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Dyson Heppell

Age: 30yr 10mth    Games: 214     Born: May 14, 1992     Origin: Gippsland Power
Height: 189cm     Weight: 87kg     Position: Defender, Midfield
Last Drafted: Round 1, Pick #8 2010 National Draft by Essendon Bombers
Supercoach Price: $481,000   Supercoach Profile
AFL Fantasy Price: $722,000   AFL Fantasy Profile
Contract Status: UFA at the end of 2023   AFL Player Contracts
Status: Foot injury, Expected return: Test   AFL Injury List
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Dyson Heppell Biography

Friday, 17 February 2023
Dyson Heppell steps down as Essendon captain for the 2023 season.

“As a little tacker, playing AFL footy was a dream, let alone playing for the club I supported and then further to that, becoming the captain of that club,” Heppell said.

“Over the past six years, I had enormous pride and respect for my role as captain. Leadership can be a tough caper at times, but it has given me so much joy and has played a big part in my growth as a person, player and teammate. "

Wednesday, 10 August 2022
Essendon coach Ben Rutten says he would not begrudge Dyson Heppell leaving the club at the end of the season as speculation swirls around the captain's future.

An unrestricted free agent, Heppell has reportedly been in talks with Gold Coast about a move north to finish his playing days and enter coaching ranks. The Bombers are keen for Heppell to stay on and have tabled a contract offer for 2023.

"He's been a great servant for our footy club - he doesn't owe us anything. We'll be really supportive of Dyson and all our players, whatever decisions they make," Rutten said.

Thursday, 4 August 2022
Gold Coast has expressed interest in Essendon captain Dyson Heppell as a free agent, who has been offered a one-year deal to stay at the Bombers but has not signed.
Tuesday, 22 February 2022
Dyson Heppell will captain the Essendon for the sixth straight year in 2022, supported by vice-captain Zach Merrett and deputy vice-captain Andrew McGrath.

Michael Hurley, who was in the four-man leadership group in 2022, has dropped out as he focuses on his return from a hip injury.

Wednesday, 15 December 2021
Dyson Heppell has been named Essendon captain for the 2022 season, his sixth season as skipper of the club.

"Dyson is universally respected among the team and has united the squad with his inclusive leadership skills. Over the past five years as captain, he has demonstrated his lead-by-example style and has unanimous support from the entire playing group and wider club to continue as captain in 2022," Bombers head coach Ben Rutten said of Heppell.

Thursday, 18 March 2021
Dyson Heppell reveals that he played through the second half of 2019 with a broken foot as he endeavoured to help the Bombers qualify for finals.

"What I figured, and all the advice I had been given was that I couldn't do anything worse to it - it was cactus anyway, it was broken, it sucked," Heppell said.

"The hardest thing was the lack of preparation. You'd fire up on game day, grit it through a game on a few painkillers, then rehab and recovery and not being able to train.

"It had its massive challenges but at the same time I was able to feel I was better off for doing it, knowing that I could push myself mentally, and learnt new tactics on how to prepare that side of my mind."

Wednesday, 20 January 2021
Dyson Heppell is named captain of Essendon for another season in 2021 and will be supported by Michael Hurley, Andrew McGrath and Zach Merrett.

"Dyson, Michael, Zach and Andy each possess outstanding work ethic, professionalism and commitment to the Essendon Football Club," Essendo coach Ben Rutten said.

"These players lead by example and are committed to the program's values, so they are each to be congratulated on this achievement."

Friday, 19 June 2020
Dyson Heppell suffers another major injury setback, this time sustaining a fractured ankle that will require surgery.

Just five days after returning to play his first game of 2020 following a serious foot injury, Heppell limped off the training track on Friday morning after a tackle gone wrong.

"It's an unrelated injury to his foot, but we immediately had the area scanned which identified a fracture in the left ankle," Essendon general manager of football Dan Richardson said.

"It's very disappointing for both Dyson and the club. Currently, it is difficult to put a timeframe on a return prior to him having surgery, but we remain hopeful he will return to the field this season."

Tuesday, 10 March 2020
Dyson Heppell's recovery from foot surgery is slower than hoped but he's still optimistic about playing in the first month of 2020.

"We're not putting any timeframe on when I'll be back, but hopefully that will be soon. The important part of the year is the back end and making sure I'm fit and healthy and not grinding through a year of injury," he said.

