DURING his four years at Carlton, Essendon was the enemy for new Bendigo Bank Bombers' recruit Callan Beasy.
Carlton loves nothing more than beating Essendon, and Essendon loves nothing more than beating Carlton.
Well, maybe both teams would say wins against Collingwood are the sweetest victories of the AFL season.
But while there is a fierce rivalry between the Dons and Blues, there is an obvious respect, which has been highlighted by Beasy's decision to join the Bombers.
The chance to train at the Bombers' AFL affiliate club Essendon under four-time premiership coach Kevin Sheedy, while continuing his career in the VFL, was the main factor in Beasy signing with the Bombers for 2005.
"Matthew Knights (Bombers' coach) and Blair Hartley (Bombers' football manager) came and spoke to me and seemed pretty genuine about what role they wanted me to play and the type of player they were looking for," Beasy said yesterday.
"They want me to play up forward, which I'm comfortable with, and because I come from Swan Hill, it's easier to go home every now and then and for my parents to come up and watch.
"But the main factor was being able to train at Essendon and keep under the noses of the coaches."Being a Melbourne-based player, Beasy will train with Essendon twice a week alongside Bombers' vice-captain Jordan Doering and fellow recruit Justin Blumfield.
"I've been training at Essendon since they went back in early January and I'm enjoying it," Beasy said.
"They are a good bunch of blokes and we're all there for the same reason, to play good footy."Beasy spent the past four years on Carlton's list before being de-listed at the end of last season.
The 22-year-old played 13 games with the Blues having been taken from the Bendigo Pioneers with pick 61 in the 2000 National Draft.
The last of his AFL games was against the Sydney Swans at Optus Oval in round 14, last year.
"It was a good experience at Carlton," Beasy said.
"I would have liked to have got more opportunities, but that's what happens . . . I made some good mates and had a good time.
"There's not as much pressure this year; I'm just going to enjoy playing with a good bunch of blokes and, hopefully, help the Bombers make the finals again."Beasy spent most of his time at Carlton as a back-up ruckman and appears to be an ideal replacement for big man Guy Campbell, who was picked up by Sydney in last year's rookie draft.
The Bombers this week finalised a list of 33, with Beasy one of 22 new players joining the club.
The 2005 season starts on April 2, with the Bombers hosting Coburg at the Queen Elizabeth Oval in round one.