Can't say it wasn't full deserved!
When the 2019 fixture was released earlier this week, Essendon fans may have been surprised to see their side hosting more games than usual at the MCG.
In 2019, the Bombers will play at least eight games at the venue, with that figure possibly rising to nine if their meeting with Fremantle is moved as a result of a clash with the A-League grand final.
The Bombers did play eight games at the MCG in 2018, but they finished with a poor record of one win and seven losses at the ground.
And if they are to break their streak of 14 years without a finals victory, they will need to start winning at the ground.
Given Essendon will host interstate clubs Sydney and Brisbane at the G’, instead of Marvel Stadium as they have in previous years gives an indication to the club’s hopes for the future.
For the fixtures listed, the Bombers will feature in several prime-time slots – a reward for their exciting brand of football in the back half of last season.
Having struggled at the MCG in previous years, the Bombers will be looking to atone that next season as they look to return to the finals.
They will have the opportunity to do that in the early stages of the season, with four of their first seven games set to take place at the MCG.
If they are to claim victories at the ground, this should fill the team with plenty of confidence particularly in the latter stages of the season.
Given the Bombers are set to face arch rivals Collingwood in the final round of the season, that game alone could be the perfect preparation for a finals campaign.
After their aggressive trading in the last two years, a finals appearance is a must for this football club.
If they aren’t to feature in the finals series, coach John Worsfold could be under some serious pressure from both fans and the media.
Getting it right on the ground where the grand final is played, is pivotal in the pursuit of a premiership as we have seen in recent years.