WHO can say how many times it’s happened before, but it must certainly be a rarity for two brothers to be named captains of the seniors and reserves teams at the one AFL club in the same year.
But that’s the case fcr the Heppell brothers from Leongatha, Aaron and Dyson, who have been appointed as the team’s key on-field leaders in 2019.
The two-time and reigning R.A Freeman Medallist at the Bombers, Aaron, is delighted with the honour.
“I was rapt of course and very honoured to be appointed skipper but we’ve been talking about it for a while so it didn’t come as a complete surprise,” Heppell said.
“I have only ever captained one side throughout my junior career and that was under 13s at Leongatha, but my main priority is to build relationships within the squad.
“We’re looking really strong as a squad, obviously dictated to by what happens at AFL level but they’re looking very good too so we can expect some trickle-down effect.
“I have ‘Buddha’ Hocking as vice captain, last year’s VFL captain, and a very experienced AFL and VFL player, and Danny Younan has played a lot of VFL, so I have great experience alongside me.”
Heppell will also draw on the guidance of older brother and Essendon AFL captain Dyson Heppell to help with his development as a leader.
“Dyson has been a great support over the years. I have lived with him for the past three years, so I was able to learn a lot from him away from the football club – things like diet and relationships,” he said.
“He will provide great support for me over the next 12 months.”
The 24-year-old was appointed as captain following a recent training camp and player vote in Mount Evelyn last week.
His brother, Dyson, was among the first to congratulate his sibling.
“He’s the right man for the job. He’s extremely dedicated and a good communicator,” said Dyson while visiting the local area at the weekend.
Heppell hopes the club can go a couple
of steps better than their preliminary final loss last year but he’s concentrating on
the process.
Essendon will kick-start its 2019 VFL campaign on Sunday, April 7 against Frankston at Skybus Stadium.