Tuesday, 4 February 2020
Zach Merrett is among a host of changes to the Bombers' 2020 leadership group, with wantaway forward Joe Daniher and Orazio Fantasia also cut from the squad.

The complete overhaul will see four fresh faces serve under captain Dyson Heppell in the five-man group this year including Devon Smith, Dylan Shiel, David Zaharakis and Michael Hurley.

"It's just a good opportunity to reflect on your leadership style. I know last year I wasn't in the group but I think my leadership grew throughout the year," Hurley said.

"I saw things slightly differently, became a bit of a conduit for some of the players who weren't in the leadership group and some of the younger players. Zach will find ways to grow. He's a smart young guy, driven, so I think his leadership will continue to grow and we'll see him as a leader in the future."

Friday, 10 January 2020
Dyson Heppell shaves off his famed dreadlocks to raise money for Wildlife Victoria and the Gippsland Emergency Relief Fund after the bushfires that have ravaged communities in recent months.

Heppell had already raised $285,000 before the trademark locks were cut off.

"I'm very proud and extremely humbled by the support I've had, not only from the Gippsland community and footy community, but Australia-wide," he said.

"My best mate was in Mallacoota at the time [of the fires] with family and I caught up with him yesterday, he took the Navy ship back and just hearing some of the stories from him was heartbreaking."

Monday, 6 January 2020
Dayne Beams is auctioning his 2010 premiership medal to raise money in aid of the Australian bushfire appeal.

He joins several players and clubs across the competition pledging their commitment to the cause.

Essendon captain Dyson Heppell will shave his trademark dreadlocks in a bid to help raise over $50,000.

Geelong great Gary Ablett is auctioning off a signed jumper by him and his father.

Brisbane's Mitch Robinson teamed up with his brother Leigh to raise over $15,000 by hosting a 24-hour online gaming stream last weekend.

Monday, 16 December 2019
Already signed for 2020, Bombers skipper Dyson Heppell signs a two-year contract extension to remain at Essendon until the end of 2022.

"I am incredibly proud to be able to wear the Essendon jumper and play for the side that I grew up supporting, but to go around again as captain of the club again is a true honour," Heppell said.

Wednesday, 23 January 2019
Dyson Heppell will again lead Essendon in 2019 as captain, with the Bombers opting for a smaller leadership group.

Zach Merrett (vice-captain), David Myers, Joe Daniher and Orazio Fantasia have also retained their places in the leadership group from last season, however key defensive pair Michael Hurley and Cale Hooker have dropped out.

"We feel all five men bring strong and diverse qualities that will ensure the growth of the playing group across a number of values and we hope this resonates on-field too," Essendon coach John Worsfold said.

"I'd also like to acknowledge both Cale Hooker and Michael Hurley who are terrific leaders and made a strong contribution to the group last season."

Thursday, 4 October 2018
Less than a year after he left Greater Western Sydney, Devon Smith wins Essendon best and fairest.

Smith 370 votes to beat skipper Dyson Heppell (360 votes) and third-placed Zach Merrett (355 votes).

"To win the Crichton Medal in his first year at the club is an enormous achievement," Essendon coach John Worsfold said.

"Devon really delivered on all aspects of the game and went over and above what we expected from him.

"His attitude before arriving at Essendon was outstanding, to ensure his body was right by executing his knee rehab and getting himself in the best position to have a really good pre-season."

Saturday, 10 February 2018
Brendon Goddard chooses not to be part of Essendon's leadership group this season despite being voted in by his peers.

Orazio Fantasia and David Myers have joined captain Dyson Heppell, Zach Merrett, Cale Hooker, Joe Daniher and Michael Hurley in the seven-man group.

"It's wonderful to see Dyson voted back in as captain and his leadership style clearly resonates with his teammates," Essendon coach John Worsfold said.

"Dyson consistently displays care for his teammates, leads by example and is extremely driven to see this group achieve the success they are striving for."

Thursday, 5 October 2017
Joe Daniher wins his first Crichton Medal as Essendon's best and fairest in a tight count.

Daniher, 23, gathered 451 votes to become the third Daniher to win the prestigious award, after uncles Neale and Terry were successful in 1981 and 1982 respectively.

