1900; merged with North Melbourne 1922
Essendon Recreation Ground
Black and red
Formed as Essendon Town in 1900 the club spent a predominantly successful twenty year stint in the VFA (excluding the 1916 and 1917 seasons when the competition was in recess). The club was established because many of the inhabitants of Essendon were unhappy that the VFL club which bore the district’s name was based at East Melbourne. They wanted a club which would be truly representative of the district, and would play its home matches there.
Changing its name to Essendon Association (more commonly referred to as just ‘Essendon A’) in 1905 the club gradually emerged as a force, contesting every finals series between 1908 and 1914 for flags in 1911 and 1912.
Arguably the club’s most renowned player was key forward Dave McNamara who booted 81 goals in 1911 and the following season became the first player in a major competition to crack the hundred goal barrier with a total of 107 for the year.
In 1922 VFL club Essendon relocated to Essendon A’s home ground of Windy Hill forcing the VFA side to undergo a nominal merger with North Melbourne (shades of the Brisbane Bears and Fitzroy more than seventy years later) which effectively ended its existence as an autonomous entity.
Overall, the Dreadnoughts enjoyed a success rate of 45.5% and contested the finals on seven occasions. On the debit side, the team claimed three wooden spoons, in 1903 (when it failed to win a game all year), 1906 and 1919.