I think Zac Merrett deserves to be in the leadership group this year. If there were justified reasons for leaving him out last year he has had the opportunity to learn from that. He is experienced, a meticulous trainer and arguably our best player.
The conundrum lies with the example of Joe Daniher and his reprehensible conduct in putting his hand up to be a leader while not committed to a future at the club.
If Merrett wants to leave after eight years of excellent service, and possibly as many concussions, I would be sorry to see him go, but I would say fair enough.
However if he is committed to leaving
or undecided about leaving
he should not accept a formal leadership role to avoid comparison to odious Joe.
If he is prepared to go into the leadership group I am going to take that as a clear statement of a future commitment to the club.
I think he is a person of integrity and my hope is that he decides to stay.
Would add though, there are probably some people who could still offer a high level of leadership, even if not committed beyond this year (maybe that is merrett, maybe not) and then there are others like daniher who couldn’t show leadership if his life depended on it.
so comparing the 2 is pointless in that regard.
The thing for me is that the standards that Hepp and Zerret hold themselves to is used to justify having them as captain and vice cap or part of a leadership group, but it’s pointed out often that this has not translated to others in the team. Instead of it being an inspiring example it looks more like other blokes are looking at them going good on ya guys, and not feeling like they want or need to work to the same standards. That is a prime example that the people with the special hats (leadership titles) are not right for the role. Hepp has other attributes that seem to ingratiate him with the rest of the team, but they still don’t apply the same standard to training. So there’s the conundrum of Zerret being a great asset in terms of ability, but not seeming to cut it as a titled leader which may become part of any reasoning that he comes up with in the event that he does go. So do you give him a role he’s not right for to keep the talented bloke or do you make sure the captain and vice cap are driving standards in a tangible way, which then sees the bloke leave for being over looked.
They know what good leadership within the Essendon bubble is like, as Hepp simply follows on from watson. A good, nice essendon boy who loves the club and gets along with enough people to give them all a warm fuzzy feeling of familiarity.
Hows that worked out ?
see i’m the opposite, I think the coach should be picking the best person he believes will deliver his message, esp out on the field during game day.
If rutten is going to be more hard edged and ruthless, no point having a soft and cuddly leader on the ground essentially undermining his message.
Whether hepp can change course with rutten if he goes down that path who knows, guess time will tell.
Hang on, wasn’t Zerrett captain of the win against Gold Coast in 2016? I thought the kids and misfits battled very hard that day. One of only three wins even if against fairly meagre opposition.
That was a different list and does it make him a good captain? That’s down the dynamics of the current list is my guess but he was certainly able to stand up to the role at age 21 or 22 for a day speaks volumes to me. He’s always been a damn serious footballer, nothing flaky about him.