Essendon coach John Worsfold has admitted he does not know if suspended Bombers players have made the right call in appealing their doping convictions, but he supports their right to do so.
Thirty-four current and former Bombers players involved in the clubs' controversial 2012 supplements program have joined an appeal to the Swiss Federal Supreme Court in a last-ditch attempt to clear their names.
Essendon to sign another two 'top-up' players
Coach John Worsfold pleased with the progress and attitude of the "top-up" players now on his list.
"I have no idea if it's the right move, but they have every right to take that pathway, so I respect that and I absolutely wish them all the best," Worsfold said.
Worsfold said the ongoing saga was not a distraction to the players who remained at the club.
But the influx of top-up players had meant he had changed the focus of his coaching, to emphasise team building more than complex game tactics.
"The biggest focus for us at the moment is to get the group to gel and understand each other and to be able to communicate at the level required to play well together," he said.
"In terms of strategic plays, we'll just pull back on those a little bit, we'll be a bit more basic and add layers to that as the group gets up and going."
The new faces at the club had changed the dynamic and added a wealth of experience to the group, he said.
Worsfold said he had called on the likes of former Fremantle player Ryan Crowley and ex-Geelong player Mathew Stokes to consult on what the Bombers could be doing better.
"Little things that we've asked them about, the day off during the season, what works for them," he said.
"What's a Thursday day off during the week's like compared to a Monday, which is what Fremantle has."
Stokes will not play in the first game of the NAB challenge and former Melbourne ruckman Mark Jamar was also unlikely to be ready, but the rest of the top-up players should be fit enough to play, Worsfold said.
Worsfold said the veteran players were being carefully managed to ensure they made it through the season uninjured.
He said he still had two top-up spots the club could fill and he would like to recruit another key position player.