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Heppell's rise continues

Staff Writers  April 7, 2013 8:35 PM

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He then spent the pre-season practicing his craft, getting better in the midfield looking to be a quality midfielder and at the moment he is going in the right direction.
Essendon youngster Dyson Heppell has received high praise from his captain and coach following an outstanding performance against Melbourne on Saturday night.

Heppell was a standout in the 148 point win over the Demons collecting 36 possessions and booting 2 goals.

Essendon coach James Hird said Heppell had worked hard on developing himself into an elite midfielder over the last 12 months.

“We spent the last five or six games of last year putting Dyson in the midfield and he did the job against Dangerfield in his first really big test in the middle of the ground late last year,” Hird said.

“He then spent the pre-season practicing his craft, getting better in the midfield looking to be a quality midfielder and at the moment he is going in the right direction.”

“As a midfielder his last two weeks have been very good.”

Captain Jobe Watson said it was exciting to see Heppel developing at the rate he is.

“It is amazing to think he is only two and a half years into his career,” Watson said on MMM radio.

“He is going to be a very good player for a very long time and we are thrilled he is at the Essendon Football Club.”

The 2011 Rising star winner said he used the pre-season to learn from the elite midfielders within the Bombers line up.

“I am really enjoying my time in the midfield and I did a lot of work with Simon Goodwin in the pre-season,” Heppell said post game.

“Learning off the likes of Jobe Watson, Brendon Goddard, Brent Staton and David Zaharakis it is fantastic and I am really enjoying my footy.”

Stanton said it was remarkable to see how Heppell had developed his game since making his debut in 2011.

“You forget it is only his third season and the way he has developed over those three years is unbelievable,” Stanton said on Channel Seven.

“He started at half back and on a wing but now he is going inside and his contest footy and pressure around the ball is up there with some of the elite in the competition.”

Stanton said the development of Heppell along with recruitment of Brendon Goddard in the off-season had added important depth to the club’s midfield.

“It has been a focus for a couple of years now with getting Brendon into the club and Heppell, Howlett and these sort of guys,” Stanton said.

“We are developing a really good depth through the midfield and as you saw last night they can go forward and kick a few goals as well.”