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Essendon Bombers: Australian Rules team, in the Australian Football League.

Joined competition: 1897
Colours: Red and Black
Home Ground: Colonial Stadium, formerly Windy Hill and the MCG

History: The Bombers are one of the most successful clubs in the league, one of the 'big three', along with Carlton and Collingwood. Essendon have been one of the most consistant sides in the league, making grand finals fairly regularly. The Bombers also have a massive supporter base, and money to burn. Their supporters, known affectionately as 'the scum' to some opposition fans, are a notoriously cocky lot, though even those woh hate them must agree that they have good reason to be cocky.

Essendon were originally known as the 'Same Olds' and drew huge crowds from the very beginning, even before they joined the VFL. They had immediate success in the new league, winning the inaugural 1897 premiership. They were runners-up the next year, then won again in 1901, 1911, and 1912.

Essendon changed their nickname to the Bombers in 1922, when they moved to Windy Hill, close to the Essendon airport. The steady stream of success continued when they won the 1923 and 1924 flags.

The Bombers dominated the forties and early fifties, making 9 grand finals between 1941 and 1951. During this time, Essendon produced some of its greatest footballers, players such as John Coleman (The John Coleman medal is awarded each year to the player who kicks the most goals) and Dick Reynolds. Premierships came during this period in 1942, 46, 49 and 50.

The Sixties bought more success, with John Coleman coaching the Bombers to the '62 and '65 flags. The Seventies were a rare time of drought for the Bombers, then in 1980, Richmond great Kevin Sheedy took over as coach.

Sheeds is one of the truely great coaches, quite possibly the best ever. As well as being a tactical genius, he is also quite a public personality. Sheeds led his team to back-to-back premierships in 1984-85. He had more success in 1993, leading his 'Baby Bombers' to victory over the West Coast Eagles. Sheeds was in his 21st season as coach when the Bobmers had the most successful season in the history of the game. They lost just one game out of 25 (to the Bulldogs) on their way to claiming their sixteenth premeirship.

Essendon fans expected more of the same in 2001, and for a while, it looked like the Bombers would deliver. They didn't quite recapture the incredible form of the previous year, but they still won games- easily and often. This time around, though, they had competition. Brisbane toppled them in Melbourne in round 10, and didn't lose another game for the rest of the year leading up to the grand final. Beating a team on a fifteen game winning streak is always going to be tough, and it proved to be too much for the Bombers, who lost the grand final, showing that they were in fact human and could be beaten.

Things look good for Essendon in the near future. They have a very talented side and a legendary coach, and will be eager prove that they're still the best in 2002.

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