MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 25: Jobe Watson of the Bombers celebrates with David Zaharakis of the Bombers during the 2017 AFL round 01 match between the Essendon Bombers and the Hawthorn Hawks at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on March 25, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Adam Trafford/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Essendon chief executive Xavier Campbell says the door is always open for James Hird at Windy Hill, and hopes to see the former player and coach at the club in the future.

After Saturday night’s win over the Hawks, former chairman David Evans was spotted in the rooms, having generally stayed away from the club in recent years since leaving his post in July 2013 during the club’s supplements saga.

Campbell said he hopes those who were around the club during the difficult times are able to return to the club soon.

“I hope so. What that time frame looks like I don’t know. It’s probably going to be for James and others to work out,” Campbell said.

“But I think, these people, they love Essendon. As much as we can look back, it’s not going to be that worthwhile for us.

“We have to look forward and I think as a footy club we want to bring everyone with us on the journey because our fans want to see that and I think the players ultimately want to see that, too. So we hope that happens at some stage in the future.”

This comes after Essendon’s impressive 25-point win over Hawthorn on Saturday night, as 10 senior players returned from season-long doping suspensions to play their first matches since 2015.

Former captain Jobe Watson was one of those men, and his dad Tim said it was one of the most emotional nights in recent memory.

“I think for me sitting there and watching it all, it was just that explosion of emotion for people who have had a really difficult time, not just the players but the player’s families and everybody associated with the footy club and the supporters as well,” Watson said on SEN Breakfast.

“I didn’t shed a tear but it was really emotional. I was seriously moved because I have an intimate knowledge of what one person (Jobe) has been through, but then you multiply that by the other players and the supporters … there has been a lot of emotion associated with this with the supporters over a long period of time too.

“I think it was just that whole sort of coming together on that night and getting victory as well was just the icing on the cake.”