Merrett & the Leadership Conundrum

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.


Agree with that.

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.

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See, I don’t think this automatically qualifies someone to be a good leader. And I love Zac, but I don’t think he’s a good leader.


Pretty sure if he has the vote of confidence from his team mates he will be made a captain or vice.

That’s how it works eh. A captain can’t just be appointed from the coaches or club if the players won’t actually follow them.

Pretty sure Hepp has the confidence of his peers.

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.

There inlies part of the problem.

What would his peers know about good leadership ?

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.

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What do you base that view off?

I don’t have a view one way or the other, because how TF would I know?

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I’ve yet to see anything he’s done that would prove the assertion. I don’t actually know, which is why it’s just my current opinion - quite happy to be proven wrong.

Why do you believe this is the direction Truck is heading in? Just becuase Nino posted 1,000 times doesn’t mean that is his direction. The new sign he put up sounds pretty cuddly.

It’s a fair point. Supporters in the outer can’t really categorically know one way or the other.

However two things that you can get some gauge on is body language and communication skills.

On these two aspects my impression is that he’s a little withdrawn and insular and not very inspiring or motivating when he speaks.

Happy to acknowledge this impression could be way off the mark.

I don’t think that’s the case with Heppell at all.

Plays fearlessly that boy.

My only query on his leadership is that it might need a back seat if his footy needs to be the focus coming back from long term injury. I know it would effect me.

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Just make McGrath captain and end this whole debate.


I can only judge by what I see. He trains hard and is one of our best performers.

What I don’t see is if he has the respect of team mates and coaches. If he does then it’s a no brainer.

What I don’t want is him to be added as has been mentioned, just to help keep him at the club. If that’s a driving force then don’t bother.


Don’t break him yet!

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He was born ready to be an AFL captain. I think it’d make him an even better player TBH.


For a lot of reasons.


Never go full Melbourne

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I am surprised that is the only query. What about the fact that under his leadership of 4 years we have gone very poorly.

  • There has never been a game plan implemented properly by the players under his leadership.
  • The players have thrown in the towel almost every season at some stage under his leadership.
  • Training watchers including myself have been very disappointed by the level of training standards at the club.
  • He has probably only played a few decent games in the past 4 years and has been injured most of the time.
  • An exodus of a lot of players we thought would be lifelong Bombers under his leadership indicates a not so happy playing group.

I just cannot see how he is just assumed as the only possible leader at Essendon.

The team has taken a significant step back under his leadership despite having a number one draft pick come into the club and four a grade players from other teams.


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.


hence emphasis on “if” :stuck_out_tongue:

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