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'Not taking them lightly': Jade Gresham reflects on debut ANZAC Day 'privilege' ahead of West Coast challenge

Jarred Cross -

Jade Gresham has reflected fondly on the opportunity to play on ANZAC Day despite the disappointing result as his side casts their sights on returning to the winners list when they travel west to face an optimistic Eagles. 

The 93,000-strong crowd last Thursday was the biggest the 26-year-old has ran out in front of in his career, and his first time taking part in the annual fixture since crossing from St Kilda at the end of last season. 

Gresham made a decent impression on the stage with a hand in two of his side’s four goals through an electric start - eight score involvements for the game overall, and threatened as a potential game-winner in knife’s edge play in the dying stages. 

He finished the day with a comparatively modest 16 touches and 0.1 in front of goal. 

Speaking to club media this week, Gresham said his first ANZAC Day was “something I'll never forget”.

“Obviously to honour the ANZACs was a privilege to do and something I'll never forget. I would have liked to have a win, it would have been nice, but we took a step forward as a club and we’ve just got to keep growing from there,” he said. 

The Bombers headed into the contest 4-2 in seventh place after a controversial win against the Crows at Adelaide Oval. 

Their only real blip, after a tough loss to premiership-potentials Sydney in round two, came during their first trip to the South Australian capital when they were dismantled in a 69-point loss to a strong Power outfit a fortnight earlier. 

Gresham said the group aren’t looking to let sharing the points against the Pies unravel an otherwise promising start to their campaign when they meet an Eagles outfit “with their tails up”. 

West Coast have given their supporters a glimpse of better things to come after consecutive years languishing at the bottom of the ladder with impressive showings against the Tigers and a shock Derby win over the Dockers. 

“We've got to be ready to go and we're not taking them lightly. And it's a good challenge. And now we can't wait to get out there and travel and hopefully get the job done,” Gresham said.

Gresham is also relishing the chance to build something within the Bombers' small forwards group - including adding defensive pressure in the front half alongside Alwyn Davey Jr. 

“It's what you got to do as a small forward - bring the pressure,” he said.

“(We’ve been) training really well and been working really closely…we’re all trying to get better each session and now we've got a lot of talent there.”

Gresham is going at better than a goal a game starting life at his second club.

The Bombers also unveiled their 2024 Indigenous guernsey on Wednesday. 

Designed by Tiwi artist Russellina Puruntatameri, the jumper celebrates 20 years of the annual Dreamtime at the 'G clash with Richmond and incorporates symbolic elements of Tiwi culture in the Tutini Pole (Pukumani), male and female spears, the islands and Mantiyupi clan group dreaming in the shark and Michael Long's walk to Canberra wit footprints. 

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