AFL 1997 – Twenty Years On: Essendon Bombers (14th)

Four years on from the Baby Bombers and a couple of years from their resurgence, Essendon had a below par season in 1997. With injuries restricting big names Hird, Mercuri and Long to a handful of games, Sheeds used forty-one of the forty-two listed players below (thanks to the Football Record). However, one of those that did play was left out of these photos; I’ll leave it up to U to find out who it was.

There weren’t too many list casualties at season’s end either. In fact, eighteen of this roster were in the 2000 premiership team (with thirteen of the ’93 team going around in ’97), a testament to Essendon’s strength back then.

Does this rekindle any memories of the Red and Black out there?

List Management


AFL Debuts 1997: Matthew Banks, Andrew Bomford, Blake Caracella, Chris Heffernan, Jason Johnson, Daniel McAlister, Andrew Ukovic, Matthew Watson

Players Kept Under Wraps 1997: Tim Williams

Never Heard of Him: Matthew Watson

Delistings/Retirements end 1997: Chris Daniher (ret), Mark Harvey (ret), Peter Cransberg, Danny Morgan, Robert Stevenson.


You can review all of the AFL 1997 lists here

About Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt

Saw my first SANFL game in 1967 - Dogs v Peckers. Have only ever seen the Dogs win 1 final in the flesh (1972 1st Semi) Mediocre forward pocket for the AUFC Blacks (1982-89) Life member - Ormond Netball Club -That's me on the right


  1. Dave Brown says

    Bewick was one of those players that made me seethe at Hayden Ballantyne levels. That was Matthew Watson’s one and only game at that level. Bit of a mixed bag for Essendon in the 1996 draft, taking Chris Heffernan (Pick 2, 170 games), Daniel McAlister (Pick 5, 6 games), Tim Williams (Pick 21, 0 games), Andrew Bomford (Pick 25, 13 games), Jason Johnson (Pick 28, 184 games), Watson (Pick 54, 1 game) and Paul Hills (Pick 66, 0 games). They made up for that though by rookie drafting Mark Johnson and Gary Moorcroft.

  2. Ben Footner says

    I remember the Bombers giving Adelaide a touch up in what I reckon must of been Mark Harvey’s 200th game (I remember someone being chaired off afterwards). The game was interrupted at half time with the news of Princess Diana’s death (which is why I remember it TBH).

  3. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Thanks for that Dave. They knew what they were doing.

    I was at that game Ben. Harvey’s last game, we jumped them, kicking the first five goals but they had a big third quarter. I was more affected by Roo’s season ending groin rather than world events, although it was quite an eerie atmosphere at the ground.

  4. Luke Reynolds says

    Plenty of talent on that list.
    Played plenty of cricket with Scott Lucas, he was a wonderful batsman and fielder who couldn’t bowl.
    Played against Chris Heffernan, super sharp bowler as a teenager.
    Caracella, Ukovic and Olarenshaw all finished up at Collingwood. Caracella the only one to give us any value.

  5. Adam Haase says

    Can’t believe after all these years I missed Andrew Ukovic’s photographic omission.

    Now, granted I started watching Football properly in 1999 but still.

Leave a Comment