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’s decade has been one to forget as the club tries to move away from the 2012 drug saga. Many players copped yearly bans whilst coaches where sacked as it went down as one of the worst years in the club’s history.

The Bombers haven’t gotten past the elimination final since 2004. Their best 22 has a very strong back line which would be hard to score against, with Dustin Fletcher taking the main forward and Michael Hurley, Brendon Goddard and Michael Hibberd rebounding.

The midfield is strong as well; Watson and Heppell are both proven leaders, while Merrett, Smith, Zaharakis and McGrath add versatility and depth.

Essendon’s Top 22

FB:  Andrew McGrath, Dustin Fletcher, Courtenay Dempsey

HB: Michael Hibberd, Michael Hurley, Brendon Goddard

C: David Zaharakis, Jobe Watson (c), Brent Stanton

HF: Alwyn Davey, Cale Hooker, Stewart Crameri

FF: Angus Monfries, Joe DaniherOrazio Fantasia

R: Paddy Ryder, Dyson Heppell, Zach Merrett

I: Tom BellchambersDavid Myers, Mark McVeigh, Jake Carlisle

Note: We only looked at players’ outputs from 2008-2018, and didn’t take take into account anything prior to 2008.

You can see other sides’ best 22’s right here:

Adelaide
Brisbane
Carlton
Collingwood