Callum O’Connor April 13, 2018 11:33 AM
Heath Hocking started the season as VFL Captain in impressive fashion after a commanding victory against Frankston last weekend.
Hocking was appointed Essendon’s VFL captain for 2018 after playing 126 matches across 12 seasons for the Bombers at AFL level. And in his own words, there has been no hesitancy in stepping up to the extra demands of being leader.
“Last weekend we played a practice match and I probably wasn’t playing as well as I thought I should be…I remember sitting there going, ‘I should now probably now forget about what I’ve been doing, I should get up and talk to the players and try to get them up,’” Hocking said.
“So I think it’s just a shift in your mindset about what you’ve actually got to do on the day of the game and at training throughout the week.
“It’s definitely challenging but I’m enjoying it and looking forward to the future of it.”
Things couldn’t have gone much sweeter for Hocking and his Bombers last Saturday as Essendon stormed home to a 102-point win over the Dolphins on the back of a 12-goal-to-none second half.
The Bombers had winners across the board in Hocking’s first match leading the side, but he singled out forwards Jackson Merrett and Danny Younan for their five-goal hauls.
“He’s had a really good game and I hope in the near future that he can squeeze in in AFL and get a spot in that forward line,” Hocking said of Merrett.
“He’s quite damaging as quick half-forward, he can get up the ground, he’s got a good engine. If you needed him to he could play half-back, he’s done a bit of that in the past and he can play wing.
Hocking described his fellow leadership group member Younan as “fantastic”.
“He’s one of those really crafty small forwards. He works super hard, he’s in our leadership group and I like what he brings.
“I think he had eight tackles on the weekend, just being a forward, so he’s quite damaging.”
Essendon will play Williamstown at Williamstown Football Ground this Saturday from 2pm and has selected an impressive squad.
The Bombers will be looking to continue their terrific start to the year after thrashing Frankston by 102-points to open their season last week.
The final team will be released ahead of the match.
B – Ridley, Hartley, Zerk-Thatcher
HB – McNiece, Ambrose, Mutch
C – Clarke, Hocking, Redman
HF – Begley, Laverde, J. Merrett
F – Boyse, McKernan, Green
R – Leuenberger, Langford, Parish
I/C – Berry, Darby, Hind, Younan, Mynott, Lavender, Houlahan, Collins, Guelfi, Heppell, Draper, Dixon
23P - Sheahan
More By Callum O’Connor