Former captain and 2013 winner Brendon Goddard (441 votes) finished second, while current captain and 2014 winner Dyson Heppell (440) came third in his terrific comeback from a year-long doping suspension.

"I’m lucky to have been a be a part of it (the club) since I was 13-14 and to live out my dream, I’m really excited about where we’re going as a club and there’s some really exciting times ahead," Daniher said.

"There’s some beautiful people at this club, some beautiful people at the top of the chain and I’m looking forward to some great things happening in the future."

Friday, 2 June 2017
Dyson Heppell says he would love the opportunity to play in a State of Origin series for Victoria.

"It would be unreal, it would be enormous," Heppell said.

"It's a tough one trying to fit (a game) in, but I think that it would be something that players really get around.

"I guess clubs may differ, and it may not be seen in the future."

Tuesday, 16 May 2017
Dyson Heppell will be fit to face West Coast at Etihad Stadium this week afternoon despite requiring stitches in his left hand after an accident with his microwave.

"The other night on my birthday, I was defrosting some steaks in the microwave, went to grab the plate out of the microwave and dropped it. Got the fumbles," Heppell said.

"I went to catch it again and the plate had smashed on the bench and I put a good gouge in my hand.

"I rang the doc straight away and he got a couple of stitches to fix the hand."

Wednesday, 22 March 2017
If there's nothing in the water in Leongatha, then there's definitely something in the milk.

The small dairy town, 135 kilometres south-east of Melbourne, has the honour of producing both captains in the Essendon-Hawthorn opening-round showdown at the MCG in Dyson Heppell and Jarryd Roughead.

"If you think about it, it's a small country town of about 6000 people and the two of us being captains of quite substantial AFL clubs is very unique," Heppell said.

Wednesday, 8 February 2017
Dyson Heppell is named Essendon skipper for 2017.

Heppell will be supported by Cale Hooker and Zach Merrett, who have been named vice-captains.

Former skipper Jobe Watson retains a spot in the club's leadership group which will also include Brendon Goddard, Michael Hurley and Joe Daniher.

“It’s an absolute honour to be named the captain of this great club,” Heppell said.

"Jobe (Watson) has been a tremendous captain - he’s one of the great leaders of our game, and he’s been a wonderful mentor to me over the journey."

Essendon coach John Worsfold says Jobe Watson was prepared to reclaim the Essendon captaincy if the club wanted him to take on the role, but felt teammate Dyson Heppell was ready to hold the position.

"Jobe was very articulate in saying he would be more than happy to lead the club if that was felt the best situation for the club this year," Worsfold said.

"But he also believed that some of the succession planning that he'd been focusing on the last few years and what he felt was really important in developing leaders, was that Dyson – or any young player – was ready to take on the captaincy of the club.

"We had a good discussion about what we felt was best for the club going forward and that was the decision we came to."

Wednesday, 23 November 2016
Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti says he can't wait to run out alongside his former Gippsland Power teammate Dyson Heppell in the Bombers' season opener next year.

"I talked to him (Heppell) when he came back and said, 'Imagine what it will be like,'" McDonald-Tipungwuti said.

"It will be like back in the old days."

Thursday, 12 May 2016
Dyson Heppell will line up with Essendon in 2017 after confirming he will play with the Bombers next year.

The 23-year-old signed a five-year deal with the Bombers in 2015 that committed him to the club until 2020, but is currently serving a season-long suspension for breaching WADA's anti-doping code.

"I'm super excited to have made the decision to continue my career at Essendon, there's no doubt the players and people at the club were a major reason," Heppell said.

"I put a process in place and took my time to make sure I got to a place where I was 100 per cent committed to the football club."

Thursday, 14 April 2016
Essendon's captain-in-waiting Dyson Heppell is about to launch an unprecedented legal claim against his club for more than $1 million in compensation stemming from the WADA suspension.

The claim is multi-layered and will cover loss of earnings related to his playing contract and impact of reputational damage. It is believed Heppell will also seek redress for loss of private sponsorships.

Heppell's claim will be the biggest faced by Essendon, which is bracing for 33 other compensation requests from the banned players.

Monday, 4 April 2016
Darcy Parish is the Rising Star nominee for round 2 after his efforts in the Bombers' 13-point win against the Demons.

Parish finished with 21 disposals, 13 handball receives, eight tackles, five inside 50s and the match-sealing goal with three minutes remaining in the contest.

