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2021 AFL preview: Essendon Bombers team guide
Can the rebuilding Bombers surprise the AFL world with a surge into the finals in 2021?
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Essendon president Paul Brasher says the Bombers' priority this year will be the development of younger players. The club finished 13th on the ladder last year and most AFL experts are tipping roughly the same result this season.
The Dons' playing list is the second least experienced in the AFL on games played. They have had to turn to the draft following the departures of Joe Daniher, Orazio Fantasia, Conor McKenna and Adam Saad.
The Bombers have gained five first-round draft picks. They are Nik Cox, Zach Reid and Archie Perkins (all from 2020), plus ex-Giant midfielder Jye Caldwell (2018 draft) and former Suns forward Peter Wright (2014 draft).
Expect the Bombers to be more explosive in their attack under first-year coach Ben Rutten. Their biggest concern is a lack of size in the midfield. Dons fans will need to be patient with a big picture view.
How to watch Essendon Bombers AFL matches
Essendon supporters can follow their favourite team live and free on the Seven Network. However, Channel 7 only broadcasts between three and five matches per week, which vary from state to state.
Serious Essendon fans and AFL enthusiasts in general might want to look into getting a paid subscription if they don't want to miss any games. Kayo Sports, Foxtel and Foxtel Now offer all fixtures apart the grand final live and on demand, so you can take your pick based on your viewing habits.
If you're not keen on getting pay TV, Kayo Sports is affordable, with subscriptions starting at $25 a month. This buys you access to more than 50 sports and cool features like SplitView and Interactive Stats that make sports streaming a breeze. Plus, new users get a 14-day free trial to see if the platform is a good fit. Our Kayo vs Foxtel guide should help you figure out which provider works best for you.
Check out our guide on how to stream the 2021 AFL season for more information.
Watch Essendon Bombers matches overseas
If you need to travel outside Australia during the AFL season you can still keep up with the Bombers. Thanks to Watch AFL, you don't have to miss a minute of the action. The platform enables you to stream games via the Internet without breaking the bank. We have an article on how to stream the 2021 AFL season from overseas that will help you get started.
Travelling abroad? Watch the entire AFL season live from Watch AFL
If you're out of the country, streaming Aussie rules football can be a bit of a pain. For those travelling the globe, there's Watch AFL.View details
When do Essendon Bombers play next?
Their first fixture in the 2021 AFL season will be against Hawthorn on 20 March. Here's the upcoming schedule for the Essendon Bombers. You can see the complete AFL draw here.
|Round||Date||Match||Stadium||Start time (AEDT)||How to watch|
|Round 1||Saturday, 20 March||Essendon vs Hawthorn||Marvel Stadium, VIC||7:25 PM||Kayo Sports, Foxtel|
|Round 2||Saturday, 27 March||Port Adelaide vs Essendon||Adelaide Oval, SA||4:35 PM||Kayo Sports, Foxtel|
|Round 3||Saturday, 3 April||Essendon vs St Kilda||Marvel Stadium, VIC||4:35 PM||Kayo Sports, Foxtel|
|Round 4||Thursday, 8 April||Sydney Swans vs Essendon||SCG, NSW||8:20 PM||Kayo Sports, Foxtel|
|Round 5||Saturday, 17 April||Brisbane Lions vs Essendon||Gabba, QLD||8:25 PM||Kayo Sports, Foxtel|
|Round 6||Sunday, 25 April||Collingwood vs Essendon||MCG, VIC||4:20 PM||Kayo Sports, Foxtel|
|Round 7||Sunday, 2 May||Essendon vs Carlton||MCG, VIC||3:20 PM||Kayo Sports, Foxtel|
|Round 8||Saturday, 8 May||GWS Giants vs Essendon||GIANTS Stadium, NSW||2:10 PM||Kayo Sports, Foxtel|
|Round 9||Sunday, 16 May||Essendon vs Fremantle||Marvel Stadium, VIC||1:10 PM||Kayo Sports, Foxtel|
|Round 10||Sunday, 23 May||Essendon vs North Melbourne||Marvel Stadium, VIC||4:40 PM||Kayo Sports, Foxtel|
|Round 11||Saturday, 29 May||West Coast Eagles vs Essendon||Optus Stadium, WA||7:40 PM||Kayo Sports, Foxtel|
|Round 12||Saturday, 5 June||Essendon vs Richmond||MCG, VIC||7:10 PM||Kayo Sports, Foxtel|
|Round 14||Sunday ,20 June||Hawthorn Hawks vs Essendon||MCG, VIC||3:20 PM||Kayo Sports, Foxtel|
|Round 17||Friday ,9 July||Essendon Bombers vs Adelaide Crows||Marvel Stadium, VIC||7:00 PM||Kayo Sports, Foxtel|
|Round 18||Sunday ,18 July||North Melbourne Kangaroos v Essendon Bombers||Marvel Stadium, VIC||12:35 PM||Kayo Sports, Foxtel|
|Qualifiers||Sunday, 29 August||Western Bulldogs vs Essendon Bombers||Marvel Stadium, VIC||2:00 PM||Kayo Sports, Foxtel|
Essendon Bombers squad
|Player Number||Name||Position||Career Games|
|28||Ned Cahill||Midfield, Forward||0|
|33||Brayden Ham||Forward, Midfield||5|
|36||Lachlan Johnson||Forward, Midfield||0|
|4||Kyle Langford||Forward, Midfield||65|
|39||Ross McQuillan||Defender, Forward||0|
|3||Darcy Parish||Forward, Midfield||76|
|5||Devon Smith||Forward, Midfield||138|
Essendon Bombers history
The Bombers were formed in 1872 and were a founding member club of both the Victorian Football Association, in 1877, and the Victorian Football League in 1896.
The Bombers have won 16 premierships so far, their latest in 2000. They are tied with Carlton for the most premierships of any club in the competition.
They play their home games at either Marvel Stadium or the MCG.
Image source: Essendon Bombers team website
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