Bombers lock in leaders in streamlined three-man group
Essendon has confirmed its three-man leadership group for 2022
By Callum Twomey - 1 hr ago
ESSENDON has appointed Zach Merrett vice-captain and Andrew McGrath deputy vice-captain in a formal recognition of their leadership roles.
The Bombers on Tuesday announced their three-man leadership group, with skipper Dyson Heppell to captain the side for the sixth straight year.
He will be supported by Merrett and McGrath , while Michael Hurley , who was in the four-man leadership group last year, has dropped out as he focuses on his return from his hip injury.
Merrett has captained the Bombers in the past and last year returned to the leadership group, won the club’s best and fairest for the third time, was named an All-Australian midfielder and signed a six-year contract extension.
Dyson Heppell and Zach Merrett lead the Essendon players out for round 23, 2021. Picture: Getty Images
McGrath has been tipped as a future leader of the Bombers since the club chose him as their first ever No.1 draft pick in 2016.
He was elevated to the leadership group for the first time last season but had an injury-hit campaign, although the Bombers are confident he has returned to his vibrant best over the pre-season.
Heppell took over the captaincy in 2017 from former Bombers captain Jobe Watson.
Not a lot to say… love the slimmed down leadership group… don’t need a title to be a leader… and large leadership groups seem to create a culture of us vs them…
If I had to look at leadership at the Club, I think Heppell is still the logical choice. I think Merrett is clearly our best player and hardest trainer and therefore next logical choice for captain - albeit I think he was initially reluctant to take the role. So another season as understudy seems ideal. McGrath has been touted as captain material since Day 1 so makes sense.
I’d love to see another ‘peaceful’ transition of Captaincy next year so that Merrett has his first year as stand alone captain with Heppell still on the field to assist etc. We have been able to do that for over 30 years and I think it is a nice touch.
Again I’m just struck with how many things happen at the club, get announced or whatever… and I’m like… yep good sensible thing. My lack of outrage concerns me. 14 months ago I posted that I had fallen out of love with the club… it really was a low point… but couldn’t be further from that now. Just feels like we have got our mojo back.