ESSENDON coach John Worsfold says his players were treated to a ground in "brilliant" condition for the Bombers' training session in Bendigo on Thursday.
Essendon players trained for more than two hours on the QEO in humid conditions as part of the club's two-day community camp visit to Bendigo.
"To be able to come up here and have a ground in brilliant condition and get a really solid hit-out in without disrupting our schedule too much, we really appreciate that," Worsfold said at the council's civic reception held at Ulumbarra Theatre.
"We know how much work goes into maintaining grounds and the pool (neighbouring Bendigo Aquatic Centre) was also a hit with the boys.
"The guys are now going to get out and spread themselves far and wide across Bendigo and get involved in a lot of the different community activities and meet a lot of kids through various forms, be it schools or other programs.
"This is something we care about and commit to... the opportunity to come out and meet young fans and be role models is what's needed for our young people as they grow up.
"We look forward to sustaining that relationship that we have with Bendigo."
The Bendigo-Essendon relationship was at its strongest between 2003 and 2012 through the Bendigo Bombers VFL alignment.
These days Essendon has its own stand-alone VFL team that is likely to have a strong Bendigo flavour to it this season, while Bendigo hasn't had a VFL presence since 2014.
As well as the open training session on Thursday morning, which was watched by a large contingent of Essendon fans, the Bombers' community camp to Bendigo that continues on Friday also includes school and hospital visits, session with the AFL Central Victoria Academy, coach education session and supporters function at The Bendigo Club Thursday night.
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