Port Adelaide recruit Orazio Fantasia says he has “nothing but love” for Essendon as he prepares to play his former AFL club for the first time.
Adelaide-born Fantasia, who made an instant impact for Port with four goals in a season-opening win against North Melbourne, spent seven years with the Bombers before returning home at the end of last season.
“I’m definitely excited,” Fantasia told reporters on Tuesday ahead of Port’s home clash against Essendon on Saturday.
“I am sure I will be nervous when it gets close to the game but nothing but love for those (Essendon) guys.
“It will probably be weird running out against a few of them and I will probably be a bit cheeky and call out for the ball off them when they have got it … and try and get into a few of their heads.
“But it should be fun.”
Fantasia managed just five games for the Bombers last year when cruelled by a spate of soft tissue injuries.
But the goalsneak says returning home to Adelaide has helped him return to peak fitness.
“It’s just being home with my family,” he said.
“For me, being a stress-head, being back home and Mum having some dinner cooked and stuff like that, it takes the pressure off.
“And to be able to see my family and friends, that has been massive, my partner and her family are here as well.
“So just relieving that stress and sleeping better and recovering better, and my body is in such a good position from that.”
Fantasia said he would open up his notebooks on Essendon for Port’s coaching hierarchy ahead of the Adelaide Oval fixture.
“I used to take a lot of notes and still take lots of notes now so I have got a few things,” he said.
“But I am not sure if they have changed too much.
“I did watch them on the weekend and they looked pretty good actually.
“If your pressure is not on, they can move the ball just as good as anyone and hit the scoreboard.”