Essendon has locked in its VFL list on the eve of its 2022 campaign.

Led by new coach Brent Stanton and captain Joe Atley, the VFL Bombers have bolstered their playing stocks with some new arrivals and key re-signings.

Former Essendon AFL players Shaun McKernan (53 games) and Ben Jolley (four) will don the sash again, with the latter in a player-coach role, while versatile midfielder Will Golds will bring AFL experience despite not making his League debut during his time at Hawthorn.

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VFL Bombers' 2022 season launch

Relive all the action from Essendon's 2022 VFL season launch, made possible by the team's commercial partners Coles and Happsa Group.

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The Bombers have bolstered their defence with the acquisitions of third tall Max Simpson and attacking defender Joel Fitzgerald, while key-position player Lockie Rayner, the brother of Brisbane star Cam Rayner, has been signed.

Lockie Rayner is one of several key new signing. (Photo: Essendon FC)

Developing midfielder-forwards Sam Conforti and Billy Cootee have been retained after their impressive 2021 campaigns, while Essendon train-on player Ronald Fejo Jr will remain at the club after being overlooked for one of the Bombers' final AFL list spots.

Atley, who co-captained the VFL Bombers in his first season at the club last year, will take the reins as solo skipper following Danny Younan's retirement, with Conforti, Cootee, James Harrold and James Iacobaccio supporting him in the leadership group.

Head coach Brent Stanton with captain Joe Atley on the eve of the new season. (Photo: AFL Photos)

The Bombers will kick off their 2022 VFL season against Geelong at GMHBA Stadium from 2:05pm on Saturday, with the match streamed live via AFL.com.au and the AFL Live Official App. Follow live stats via our match centre.

2022 VFL PRIMARY LIST

Guernsey number Player DOB Height
50 Josiah Garisto 9/12/1996 198
51 Anthony Larkey 11/9/1999 189
52 Kyle Weightman 5/1/1999 172
53 Sam Conforti 15/3/2002 173
54 Declan Tully 20/2/2001 192
55 Austin Harris 30/4/2003 177
56 Will Golds 6/5/2000 181
57 Billy Cootee 18/12/2002 178
59 Patrick Bannister 12/10/2002 182
60 Joe Atley 4/8/1998 188
61 Jacob Brown 19/8/1998 184
62 Maclayn Hallows 11/9/2002 183
63 Dylan Landt 18/11/1999 183
65 Shaun McKernan 1/9/1990 198
66 Ben Archard 20/11/1994 197
67 Ronald Fejo Jr 16/12/2001 184
68 Josh Iacobaccio 15/8/1996 177
69 James Harrold 6/2/1997 186
70 Cooper Anderson 20/7/2001 189
71 Lachy Godden 3/9/2002 184
72 Lockie Rayner 3/10/1997 197
73 Tom Baker 19/9/1998 198
74 Will Hoare 5/9/2000 198
75 Max Simpson 19/1/2001 192
76 Jake Sutton 12/9/2001 189
77 Joel Fitzgerald 8/8/2003 189
78 James Peters 4/6/1997 180
79 Cam McLeod 28/5/2002 193