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The star performers

Simon Conway  June 17, 2017 6:06 PM

BTV: Friday Footy Panel - Ep 15, Part 1 Julian de Stoop, Scott Lucas and Robert Shaw.

With 12 home and away games down and ten to go, here is a look at some of the Bombers best performed players so far.

Michael Hurley

The key defender leads the league for rebounds from the defensive 50 and is on track to earn All Australian selection. Hurley is ranked in the top five at the Bombers for disposals (23.4 per game), marks, contested marks and one percenters.

With Michael Hartley taking the number one key forward most weeks, Hurley has been afforded some extra freedom, but he’s still performed some excellent shut down roles including quelling Jeremy Cameron in round 11.

Best games:

Rd 6: In a disappointing loss to Melbourne, Hurley held his head high with 23 disposals and 13 marks in defence.

Rd 7: Hurley was one of the Dons best four-quarter contributors against the Dockers picking up 24 disposals and even drifting forward to kick a goal.

Rd 11: Hurley kept Jeremy Cameron to one goal, while picking up 21 possessions himself. 

Zach Merrett

The reigning Crichton Medal winner is averaging a career high 32.3 disposals per game in 2017 and is on track to break the all-time record he set last season for the most disposals by an Essendon player during the home and away season.

Merrett's contested ball winning remains a strong suit but with some bigger bodies joining him in the midfield this season he’s getting more uncontested possessions each week.

Best games:

Rd 9: Merrett collected 37 disposals in the ten-goal win over West Coast.

Rd 12: Merrett finished with 38 possessions and seven tackles as the Bombers dismantled Port Adelaide by 70 points.

Brendon Goddard 

The 2013 Crichton Medal winner has spent more time in an inside midfield role this season. He is in the Club’s top five for clearances, but equally impressive is his ability to dispose of the ball at an efficiency rating of 83 per cent despite picking up about a third of his possessions in a contested situation.

Best games:

Rd 7: Goddard outplayed Nat Fyfe for much of the match against the Dockers and finished with 25 possessions:

Rd 10: Goddard was brilliant early picking up 13 possessions and kicking two goals in the first quarter against Richmond. He finished with 28 touches.

Joe Daniher

Daniher has picked up the best on ground award in two of the Bombers blockbusters this season, ANZAC Day and Country Game.

The 23 year old has kicked at least a goal every game and has notched eight bags of three or more in his 12 games. Daniher is ranked fourth for inside 50s at the Club this season, highlighting his ability to work further up the ground.

Best games:

Rd 5: Pulled down eight marks and kicked three goals including the sealer in the last quarter against Collingwood on ANZAC Day.

Rd 8: Booted five goals in the Country Game against Geelong including a brilliant running goal from outside 50 when the game was in the balance late in the last quarter.

Rd 9: Kicked four goals in the opening half as the Bombers raced to a big lead against West Coast. Finished with five.

Dyson Heppell

The Essendon Captain began the season in style, leading the Bombers to an emotional victory over Hawthorn in round one. He’s ranked in the top five at the Club for disposals, tackles, inside 50s, clearances, contested possessions and uncontested possessions. 

Best games:

Rd 1: Picked up 34 disposals and kicked three goals in the Bombers win over the Hawks.

Rd 3: On a tough day for the side, Heppell collected 30 disposals and laid eight tackles in a rain soaked game against Carlton.