Most improved player this year

Just noticed the story on the EFC site throwing up our most improved players this year. For a more positive topic of conversation, who do people think are the 3 most improved players for us this year? (try to resist the urge to bring up those you think have gone backwards - start another thread).


The list put up in the article doesn't necessarily list those that have made career progression for mine. Zaka, Hurls, Hibbo, Hepps and Davie Myers have all played some great footy and maybe returned to a level they've been before or shown more consistency, but in terms of career improvement and stepping up to a new level - I wouldn't say so.


Zaka has shown us his current form before (B&F year)


Hurls has been epic at times in the past both forward and back. Yes he's having a better year than last year, but I don't think anyone is surprised at his output.


Hibbo is at a similar level to last year (which was his breakout year), same with Hepps (who is really consistent now) and David Myers.


My top 3 improved would be


1. Cale Hooker

2. Joe Daniher

3. Zach Merrett


I think the big improvers for me have been Joe Daniher and Cale.


Joey has really impressed and has progressed with his strength in marking contests and mobility around the ground. They are both traits he already had, but how quickly he has come along has been a surprise for me - he is only 19!


Cale has really continued his strong improvement for mine- he showed similar form early in his career but after injuries many, even in here questioned his spot. He is the leader down back now and appropriately - is getting the plaudits.


I will be honest and say after this I struggle to find any that I think have taken big leaps after this so Zach gets my vote, he is growing in stature as the season goes on.


Our major improvement this year is obviously the backline group as a whole working together - not through massive improvements from individuals, but as a group they actually inspire some confidence.



Improving class of Dons


Every season, there are players who take a step forward in their development and become the core group of players, performing each week as the club looks to takes a look at the Bomber bolters for 2014 as we cast an eye over the key improvers this season.


Cale Hooker

26 years old

100 career games

12 games: 11.6 kicks, 9.3 handballs, 20.9 disposals & 8.9 marks.


It‘s been well-documented how great Hooker‘s season has been to date. Named in both The Age and Herald Sun‘s mid-season All Australian side, the 26-year-old key defender‘s season really has been quite remarkable.

Aside from averaging almost 21 disposals a game for a key defender, it‘s his marking that has been his key asset this season. Taking almost 9 marks a game, his ability to shut down his opponent and repel attacks has been outstanding.


David Myers

24 years old

73 career games

8 games: 11.1 kicks, 9.2 handballs, 20.4 disposals & 3.1 tackles


Myers has had his fair share of injury setbacks, and after a consistent season on the park last year, he has taken yet another step forward in 2014. Elevated into the Essendon leadership group, Myers has become an important cog in the Bomber halfback line and midfield group.

His leadership and decision making skills have been first class, and has improved his ferociousness and defensive side of his game this year, averaging over three tackles a game.


David Zaharakis

24 years old

99 career games

12 games: 15 kicks, 10.1 handballs, 25.1 disposals & 0.8 goals.


After a slow start to the season the half forward turned midfielder has really shown his hand in recent weeks and will become even more vital as the season continues while the team is without Jobe Watson.

Accumulating 65 disposals and six goals in the last two weeks alone demonstrates that Zaharakis has found some consistency in his game, that has otherwise been lacking early in his career.


Dyson Heppell

22 years old

74 career games

12 games: 14.2 kicks, 13.9 handballs, 28.1 disposals & 6.2 marks


The youngest of the bunch, and arguably the one with the highest ceiling- Heppell has grown into one of the league‘s most damaging midfielders this season. Yet again improving on his 2013 season, he averages over 28 disposals a game this year.


Heppell has the rare ability of reading the play remarkably well and barely misses a target by both hand and foot. The 22-year-old‘s leadership has grown through the early stages of 2014, and will no doubt continue to demonstrate his class through the absence of Watson.


Michael Hibberd   

24 years old 

56 career games

12 games: 15.8 kicks, 9.3 handballs, 25.1 disposals & 6.5 marks


Hibberd has dominated across halfback this season, again displaying his damaging left boot exiting the Bomber defence and into attack. Improving to over 25 disposals a game in 2014, he has become the go-to-man by foot, amassing almost 16 kicks a game.


Michael Hurley      

24 years old 

89 career games

10 games: 11.6 kicks, 7.5 handballs, 19.1 disposals & 6.6 marks.


The move down back has done wonders to Hurley‘s game this season, slotting well into the club‘s defensive six. Combining with Hooker, Hurley gathers over 19 disposals and well over six marks a game this season.

His relentless nature and want for the ball sees him well settled in the Bomber defence and looks set for many years to come.

In the style of the Nobby...


3. Daniher

2. Gleeson

1. Zerrett


Here's the thing, I don't think any of our experienced players are in career best form that would warrant a most improved.  Heppell and Hooker would be closest, but both were at pretty high levels in my mind previously.


So for me, its a battle of the kids.  And Daniher has been the biggest improver, as he's pretty high up in some stat areas.  Gleeson was magnificent early, and I think he is a gem that performed well above expectations.  And Zerret has been good late.

How can Zach Merrett be most improved as a first year player?

I’d go Hooker then Baguley.

Baguley. Crucial to the team now. Don’t think we could say that last year.

How can Zach Merrett be most improved as a first year player?
I'd go Hooker then Baguley.


Are first year players not included?  My apologies.


I think he's stepped up quite nicely over the course of the year.

Agree with the calls on Joe and Hooker. I'd also add Jackson Merrett who was very good early in the year before getting injured.

Def Joe.

J Merret deserves a nomination, ditto heppel who has found another level IMO.


i also think ryder has really improved his constancy this year.


i'd probably go


3. Gleeson

2. Joe

1. Hepp

Matthew Leckie. Has really stood up with Kruze missing the WC through injury.

Matthew Leckie. Has really stood up with Kruze missing the WC through injury.


He doesn't play for Essendon.


Matthew Leckie. Has really stood up with Kruze missing the WC through injury.


He doesn't play for Essendon.



Oops sorry wrong forum.



Matthew Leckie. Has really stood up with Kruze missing the WC through injury.


He doesn't play for Essendon.



Oops sorry wrong forum.






Matthew Leckie. Has really stood up with Kruze missing the WC through injury.


He doesn't play for Essendon.



Oops sorry wrong forum.


Bomberman not really a truthful name?

He was JOKING people.

Baguley. Crucial to the team now. Don't think we could say that last year.

Really? I reckon he was better last year.
Joe owns this award.

He was JOKING people.


really? r u ok IT?

Dyson Heppell is a out and out superstar of the comp..he is only 22!!! Love it


Heppell has gone to another level and consistently delivered. Gleeson and Jackson Merrett have shown flashes early, but haven't put it together for various reasons. But I would say Joe has improved the most.


2. Daylight

1. Heppell


Hooker and Bags have gone up a notch, but they were damn good at their job last year as well.


If Zaka continues his form for another few weeks i will add him in too.