Parish says he has been in communication with senior Essendon players Jobe Watson and Dyson Heppell who have been banned for the season by the CAS.

"I've been able to catch up with the boys a fair bit lately, so it's been awesome to stay in contact with them," Parish said.

"They've been a great for tips and advice after games. They're only a phone call away if I've got any questions."

Thursday, 24 March 2016
Emerging Bombers Zach Merrett and Joe Daniher have been named in the club's rejigged leadership group, which will feature rotating top-up players throughout the season.

Essendon was forced to change its leadership group when five members – captain Jobe Watson, vice-captain Dyson Heppell, David Myers, Cale Hooker and Michael Hurley – were suspended for the season for anti-doping breaches.

The remaining two members of the group that was announced in December, Brendon Goddard and Mark Baguley, have taken on the respective captain and vice-captaincy duties this year.

The bans left several vacancies, with Merrett, Daniher and James Gwilt added to leadership positions, and David Zaharakis reinstalled into the leadership group after being cut at the end of last season.

"Obviously development of our youngsters is a bit of a priority this year so it makes sense that we've got a couple of younger players who are held in pretty high regard by the group and they're emerging leaders," Essendon football manager Rob Kerr.

"Given the circumstances and given the exposure to the full leadership repertoire and what's involved in the senior leadership group level will no doubt hold them in good stead and fast-track their progress."

Monday, 21 March 2016
Dyson Heppell says he feels resentment towards Essendon and the individuals involved in their supplements debacle.

"Embarrassed and ashamed, no, but I do feel angry," Heppell told AFL360.

"I feel let down and probably an overwhelming sense of injustice towards the club, a number of people who were at the club at the time and the investigation."

Heppell was with other affected players when they learned of the CAS verdict.

"It was utter disbelief, I reckon - complete shock," he said.

"I really didn't know how to react and it did take quite a while to process.

"The advice we were given right the way along is we'd done nothing wrong - and we knew that."

Heppell insists he would never intentionally take a banned substance.

"I have been called a drug cheat and at the start it did worry me, it was hard to swallow," he said.

"But I feel a lot of those people aren't really educated on the situation.

"It is a tough one, but now I don't get fazed by it too much.

"I know what we did, I know who I am, I know my morals and that goes against everything I believe in."

Tuesday, 12 January 2016
Essendon's worst fears have been realised with the Court of Arbitration for Sport finding 34 past and present players guilty of taking banned substance Thymosin Beta-4 and suspending them for the entire 2016 season.

Twelve players still on the Bombers' list and five now at other AFL clubs who took part in Essendon's 2012 supplements program have been hit with two-year bans beginning on March 31 last year.

However, most of the suspensions will come to an end on November 13 this year, taking into account provisional suspensions already served.

Bombers skipper Jobe Watson, vice-captain Dyson Heppell, reigning club champion Cale Hooker, Michael Hurley, Tom Bellchambers, Heath Hocking, Travis Colyer, Michael Hibberd, Ben Howlett, David Myers, Brent Stanton and Tayte Pears will all miss the Bombers' 2016 campaign.

The guilty decision impacts four other AFL clubs with former Essendon players on their lists, with Jake Carlisle (St Kilda), Stewart Crameri (Western Bulldogs), Jake Melksham (Melbourne), Angus Monfries and Patrick Ryder (Port Adelaide) to be sidelined for the season.

Former Essendon players Mark McVeigh and Brent Prismall are set to be suspended from their respective roles at Greater Western Sydney and the Western Bulldogs until November 13 as support staff are banned from any WADA-complaint sports under the sanctions.

McVeigh is an assistant coach at the Giants, while Prismall is a player wellbeing and welfare manager with the Bulldogs.

Essendon champion and former club coach James Hird slammed the guilty verdict and suspensions.

"I am shocked by this decision," Hird said in a statement.

"I firmly believe the players do not deserve this finding.

"They do not deserve to face a twelve-month suspension from the sport. This is a miscarriage of justice for 34 young men."

Saturday, 2 January 2016
Essendon's top draft pick Darcy Parish says stepping up to life at the elite level has been "intense", but he couldn't have wished for two better mentors than Jobe Watson and Dyson Heppell.

“There is some stars here and some great leaders as well so I’m learning heaps along the way," Parish said.

“Heppell, Jobe – they stand out pretty well.

