Goddard's leading role at Bomberland

Written By Unknown on Selasa, 18 Desember 2012 | 14.43

Former Saint Brendon Goddard, 2011 Rising Star winner Dyson Heppell and the injury-plagued Jason Winderlich are all named as members of Essendon's leadership group for 2013.

Mover and shaker: Essendon recruit Brendon Goddard has be chosen to join the eight-man leadership group at Windy Hill. Picture: Michael Klein Source: Herald Sun

STAR Essendon recruit Brendon Goddard has wasted no time stamping his authority on his new club and will today be elevated to the leadership group.

And in a pointer to the future, 20-year-old Dyson Heppell will also be named as one of the club's new leaders.

Goddard, Heppell and Jason Winderlich will join this year's leaders Jobe Watson, Heath Hocking, Brent Stanton, David Zaharakis and Michael Hurley in the eight-man group.

The only player to drop out of the 2012 rotation is the retired Mark McVeigh.

Goddard made the controversial switch from St Kilda to Essendon in October before heading to Colorado with a small band of fellow midfielders for a training camp last month.

Players took a leadership vote a fortnight ago and were told of the results late last week.

Heppell said he had no hesitation in nominating Goddard.

"I hold him in high regard as a leader, even though he's been here only a couple of months," Heppell said.

"He's stepped in as if he's been here for 10 years.

"Obviously he's a fantastic player and clearly a good leader as well, so he'll be great for the group."

Heppell's leadership elevation continues what has been a staggering first two years in the AFL system.

The 2010 No.8 draft pick stormed to the Rising Star award last year and had just as good a season in 2012, playing 20 games. Heppell vowed his new leadership tag would not change the way he played.

"Hirdy (coach James Hird) certainly mentioned that throughout last year, just to not add any extra pressure on myself," he said.

"I think I'll just take my footy the same way as I have been and just really enjoy it.

"(Being a leader) is about being able to have more say amongst the group, I guess, and not being afraid to voice my opinion.

"I'm pretty excited, it's great. It was a bit unexpected, but certainly a massive honour."

Heppell said that it was important for him to act as a conduit between the club's younger and older players.

"It was me only a couple of years ago, so I know what it's all about," he said.

"It's important for me to be able to assist them in any way I can because I know exactly what they're going through. That's something I'll be taking pretty seriously."

Heppell said it would be an honour to captain the club one day, if given the chance.

"It's something you dream about as a kid. It'd be unbelievable, but it's a long way down the track, I reckon, if that is ever going to happen," he said.

Jobe Watson (c)
Heath Hocking
Brent Stanton
David Zaharakis
Michael Hurley
Brendon Goddard
Dyson Heppell
Jason Winderlich

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