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Dons fresh and ready to fire

On the Amart Couch | Heppell & Woosha Gerard Healy is joined by Dyson Heppell and John Worsfold in the first edition of On the Amart Couch. Courtesy of Fox Footy.

Essendon captain Dyson Heppell says he’s never seen a more determined squad ahead of the pre-season than the current crop of Bombers.

While official training doesn’t commence until November 12 (for first-to-fourth-year players) and November 19 (for the remainder of the squad), many players have been putting in the extra hard yards in the off-season to ensure they can hit the ground running in 2019.

Boosted by a significantly healthier list than in recent years, Heppell has been impressed by the eagerness his teammates have shown since the end of the home and away season.

“It’s been awesome actually, it’s something I haven’t seen throughout my time at the footy club,” Heppell said at the launch of the club’s new partnership with Amart Furniture.

“A lot of guys have been rolling through and I think the key part is having everyone in healthy shape.

“We’ve got bugger all injuries at the moment, so we should have everyone on the park come day one of the pre-season.”

After refreshing his body and mind with trips away to Japan and Sri Lanka before his current escape to Fiji, Heppell says he is feeling great ahead of his return to full training.

“(My body has) come good. I’ve had a good break to get everything right and I’m starting to really ramp up the training loads now leading into the last few weeks before we come back.

“I’m really mentally fresh and ready to rumble.”

Heppell was joined by exciting recruit Dylan Shiel at the Amart launch, and the skipper said he can’t wait to have the star midfielder by his side next year.

“He’s a great character. Obviously the decision that he has made shows the values that he holds,” he said.

“I think he’s going to add an enormous amount to the group, not only with his playing ability, but with his leadership as well, so I’m really excited to have him on board.”