"They’re absolute stars as well so they’ve just been teaching me about stoppages and how to train and go about my business, so it’s awesome to get their knowledge.”

Friday, 18 December 2015
Jobe Watson has rediscovered his passion and will lead Essendon for the seventh season after being elected the club's skipper for 2016.

The Bombers announced their leadership group on Friday, with the 30-year-old Brownlow medallist to take the reins again with midfielder Dyson Heppell his vice captain.

Essendon's leadership group will also include David Myers, Brendon Goddard and Cale Hooker, with Michael Hurley and Mark Baguley added to the group.

Heppell captained the Bombers during Watson's nine-week absence at the end of last season due to a shoulder injury, but Watson said he "had the passion" to hold the position again.

"I spent some time away by myself overseas and had a long think about what I wanted out of footy and my role at the football club," Watson said.

"Over there I decided that I was still passionate about playing and still had the urge to lead and was excited about leading this team and this club.

"In my mind once it was ratified that my teammates felt that I was the right person to do it, I knew I still had the passion for the role."

Wednesday, 16 September 2015
Cale Hooker's form at both ends of the ground has been rewarded by winning Essendon's best and fairest for 2015.

The All Australian defender, who started the season in the backline before switching forward, polled in 20 of 22 games for the Bombers to be named the Crichton medallist with 456 votes.

He led second-placed key defender Michael Hurley (402 votes) and last year's winner Dyson Heppell (third place with 360 votes) at Wednesday night's event.

Tuesday, 21 July 2015
Dyson Heppell says he believes he would be ready to take on the Essendon captaincy next year if skipper Jobe Watson relinquished the role.

Watson, who will miss the rest of the season after having shoulder surgery, has spoken about his disillusionment with football at stages this year as the Essendon supplements saga drags into a third season.

He has also revealed he has considered the option of stepping down as captain, a role he has held since Matthew Lloyd retired at the end of 2009.

Heppell, who this week reaches his 100th game for the club, has been stand-in captain in Watson's absence the past two weeks and feels he would be capable of filling the full-time role next year if required.

"Time will tell. We've got seven games to go this year to see how I fit into the role and I think I'd be able to do it if that was the case. But I think Jobe has plenty left in him and I'd love for him to be skipper for the next couple of years," Heppell said.

Wednesday, 11 March 2015
Dyson Heppell is confident he will be fit for Essendon's round one clash with the Sydney Swans after minor knee surgery last week.

"I'm well and truly hopeful of being on the cards for round one," Heppell said.

"The surgery all went well. There was only a bit of loose cartilage in there so it was a pretty simple procedure. But I'm walking around freely and have a bit more movement in it now so all is going well."

Wednesday, 4 March 2015
Essendon is confident midfielder Dyson Heppell will be available for round one, despite undergoing knee surgery that will sideline him for up to three weeks.

"Dyson's surgery was successful, Julian Feller removed a flap of surface cartilage from his left knee," Essendon club doctor Bruce Reid said.

"The process moving forward is to let Dyson's knee settle over the next two weeks.

"We will continue to monitor Dyson during this period and all going well he will be able to commence training in a fortnight."

Tuesday, 3 March 2015
Dyson Heppell's preparations for the 2015 season have hit a snag, with the Bombers announcing he will have minor knee surgery after the midfielder complained of knee soreness during training.

"Dyson will have an arthroscopy to remove a small piece of cartilage which had become a loose body," Bombers doctor Bruce Reid said.

"(Surgeon) Julian Feller will operate on Dyson this morning and we expect he'll be back training in two weeks' time."

Saturday, 21 February 2015
David Zaharakis has returned to Essendon's leadership group, in one of three additions to the squad for this season.

The midfielder was left out of last year's group but has been voted back in after working hard during the season to improve his leadership.

All Australian defender Cale Hooker and veteran forward Paul Chapman have been included in the Bombers' group for the first time, joining Zaharakis as the new faces.

Captain Jobe Watson, Brendon Goddard, Brent Stanton, David Myers and Dyson Heppell make up the eight-man team.

"All three players really proved themselves as leaders around the club over the past 12 months, and to be voted in by your peers is a huge show of confidence in their leadership," Watson said.

"'Hooksy', 'Chappy' and 'Zacka' will all bring a unique and versatile skill set to the leadership group; while as a collective, we will continue to drive the standards we expect of our teammates."

