HOW many times would it have happened in history that two players from the one country football club have captained AFL teams at the same time?

We’re saying it’s never happened.

Not until now that is because today, Essendon has named Leongatha’s Dyson Heppell to captain the Bombers in 2017.

The news follows the recent announcement that Jarryd Roughead, miraculously recovered from cancer, is leading the Hawks in 2017.

And guess what?

The two former Parrots will line-up opposite each other, to shake hands and toss the coin in the centre of the MCG at the start of the 2017 season when Essendon meets Hawthorn in Round One, on Saturday, March 25, 2017 at 7.20pm.

It should be a surreal moment for the two Leongatha boys, their families and the army of local supporters who are certain to troop down there to witness what is almost certainly a history making event.

President of the Leongatha Football Netball Club Mal Mackie is delighted, ecstatic.

“It’s great. A real honour for them and also for us as a football-netball club,” said Mal this week.

“It’s sensational. The two guys went right through our junior programs and they’re always ready to help where they can.

“I think it’s quite amazing really.”

Here’s what Essendon had to say:

“Essendon Football Club is pleased to announce, Dyson Heppell, will Captain the Bombers for season 2017.

“Dyson was handed the honour of leading the team by long standing and highly respected Captain, Jobe Watson, at this morning’s team meeting.

“The 24 year-old headlines a new seven man Leadership Group, which will be charged with upholding and driving the team’s values throughout the upcoming campaign.

“Dyson will be supported by fellow Crichton Medallists, Cale Hooker and Zach Merrett, who have been named as Vice-Captains.

“The group features a great balance of experience and youth with Jobe Watson, Brendon Goddard, Michael Hurley and Joe Daniher also selected to represent the playing group.”

Understandably, Dyson is delighted, and proud.

“It’s an absolute honour to be named the Captain of this great Club,” Heppell told the Essendon website.

“Jobe has been a tremendous Captain of our Club, he’s one of the great leaders of our game, and he’s been a wonderful mentor to me over the journey.

“While I inherit this enormous responsibility from Jobe, and acknowledge the great job BJ did as stand in skipper last year, it’s important for me to be an authentic leader of the Club and to develop my own leadership style.

“We have a fantastic Leadership Group which varies in age and experience, but I know we are all committed to driving this Club to where we want to get to.”