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Fire in the belly

BTV: Catch up with the Captain We caught up with the Captain ahead of the season kicking off.

Essendon captain Dyson Heppell says the Bombers have a “fire in the belly” ahead of their first-round blockbuster against Adelaide on Friday night.

Heppell said he couldn’t wait to lead the team for a second season after a successful start to his captaincy in 2017.

“I’m super proud and honoured to be leading the team again this year and hopefully we can have a bit more success as well,” Heppell said.

“Pre-season (is) done and dusted now, we’re super excited.”

The skipper said making the finals last year was a “fantastic” achievement for the club and said the side’s recent JLT win over Geelong gives him confidence of further improvement this season.

“I think we take a fair bit of confidence out of that game, but also the pre-season overall we will take a lot of confidence out of (having) been a strong one across the board.

“We’ll be striving to make finals this year, but I hope we can win a couple and go as far as we possibly can.”

Heppell played well in 2017 averaging 26 disposals and leading the club for contested possessions, but the 25-year-old believes he can also improve his performances once more.

“(My) body’s feeling fresh (and) ready to go, so I think last year was quite a consistent one, but I’ll look to continue to build on my game as well,” he said.

As the countdown towards the season reaches its final stages, the midfielder praised the impact Essendon’s fans have on the playing group.

“It’s enormous, we get a massive buzz off the crowd,” Heppell said.

“It’s huge, I’d hate to be playing against us when we’re here to be honest.

“I think when we get a bit of a run on as well and kick a couple of snags in a row they certainly launch.”

The captain called on all fans to make their presence felt against the Crows in what is sure to be a terrific contest.

“I love coming out to the roar of the crowd,” he said.

“I think we’ll have a massive turn out here at Etihad Stadium in round one against the Crows, so get down there Bomber fans.”

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