said on Friday.

"We have a lot of hard work to do but we have a courageous and exciting group of players and we don't want to be known as just an exciting, young team.

"We are a group of men playing against other groups of men and we want to be seen in that light.

"We were lucky to make it in to the eight on 10-and-a-half wins, but we beat St Kilda and we were the first to do that.

"We beat the reigning premiers Hawthorn twice so we played well against the top sides and we need to play that way consistently and that is what we will be focusing on."

On the other side of those breakthrough victories, Essendon lost five matches to sides that ultimately finished in the bottom half of the ladder.

Ruckmen David Hille and Jason Laycock moved well at training on Friday in their returns from the respective knee and foot injuries that ruined their 2009 season.

Welsh said he too was looking forward to playing again after a share of disruptions, first when he broke his leg in last year's pre-season and then post-season, when it was speculated he would leave Essendon for Collingwood.

While McPhee walked after being refused a three-year deal, Welsh said he was always keen to stay at Essendon and signed a two-year deal.

"Because I was out of the country at the time all that was happening, when I came back and saw what was going on I thought `I'd better get this sorted out'," he said.

"I came in and met (chief executive) Ian Robson, (coach) Matty Knights and (football manager) Paul Hamilton and within five minutes it was sorted out."

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