MORE than 17 years after Essendon's last finals win, it has unveiled the blueprint for its 17th premiership.

The Bombers announced at Wednesday night's annual general meeting they aim to win their next flag within five years.

They also want to boost their membership from just above 80,000 to 125,000 in that timeframe.

Essendon fans during the round 18 clash with North Melbourne at Metricon Stadium on July 18, 2021. Picture: Getty Images

The goal is for all of Essendon's teams - AFL, the AFLW side that will start late next year, VFL, VFLW and their Victorian wheelchair league line-up - to win premierships by 2026.

Essendon, which celebrates its 150th birthday next year, last won an AFL premiership in 2000.

The Bombers and Carlton, who are also mired in a premiership drought, have the most VFL/AFL flags with 16.

Essendon is notorious for not having won a final since September 4, 2004 and is mocked routinely by opposition fans for the streak, which now stands at 6311 days.

Dylan Shiel and James Stewart after Essendon lost the elimination final to the Western Bulldogs at University of Tasmania Stadium on August 29, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

It has recovered from the drugs debacle that emerged in early 2013 and condemned the club to years of turmoil, with 34 players suspended for the 2016 season.

But it showed significant improvement this year under coach Ben Rutten and returned to the top eight, before a bad elimination final loss to the Western Bulldogs.

MARK THESE IN YOUR CALENDAR 22 mouthwatering games in 2022

Rutten also announced at the AGM that Dyson Heppell would captain the Bombers for a sixth season.

Dyson Heppell leads the team out for the elimination final clash with the Western Bulldogs at University of Tasmania Stadium on August 29, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

"Dyson is universally respected among the team and has united the squad with his inclusive leadership skills," Rutten said.

"Over the past five years as captain, he has demonstrated his lead-by-example style and has unanimous support from the entire playing group and wider club to continue as captain in 2022."

Heppell has captained the Bombers in 85 games and is nine matches away from his 200 milestone.

Several clubs have ongoing strategic plans.

Last month, Fremantle declared that it is aiming for its first men's and women's premierships within four years.