Thursday, 8 January 2015
Dyson Heppell signs a five-year contract extension to stay with the Bombers until the end of the 2020 season.

"I'm absolutely stoked to have re-committed to this great footy club," Heppell said.

"To play for the club I supported as a young kid makes me pretty proud to be honest, and to be able to pull on the sash for another five years is a massive honour."

Thursday, 2 October 2014
Dyson Heppell's fantastic year is rewarded with his first Crichton Medal win.

Heppell polled 520 votes to win from Cale Hooker (354), followed by Brendon Goddard with 279.

"To be named the best and fairest winner of the Essendon Football Club is a tremendous honour," Heppell said.

"I've been looking through the list of past winners and it's something I'll really cherish.

"It's such a great footy club and we're going to some really great places – I truly believe that – and it's such a fantastic list and I can't wait to see what the future brings."

Wednesday, 20 August 2014
Dyson Heppell is set to miss this week's clash with Gold Coast after fracturing his hand at training.

"Dyson sustained a fracture in his hand during training this morning but we were extremely fortunate that [surgeon] Greg Hoy was available to operate on his hand within the hour," club doctor Bruce Reid said in a club statement.

"The surgery was a success, Dyson had a plate and screws inserted into his hand and we're confident his recovery time will be minimal."

Monday, 2 June 2014
Zach Merrett is named the round 11 rising star nominee after tallying 22 disposals and kicking two classy fourth-quarter goals against Richmond.

"I was pretty nervous before the game with 80,000 people and Dreamtime," Merrett said.

"But it was good to get a few touches and to kick a few goals at the end was nice to finish off. To be Rising Star this round is just extra special."

Merrett says having teammate Dyson Heppell and brother Jackson at the club has been of great benefit to his development.

"I've leaned on Dyson Heppell a fair bit. He's helped me a lot with vision and just pointing me in the right direction," Merrett said.

"Then my brother's (Jackson) been really handy. There's just a lot of questions I ask him at home, it's really good."

Friday, 8 November 2013
Dyson Heppell hopes to be fit enough to join his teammates at a high altitude training camp in Colorado as he recovers from late-season foot surgery.

"I'm hoping to make it on the trip – I'm pencilled in at the moment," Heppell said.

"I see the surgeon on the 18th [of November]. I'll get a scan then, and if everything looks clear then I'll be right to go."

Monday, 19 August 2013
Essendon awaits confirmation on the extent of Dyson Heppell's foot injury, with fears he could have a stress fracture.

The midfielder was subbed out of Saturday's loss to North Melbourne in the first quarter and appears in doubt for this week's meeting with Carlton.

"He had an old injury there from a number of years ago and we think he has stirred that up a bit," Essendon football manager Steve Alessio said.

"He has had the scans but we are not 100 per cent sure exactly where it is at the moment, whether it is a strain or perhaps something a bit more is going on with his foot."

Sunday, 14 July 2013
Essendon coach James Hird praises the efforts of the Bombers' leadership group in skipper Jobe Watson's absence against the Bulldogs.

"Probably three of our best players were Brendon (Goddard), Brent (Stanton) and Dyson Heppell, and also Jason Winderlich," Hird said.

"They're all part of our leadership team and they really stepped up tonight, and Michael Hurley worked really hard in the forward line. I thought our leadership group did a great job in Jobe's absence."

Thursday, 9 May 2013
James Hird says the future is bright for Dyson Heppell after the young star recommits to the club for another two years.

"He's had two good years of football and he's set to be a champion of Essendon, if he's diligent about the way he trains, diligent about his preparation and an excellent competitor on the field," Hird said.

"Dyson is a natural leader. He puts a bit of pressure on himself, which is good to an extent, but the way in which he's led both the younger and senior guys is terrific and his move into the midfield this season has been outstanding."

Monday, 7 January 2013
After cutting his teeth in the Bombers' backlines, Dyson Heppell says he is ready to move into a more prominent role in the midfield.

"I've been doing a lot of work with the midfield group," Heppell said.

"It's definitely a goal of mine to become more of a midfielder. I enjoy playing across half-back as well, but it'd be great to push into the midfield. It's been a big learning curve the last couple of years.

"Playing a bit more in the midfield last year was a bit of an eye-opener, I suppose, to how hard you have to work to be able to become a dominant player in the position."

