Essendon will go into the 2016 AFL season with a senior team containing probably fewer players known to the wider football public than any recent rival with the exceptions of the debutant editions of Gold Coast and Greater Western Sydney.
That challenge for the Bombers will be no less monumental than for the Suns or Giants in their initial years, either.
Essendon begin planning for difficult season
Coach John Worsfold dismisses suggestions that the Bombers won't win a game this season and says the club has begun appointing its leadership group and will promote the best rookies to the senior list.
Coach John Worsfold indicated on Thursday that with priorities clearly more on development than scratching around for potential wins with an army of more senior top-up players from state league ranks, the kids at Essendon are going to play plenty of football this year.
Here's a selection of 14 who may be regulars for the Bombers in 2016, none of whom have yet played even 10 games of AFL football.
YESTIN EADES (0 games)
Small forward originally from Western Australia, Eades may have played plenty of football anyway given Essendon's dearth of small forwards. Nippy, tremendous skills and with a keen eye for a goal.
ORAZIO FANTASIA (8 games)
Only injury might have prevented him appearing more at senior level last year after three appearances in 2014. Good pace was handy when he returned near season's end, and was a standout in two of last three games. Could be a key on-baller.
AARON FRANCIS (0 games)
The highly rated South Australian junior is a versatile type, whose flexibility and athleticism could be handy across the ground. Should spend time in defence and attack, and at a pinch, as a tall midfielder.
WILL HAMS (5 games)
Debuted four seasons ago, but has had a shocking run with injuries. Lightly framed but certainly not shy of the contest, the in-and-under midfielder might finally get a decent go at senior football in 2016.
MICHAEL HARTLEY (0 games)
The 22-year-old has already been identified by coach John Worsfold as a likely first choice key defender. Was VFL centre half-back of the year, and at 199 centimetres and 100 kilograms, has sufficient size and strength to go against the power forwards.
KYLE LANGFORD (8 games)
Wore a couple of very heavy knocks in his senior debut and looked a little off the pace early but found his feet towards the end of 2015. Will be used mainly as a support forward, but could also spend some time in the midfield group.
JAYDEN LAVERDE (9 games)
Probably the pick of this crop, showed great signs in the back half of last season as a half-forward, a strong mark, penetrating kick and willing in the contest. Can expect to spend more time midfield in 2016 as Dons try to beef up a desperately thin on-ball group.
ANTHONY McDONALD-TIPUNGWUTI (0 games)
The Tiwi Islander is already a cult favourite with Bomber fans who have followed his VFL progress. Has worked hard on his endurance and was rewarded with impressive VFL form in 2015, particularly during finals. Great speed, good skills, could be handy running defender.
CONOR McKENNA (2 games)
Still-developing Irish youngster is coming on quickly, and didn't mess around when made his senior debut in round 22 last season, goalling with his first kick at AFL level. Quick off the mark and willing, another whose pace may help counter-balance the older midfield legs.
ALEX MORGAN (0 games)
Talented running defender returned to football in 2015 after a year off. Had a good season with Oakleigh Chargers and impressed with his football smarts. About to turn 20 and mature for his years, likely to get a taste sooner than later.
GACH NYUON (0 games)
All-Australian under 18 ruckman who impressed at national carnival. Only overlooked in national draft due to fashion for more seasoned types in the position and because of still light-frame.Probably a case of "in emergency" at this stage.
DARCY PARISH (0 games)
One of the most highly sought junior midfielders available in the draft, the Geelong Falcon is a two-time under-18 All-Australian. Parish is equally at home in congestion or out in the open, agile and has good natural skills and a clever football brain. Will play plenty of games.
MASON REDMAN (0 games)
Senior experience with Glenelg in SANFL last season may prove very handy for the classy medium-sized forward. Good ball user with poise near the goals and also offers plenty of run. Another whose potential versatility may be a valuable commodity in a raw line-up.
TOM WALLIS (0 games)
The son of former Bomber favourite Dean Wallis, the 18-year-old plays a different role as a strong midfielder. Developed quickly enough with Calder Cannons to earn a spot in Essendon's VFL team late last season. Will likely get his chance at some stage.
Should Jobe Watson be stripped of his 2012 Brownlow Medal?
Poll closed 5 Apr, 2016
Disclaimer: These polls are not scientific and reflect the opinion only of visitors who have chosen to participate.