#21 Dyson "Good Onya Guys" Heppell


Ken Fraser was highly respected by his peers and students for his professionalism and class room ability.
Also a fantastic captain of Essendon. A true leader.


Don’t see it as the captain’s role to be the enforcer. In the past we had the likes of Roger Merrett Duckworth and Wallis. Do you see anyone on the current list as performing that role( genuine question)?




Hirdy wasn’t a enforcer either but he took more hits than any other player I have seen.

I don’t mind Heppell as a player and I think he’s more valuable playing in an outside role but it’s hard to lead by example if you don’t have a physical aspect to your game in some form or another.


I think the senior leadership across the group is pretty poor and the reason Heppel has got the arm band in the first place. Mastering leadership is a life long pursuit, just becoming good at it can take many years. With a coherent game plan, some decent form and being surrounded by strong leaders Heppel the captain would be looking better. There is no reason he can’t become a very good captain.
He certainly needs to become more aggressive and ditch that nice guy, yeah nah image. When people think of a Dyson Heppel they aren’t thinking of a ruthless, selfless leader and if ever someone really needed to think about their personal brand it’s him.


I agree that mastering leadership is a life long pursuit. But IMO you appoint a captain who has already built his leadership skills to the level that will enable him to lead from the day he is appointed.

I also disagree with the notion that its acceptable for a leader to be assessed only when the team/ gameplan is going well. Jobe is regarded as one of our better captains because despite the poor gameplan from 2010-2012, the disarray that was 2013-2015, his performances seldom dipped and his leadership never wavered. He was a great leader because he led through those times and didnt let the circumstances dictate how well he’d play/ lead.

I’d suggest that if Hepp cannot lead adequately through a tough period, then he probably isnt fit for captaincy- thats the whole point of being captain, to lead through the unknown, and even if you arent 100% certain where itll take you, to appear as if you do, so as to provide guidance for those youre leading.

I know its only been a year for Hepp, so I wouldnt make any assessments as to his capabilities as of yet. But IMO he needs to carve out a niche for himself as captain, he needs a ‘brand’, needs something for the players and indeed the supporters to latch onto other than a calming persona, otherwise he wont last long as captain at all…

At this point in time he kinda reminds me of Cotchin in his early days as captain, and he’ll probably end up copping the same criticisms.


It’s a very shallow view of leadership that thinks that what we see on field defines what Dyson is or is not as a leader. The on field component is a quite small part of what the captain does/is required to do. And even just isolating the on field; not everyone is a ‘lead by example’ leader. There seems to be a very narrow focus around here.


Needs to get some advice from Cotchin, Cotchin was in the same spot as Heppel a few years back.


As supporters we can really only go by what we see on field though. I have no doubt he isn’t as quite off the field as he is on the field.

If he is a hard taskmaster off the field then he needs to find a way to translate that not only into his own performance but into his teammates


I mean this in the nicest way - he is not your captain. He may show and do a lot that you will never know of. He is the players’ captain, and they chose him for a reason.


Love Heppel and he should always be part of the leadership group but would prefer Dev Smith to take over as captain next year.


Good captains are both.

You seriously think on field leadership is a small part of what’s involved?


No, its ensuring your players adhere to structures, its ensuring that if the opposition get a run on, that you are able to implement some strategy to stop it (mix of coaches and on field leaders), its as barnz said bringing other players into the game (tex is great at this), its ensuring that you play the way the coaches want you to play (which im sure doesnt include dinky kicks that go 20m up and 30m long basically putting the receiver in harms way if they are to attempt to mark it/ turning every second kick over), its getting between goddard and the rest of the group when hes chucking a tanty

and yes of course people go off what they perceive to be the case… what else could you possibly go off?


What do you define as on field leadership?

Seems most around here define it as being a tough guy. Or maybe someone who never farks up. Someone fit to be their hero maybe. And maybe for some it is those things. For me, it is none of them.

Once again I will say that people here are just going off what they perceive to be the case. I don’t know what he does, says etc. on field, and neither does anyone else here.

And yes, on field is absolutely only a small part of what a captain does. It may be the most visible part to the fans, but is far from the whole picture.


For mine. On field leadership is being able to make your team mates better by playing with you. Atm I feel like hepp is letting the team down this year with his hospital passing and not being able to get back defensively quick enough


Uhh what other option is there?

Playing okay-to-ordinary football. Making tough post game statements that don’t get backed up by the coaches. Looks like a dope… Oh but shelve all that he’s probably great behind the scenes.


You’ll get no argument from me that there are parts of his game that could absolutely improved this year. Mind you, he’s hardly the lone ranger there. Whether that affects how his team mates perceive his captaincy only they could tell you. I know if I were a team mate I would just think that he was going through a ■■■■■■ patch, as everyone does, and it wouldn’t bother me at all, as long as all the other things I expect from him are still there. But I guess we are all different


Maybe not laying into someone without having the information to justify it?

And ‘looks like a dope’ is a pretty big call from a quite tall string bean who gets around in freaking lycra. Pot, kettle, black.


people that wear lycra generally look like they swing by a hair dresser every now and then…



Is Dys your kid or something?