Essendon Bombers

Magpies drop White, Blair

Out of form: Collingwood's Jesse White.

Daniel Cherny 8:29 PM   Desperate to avoid a sixth consecutive loss, Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley has lost patience with tall forward Jesse White and goalsneak Jarryd Blair, with the pair dropped among four changes at the Westpac Centre for Saturday's clash with Melbourne.

Ryder leaves Dons lamenting

Patrick Ryder

Rohan Connolly   At three-quarter time on Saturday night, Paddy Ryder's return to an old stamping ground to take on his old side was one he probably preferred to put behind him. Thirty minutes later, it was the stuff of which he might have dreamt.

Essendon v Port Adelaide: A tale of two coaches

Swamped: Port Adelaide's Patrick Ryder tackled by three Bombers.

Larissa Nicholson   The impact of Paddy Ryder on Saturday night was a matter of perspective – ask two coaches and get two very different answers.

Dons to look at every available ruckman

Jonathan Giles (right) challenges  Tom Hickey of the Saints during a pre-season match in March.

Daniel Cherny   Essendon will scour the nation in a bid to improve their thin ruck stocks.

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A leader steps off Ladder, football's little-known triumph

Essendon footballer Mark Bolton.

Peter Hanlon   The former Bomber who has led football's part in tackling youth homelessness.

Memo Essendon: Joe Daniher needs help

Garry Lyon

Garry Lyon   Joe Daniher is one of the most exciting, young key forward propositions to materialise in a long time. But Essendon, you need to find him a genuine, goalscoring running mate - urgently.

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Bombers do miss Ryder: Hird

Paddy Ryder at his new club in November last year.

Larissa Nicholson   James Hird admitted he missed Paddy Ryder and had considered playing a second ruckman against him in Essendon's clash with Port Adelaide.

Essendon drugs saga: WADA appeal in November to drag into another preseason

The seemingly never-ending supplements saga is set to spread into another preseason.

Jake Niall   The World Anti-doping Agency's appeal of the verdict in the Essendon case is set to be heard from mid-November in Sydney.

Welcome to the 400-club Boomer, membership: four

North Melbourne footballer Brent Harvey with '400-club' members Dustin Fletcher,  Michael Tuck and Kevin Bartlett.

Peter Hanlon   Brent Harvey believes he’ll be the last to pass the 400-game milestone.

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Essendon's Dyson Heppell believes he is ready to take over captaincy

Dyson Heppell would be happy to take the Essendon captaincy in 2016.

Ronny Lerner   Essendon star Dyson Heppell believes he would be ready to take the captaincy permanently if incumbent skipper Jobe Watson decided to hand it over for next season.

Harvey bounces on but Fletcher looks finished

Essendon legend Dustin Fletcher somehow still plays on at the age of 40, after beginning his AFL career 22 years ago.

Peter Hanlon   Bomber evergreen struggling to play again as Kangaroo great prepares for 400th.

ASADA urges Dank to front appeal hearing

Stephen Dank.

Jon Pierik   Having been thwarted at previous attempts to interview Stephen Dank, Australia's anti-doping body has declared it looks forward to such an opportunity now the former Essendon sports scientist has appealed his lifetime ban.

Dank to appeal AFL lifetime ban

Banned for life: Stephen Dank.

Jon Pierik   Stephen Dank, the man at the centre of the Essendon supplements saga, has appealed his lifetime ban by the AFL anti-doping tribunal.

Watson could quit Essendon, says former Bombers coach

At a low ebb: Jobe Watson leaves the field on Sunday after the 110-point thrashing by St Kilda.

Jon Pierik   Former Essendon coach Mark Thompson says Jobe Watson could quit the sport and has even questioned whether he would launch legal action over the handling of the supplements saga.

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The power of change: a good thing that's too often resisted

Garry Lyon

Garry Lyon   There is so much to look forward to on Saturday afternoon, when the Dogs take on the Cats at Simonds Stadium.

Goldstein impresses as Roos dismiss Dons

Todd Goldstein brought his own footy against the Bombers.

Jake Niall   The greatest difference between North Melbourne and Essendon wasn't experience, although that was a factor. Nor was it efficiency, even though the Roos tend to score more easily.

Live AFL: North Melbourne v Essendon

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 17: James Hird the coach of the Bombers speaks to Steven Alessio during the round 16 AFL match between the North Melbourne Kangaroos and the Essendon Bombers at Etihad Stadium on July 17, 2015 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Lee Crossley   It's a vital game for North Melbourne as they push for a spot in the top eight. The Kangaroos have a 7-7 and can't afford to drop this game.

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Hird 'probably' broke non-disparagement clause: McLachlan

Not buying in: Gillon McLachlan.

Jon Pierik   The verbal hand grenade James Hird threw at the AFL had "probably" broken his non-disparagement clause but league bosses have opted to not take any action against the Essendon coach.

When we were kings: The Essendon-North rivalry

Fierce competitors: Matthew Lloyd evades North Melbourne's Mick Martyn.

Ronny Lerner   Looking at the AFL ladder after 15 rounds, a teenager would be forgiven for not knowing that at one point in recent history Friday night's opponents Essendon and North Melbourne dominated the footy landscape .

Hird a confirmed starter in the coaches' box

Fit: James Hird.

Larissa Nicholson   James Hird will be at the helm when Essendon play North Melbourne at Etihad Stadium on Friday night.