Essendon has today finalised a five-man leadership group for 2019, with Dyson Heppell set to lead the Bombers as captain for a third consecutive year. 

The 26-year-old will be supported by Zach Merrett (vice-captain), David Myers, Joe Daniher and Orazio Fantasia in the club’s new-look leadership group. 

Following a robust consultation process in recent weeks, it was determined a streamlined leadership group was the best approach for the upcoming season.

Senior coach John Worsfold said the five-man leadership group would continue to drive high standards across the Bombers’ playing group.

“Feedback from our playing group was overwhelmingly in support of Dyson being named as captain for a third straight year. They feel strongly aligned with his leadership qualities and values and this was consistent throughout this process,” Worsfold said. 

“We feel all five men bring strong and diverse qualities that will ensure the growth of the playing group across a number of values and we hope this resonates on-field too.

Essendon's 2019 leadership group (left to right): Zach Merrett (vice-captain), Joe Daniher, Dyson Heppell (captain), David Myers and Orazio Fantasia. (Photo: Essendon Football Club)

“I’d also like to acknowledge both Cale Hooker and Michael Hurley who are terrific leaders and made a strong contribution to the group last season. With their experience and knowledge of our game, they will continue to support the leadership group and the development of our younger players. 

“The structure of the leadership group has been streamlined this season, however we have a strong focus on the entire group more broadly to own their personal leadership capacities and compete - week in and week out.” 

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