Drama off the field without distraction as the Bombers team continues
Bonnie Toogood, co-captain of ESSENDON, said her side had “full confidence” in the club’s board throughout the failed process to find a new chief executive.
The Bombers were thrown back into crisis this month when Andrew Thorburn resigned as CEO a day after his appointment, over his role as president of a divisive church on abortion and homosexuality. .
Once these views became public, Essendon told Thorburn he was unable to serve as the club’s chief executive while continuing to chair City on a Hill.
The club have yet to find a replacement.
Events unfolded in a whirlwind after Toogood’s side suffered a heavy defeat to prime minister candidate Brisbane in the sixth round.
The Bombers lost to Geelong the following week but are now preparing to celebrate Pride Round – played in support of diversity and inclusion of LGBTQI+ communities and families – with Saturday’s game against Sydney.
“It really hasn’t been a distraction at all,” Toogood told AAP of the Thorburn saga.
“It was really blown, blown and it happened in 24 hours.
“We were coming from the back of Brisbane and coming home.
“We had complete confidence in the board, in their decision and in everything the club was doing.
“We didn’t have much control over it and it wasn’t really a distraction because we’re in the middle of our season.”
Toogood said she was more interested in getting her team back on track after the Brisbane loss, which sapped the Bombers’ hopes of making a surprise run to the final in their first AFLW campaign.
“It wasn’t something that we really sat down and (discussed as a group) because we were coming from behind Brisbane and going into another game,” Toogood said.
“We’re really focused on what we’re building and as co-captain I’m more concerned with how my teammates feel in the back of a football game and where the feeling is as a group, rather than having to worry about something we really don’t control.”
The Bombers will wear their first AFLW Pride Guernsey – designed by VFLW premiership players Mia-Rae Clifford and Kendra Heil – when they take on Swans at Ikon Park.
PRIDE ROUND Guernsey specially designed for each club
“It’s such a special tour for a lot of players because we respect the history of the community that built women’s football, which I think is first and foremost, and creating a celebration and an educational piece,” Toogood said.
“The round (this year) is about ‘allies’ and it’s really important that we have allies around us who understand and are also educated and can then help lead the community.
“It’s a really special ride for so many people.”