The ultimate clubman, Dyson Heppell will remain in the red and black for the remainder of his career after agreeing to play on for at least one more year.

Named successor to Jobe Watson as captain in 2017, Heppell has been the inspirational leader of the football club and is universally respected for his commitment and care to the Essendon Football Club.

The 30-year-old played his milestone 200 AFL game earlier this season against Sydney at the SCG. Of his 213 games to date, 107 were as captain. 

Hailing from Leongatha, the Bombers drafted Heppell from the Gippsland Power with pick No.8 in the 2010 National Draft. He went on to make his debut in round one of the following year. 

In 2011, Heppell became the first Essendon player to win the NAB Rising Star award, after polling 44 of the possible 45 votes. 


His career achievements include All-Australian honours in 2014 and Club Best and Fairest Crichton Medallist in the same year, selection in the 2015 International Rules Series, Crichton Medal runner-up (2012, 2018), Crichton Medal third place (2013, 2015, 2017), Adam Ramanauskas Most Courageous Player (2021), Bruce Heymanson Best Clubman (2013, 2014, 2015, 2017), John Kilby Staff and Trainers' Award (2018, 2019).

Heppell said he was thrilled to be seeing out his AFL career as a one-club player. 

“It has been one of the greatest honours of my life to captain the club I grew up supporting. The Essendon Football Club is my second home, and to see out my playing career here as a one-club player is incredibly special,” Heppell said.

“Although this year has been tough, I have real belief in our playing group and I’m committed to continuing to support the growth of this program. I look forward to working with our new coach and putting in a big pre-season together as we build towards 2023.”

General Manager of list and recruiting Adrian Dodoro said Heppell’s re-signing was important.   

“Dyson is an instrumental figure at our football club and we’re so pleased that we will see him play out the remainder of his career at our club,” Dodoro said.

“It is universally known how selfless and caring Dyson as a person is, and he has always done what he thinks is best for the team. 

“Dyson’s recommitment to the Club shows just how driven he is to take this club forward in 2023, and he remains incredibly important to our football program, both on and off the field.”