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 Daniher, Orazio Fantasia
R: Paddy Ryder, Dyson Heppell, Zach Merrett
I: Tom Bellchambers, David 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: