Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
Shayne Hope

Scott says Bombers captaincy call lies with Heppell

Dyson Heppell will be Essendon's AFL captain in 2023, if he wants to continue in the role. (Darren England/AAP PHOTOS) (AAP)

New Essendon coach Brad Scott says there is a "strong likelihood" Dyson Heppell will retain the AFL club's captaincy this season.

Heppell has previously indicated he is "not tied" to the role he has held for six years and is keen to mentor the Bombers' next skipper while he is still playing.

The 30-year-old also weighed up options to leave Essendon at the end of last season before signing a one-year deal for 2023.

But he has impressed Scott with his leadership over a summer of change at Tullamarine.

The Bombers plan to make a call on the captaincy before a match simulation session with Gold Coast on February 23.

"I couldn't be more impressed with Dyson Heppell," Scott said on Friday.

"I've admired him from afar for a long period of time and he's led this club through quite a challenging period in his career.

"He's been super impressive and if he wants to continue as captain, I suspect that's what will happen."

Scott's former club North Melbourne appointed new captains last month, believing it was the right time for change at the start of a new era under Alastair Clarkson.

But Scott, who took over at Essendon last September following Ben Rutten's sacking, doesn't believe a new skipper is necessary at the Bombers.

He said players will have a big say in selecting their leaders and is open to the possibility of co-captains being appointed.

"There are a heap of opportunities for us in terms of setting the scene for what we want to look like going forward," Scott said.

"Potentially there's an opportunity to refresh a few things but in terms of our leadership, I've come in with a really open mind.

"We've been so impressed with our senior players and the way they've led this pre-season, and we've got a really good crop of young guys coming through."

Essendon have close to a fully fit list and will take "upwards of 35 players" to Queensland for the hit-out with the Suns.

James Stewart (foot), Zach Reid (back), Matt Guelfi (calf), Nik Cox (back) and No.5 draft pick Elijah Tsatas (knee) have all been ruled out.

But match-winner Jake Stringer is "pain free" and available after overcoming groin issues that plagued him last season.

Best-and-fairest winner Peter Wright had a calf injury but is also likely to play against Gold Coast.

Stringer and Wright both trained with the main group on Friday in Bendigo, where the Bombers have been on a community camp this week.

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.