Shiel felt homesick after leaving Giants
Dylan Shiel has declared it will be "all business" facing his old side in Round 1.
But even he admits it will be difficult.
Essendon travels to the Harbour City to take on GWS in its first game of the season, stripping Shiel of any time to hide from his ex-teammates.
The Bombers key midfield recruit said there will be an element of having a point to prove against his former club in their first meeting next Sunday.
"A bit of that, yeah. I'm not going to say 'it's like every other game'," he said.
"It's my first game for my new club and it's my first game against the old mob as well.
"You can look at it and be scared and concerned, or you can look at it as an opportunity to start the new chapter off really well.
"It's going to have its challenges, but in the end, you've got to perform. It's the same game that I've been playing for my whole career, so at least I'm going to be familiar with the environment up there."
Shiel played 135 games with the Giants after he was taken as an underage selection as a 17-year-old in 2010.
He said there had been little in the way of banter from his former teammates in relation to the opening round showdown so far, but has some understanding of how Giants coach Leon Cameron and his ex-comrades would be approaching the clash.
"I keep in touch with a couple of the close mates up there, but it'll be all business," Shiel said.
"I have a fair idea of what they'll be saying in the lead-up to it and how Leon will be treating it.
"I think he'll be treating it like it's a very important game - it's the first game of the year and it'll be all business on their end."
Shiel, who was traded to the Bombers with just minutes to spare in last year's trade period, conceded he had struggled with the move back to Melbourne, and said he felt that taking on his former club would be difficult.
"I spent a lot of my life up there," he said.
"I still feel very connected to the club and to players there and the city, as well. I spent my whole adult life there - I grew up there.
"I almost felt like I was homesick when I was moving to Melbourne."