Essendon’s 2024 season has shown some promising steps forward to its halfway point.

The Bombers currently sit third on the ladder with an 8-4-1 record, aided by a purple patch in the months of April and May which saw the side go seven consecutive games unbeaten. looks at some important stats from the season to date ahead of the bye weekend.

Red and black army in full force


The Dons have always been able to count on their passionate fanbase, but they’ve perhaps taken it to another level in 2024.

Fuelled by marquee fixtures in Anzac Day and Dreamtime at the ‘G, Essendon are averaging a whopping 63,465 fans at their home games this season, ranked first in the competition.

Overall, the Bombers are averaging 54,839 people through the door at all games in 2024, good for third best in the AFL and on track to break the club’s previous best effort of 53,161 set in the 1998 season.

Four of the 10 highest-attended games in 2024 have involved the Bombers, with other notable efforts including cracking 50,000 at Marvel Stadium for the round five clash against the Bulldogs (the best attendance at the venue since 2013).

Essendon’s interstate members have been huge this season – in addition to their two fixtures in Adelaide, the round 12 clash with Gold Coast at People First Stadium registered the stadium’s fourth-highest attendance ever, while the round eight trip to Perth saw 51,171 through the gates at Optus Stadium against West Coast.

Leading Langford


The emergence of Kyle Langford as a key forward was a major trump card for the Bombers in 2023, and the 27-year-old’s followed up his good form this year.

Langford’s booted 28 goals from his 13 games this season, saving his best for big occasions with hauls of four on Anzac Day against Collingwood and the Challenge game against GWS, one of the side’s best wins of the campaign to date.

For a player who’s only spent one season as a key forward at this level, Langford’s forward craft ranks among the best in the league. He’s taken a league-high 29 marks on the lead this year and ranks fourth in the competition for marks taken inside 50, constantly providing a scoring threat in an evolving forward line.

With Jake Stringer also producing a strong campaign (24 goals so far), the pair's form will continue to play a key role in the side's prospects this season.

New roles, same production


Brad Scott has placed an emphasis on players being able to shift into different positions this season, and the move of Sam Durham into the midfield has been a standout.

The tough nut is averaging career highs in disposals (20), clearances (four) and tackles (five) since slotting into the centre bounce rotation at the start of the season, providing the Bombers with genuine grunt and dash at stoppages to complement skipper Zach Merrett, who’s been in typically stellar form this year.

Durham isn’t the only young midfielder hitting his stride, with Jye Caldwell another benefitting from increased time in the engine room – the 23-year-old is averaging career highs in almost every statistical category this season, with his 80 total tackles for the season ranked eighth in the league.

Nic Martin’s shift into defence has also paid dividends, averaging over 540 metres gained per game in his third season with the club.

The option for Martin to still push ahead of the ball when required gives the Dons some flexibility in the forward half, evidenced by his inspired two-goal third term against the Blues on King’s Birthday Eve.


In just the last few weeks, the Dons had Nik Cox used as a relief target up forward (three goals against the Suns) and Jye Menzie slotted onto a half back flank to cover for Mason Redman’s absence, adding to their positional depth all over the ground.

Defensive depth

Ben McKay's form has been integral for the Bombers this season. (Photo: AFL)

The anticipated addition of Ben McKay to the Bombers’ back six has worked in spades this season.

McKay’s tally of 38 intercept marks this season is ranked fifth in the competition, while his 17 contested marks are good for third best among all key defenders in the league, proof of his ability to stand up against the premier forwards in the game.

Accompanied by the return of Yiooken Award winner Jordan Ridley, who’s averaging 10 marks per game since returning from injury, the evolution of Essendon’s defence with McKay at the centre could shape their fortunes in the second half of 2024.



Essendon were left to rue missed opportunities in their last two losses against Gold Coast and Carlton, made even more apparent given their relatively accurate start to the year including scores of 17.5 and 15.6 in their wins over Hawthorn and the Dogs.

With a competition ranking of third for total inside 50’s this year, the Bombers have threatened in creating numerous scoring opportunities over recent weeks but haven’t always been able to convert their good work.

Combined third quarter scores of 5.11 over the last two weeks hampered the Bombers despite dictating much of the play, an area they’ll be keen to tidy up on as they prepare for a crunch run of games following the bye.