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Heppell league's best young leader

Staff Writers  September 10, 2013 9:19 PM

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Dyson Heppell has been named captain of the inaugural 22under22 side at tonight’s AFL Players Association awards on Tuesday night.

22under22 is a new concept that recognises the best 22 young players in the competition based on AFLPA board nominations and then fan votes.

The classy Bombers midfielder proved his importance during the 2013 season averaging career high 25 disposals before a foot injury cut his season short.

Jake Carlisle was also rewarded for his breakout season being named at Centre Half Back in the final 22.

The 198cm defender showed his ability overhead with strong one-grab marks averaging 14 possessions, six marks and two rebound 50s per game.

Players must be aged 22 or under for the entire AFL season in order to be eligible and those selected in the final team were presented with a 22under22 New Era hat in a Perspex case.

Essendon captain Jobe Watson finished third in the voting for best captain after winning the honour in 2012.

Geelong skipper Joel Selwood (172 votes) and Gold Coast captain Gary Ablett (115) finished ahead of Watson (110) for the honour voted upon by the entire playing group from across the league.

Ablett took out the top honour winning a record fifth Leight Matthews Trophy after being voted by his peers as the AFL Players' Association most valuable player.

Ablett polled 1,479 votes to win the prestigious trophy from Joel Selwood (475) and Jarryd Roughead (378).

No Essendon players finished in the top ten of voting with Jobe Watson, Dyson Heppell and Jake Carlisle all nominees for the award.

22under22 Team

Back: B. Ellis (Rich), R. Thompson (Gold Coast), D. Talia (Adel)

Half Back: S. Sidebottom (Coll), J. Carlisle (Ess), T. McKenzie (Gold Coast)

Centre: N. Fyfe (Fre), D. Heppell (Ess), D. Hannebery (Syd)

Half Forrward: D. Martin (Rich), J. Darling (West Coast), C. Wingard (Port)

Forward: L. Bruest (Haw), J. Cameron (GWS), S. Motlop (Geel)

Followers: T. Nicholls (Gold Coast), J. O’Meara (GC), T. Liberatore (WB)

Int: A. Mullett (NM), D. Prestia (GC), J. Ziebell (NM), M. Walters (Fre).