Tuesday, 18 December 2012
Brendan Goddard along with Jason Winderlich and Dyson Heppell, is elevated into the Bomber's leadership group which also includes reigning Brownlow medallist and captain Jobe Watson, Brent Stanton, Heath Hocking, Michael Hurley and David Zaharakis.
Thursday, 4 October 2012
Essendon skipper Jobe Watson takes out his third best and fairest with 551 votes, well ahead of runner-up Dyson Heppell with 310 votes.

"Jobe is an outstanding leader of our football club, and I think it's fantastic he has received recognition for his impressive season," Essendon coach James Hird said.

"Jobe's professional attitude towards his preparation meant his body was able to withstand the physical demands of the game and enabled him to perform at a consistent level.

"To win a third Crichton Medal in four years is a great effort, and it just proves the ruthless standards Jobe demands of himself."

Thursday, 10 May 2012
Young Bomber Dyson Heppell shrugs off the second-year blues and continues to perform at an elite level in 2012.

"At the start of the year everyone was talking about more pressure being on me because of the Rising Star and whatnot, but I haven't found that so far," Heppell said.

"I'm just really trying to enjoy my footy and take it exactly the way I did last year. I do put a fair bit of pressure on myself to play well but it's all fine."

Thursday, 8 September 2011
Dyson Heppell becomes the first player in Essendon's history to take out the NAB Rising Star award after tallying 44 votes from nine selectors ahead of West Coast's Luke Shuey with 37 votes.

"Leading in to the season my goal was to play in Round 1 and I guess I managed to put in a reasonable pre-season and was lucky enough to be able to play," Heppell said.

"I had no other major expectations or goals throughout the year, but it's just the way that the season has gone -- it's turned out very well."

Wednesday, 7 September 2011
Essendon coach James Hird says Dyson Heppell has the potential to be a future captain at the Bombers.

"If Dyson keeps working on his career and keeps getting better, and keeps dedicating himself to the game and doesn't get ahead of himself, which I'm sure he won't, and stays the sort of person he is now, then he has the potential to be a captain of our club," Hird said.

Thursday, 4 August 2011
Essendon coach James Hird says inside information from their club doctor was intrumental in landing young star Dyson Heppell.

"We definitely thought other clubs were going to pick him up, fortunately for us he had a really bad OP (osteitis pubis) scan ... and that put a few clubs off," Hird said.

"Fortunately, our doctor had treated him as a kid, as a 16-year-old, and was very confident he'd be fine.

"I think everyone knew he was a good player, his durability was the question. We were fortunate we could take a punt on his durability and it's turned out it was the right thing to do."

Friday, 8 July 2011
Essendon coach James Hird says the club will try to find a suitable game to rest young star Dyson Heppell.

"He's been very consistent but there's nine weeks to go in the season ... out of 22 that's still a lot of football to be played," Hird said.

"We'll find a game somewhere along the line to give him a rest ... I'd say at his age and the amount of footy he's played this year, he's going to need a break sooner or later."

Monday, 25 April 2011
Dyson Heppell makes a big impact in his first Anzac Day outing with 25 possessions, 6 marks and 5 tackles across half back.

"He was outstanding," Essendon coach James Hird said.

"He's an amazing kid. He's resilient, he works his backside off, he's not arrogant, he's not ahead of himself in any way and he's playing some terrific football."

Sunday, 27 March 2011
Dyson Heppell makes his AFL debut for Essendon at Docklands Stadium with 20 disposals (10 kicks and 10 handballs), 7 marks and 2 tackles in a 55-point win over the Western Bulldogs.
Thursday, 24 March 2011
First-round draft pick Dyson Heppell will make his debut for Essendon against the Western Bulldogs.

"I'd say that Dyson Heppell is very close to being in the team and will probably play his first game this week," Bombers coach James Hird said.

"Sometimes it takes some guys more time to play their first game, but Dyson's lucky to be playing in round one and we just hope that he plays well and enjoys the experience."

Thursday, 18 November 2010
Essendon draft pick Dyson Heppell will play for his idol James Hird next season after growing up as a mad Bombers supporter.

"I am absolutely pumped right now," he said.

"This is just amazing, I've idolised James Hird since I was a kid and now to be playing under him and him as coach is just amazing. It was like a dream, it was just fantastic."

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