The Essendon Bombers are a professional Australian rules football club. The club plays in the Australian Football League (AFL), the game’s premier competition. The club’s first recorded game took place on 7 June 1873 against a Carlton Second 20. From 1878 until 1896, the club played in the Victorian Football Association then joined seven other clubs in October 1896 to form the breakaway Victorian Football League (later changed to AFL in 1990). The club currently plays its home games at either Docklands Stadium or the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Essendon is one of Australia’s best-known and most successful football clubs. It has won 16 VFL/AFL premierships, which, along with Carlton, is the most of any club in the competition. The club won four consecutive VFA premierships between 1891 and 1894, a feat unmatched in that competition’s history. However, Essendon Bombers have struggled to remain competitive in the 21st century, having won its last premiership in 2000 and not winning a final since 2004. Three Essendon players—John Coleman, Bill Hutchison, and Dick Reynolds—and one coach, Kevin Sheedy, are classified as “Legends” in the Australian Football Hall of Fame.
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