Anything's possible for Bombers claims chairman
Essendon chairman Lindsay Tanner wants the club to follow the examples of Western Bulldogs and Richmond by making a swift rise to the top of the AFL.
Last season's improvement from the Bombers - they finished seventh on the ladder with 12 wins - was arguably greater than expected.
The club had ended up with the wooden spoon in 2016 when they had 10 players suspended for the entire campaign, but the nine extra wins they secured this year boosted their confidence.
The season ended with an elimination loss to Sydney, but now they're aiming to replicate the achievements of the Bulldogs and the Tigers by challenging for the premiership.
After a strong AFL Trade Period that netted them Jake Stringer, Devon Smith and Adam Saad, and a season that saw three Bombers named in the All Australian side, expectations will rise for the club going into next season.
Tanner said: "The Western Bulldogs and Richmond are proof that anything is possible if you are prepared to do the work, lift your standards, forge strong alignment and drive even greater accountability across your entire club.
"We must challenge ourselves to find this improvement if we want to achieve our vision of being the most inclusive, successful and respected sporting organisation in Australia. The hard work has only just started, but as a club, we have never been more unified or as strong to rise to the challenge that awaits us."
The Bombers haven't won a finals match since 2004, which is the longest finals drought of any team in the AFL.
But Tanner said: "As we have seen in recent years, the competition is full of opportunity, and we need to challenge ourselves to find improvement to match it with the best in the competition. And, most importantly, in finals football when it matters most."
Essendon are 20/1 to win the 2018 Grand Final.
The Bombers are 5/4 to finish in the top eight.
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