MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 6: Dyson Heppell of the Bombers comes onto the field after half time during the 2015 AFL round 23 match between the Collingwood Magpies and the Essendon Bombers at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne, Australia on September 6, 2015. (Photo by Adam Trafford/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Essendon have announced Dyson Heppell as their captain for 2017.

Heppell is joined by some old and new leaders in the leadership group. Cale Hooker and Zach Merrett are dual vice-captains, while Jobe Watson, Brendon Goddard, Michael Hurley and Joe Daniher round out the leadership team.

Heppell said he was honoured to lead the Bombers.

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

“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.”

Heppell has shown his leadership qualities throughout the Essendon supplements saga, making regular media appearances in an incredibly difficult situation.

He also led with his performances on the field when many other players suffered. Lifting his average disposals from 21.5 in 2012, to 25.7 in 2015. In 2014 he was named All-Australian and won the Essendon Best and Fairest.

Senior coach John Worsfold outlined the process the club went through to select it’s leaders.

“The selection process highlighted the respect Dyson’s teammates have for him and the way he lives and breathes our values,” Worsfold said.

“Dyson has an incredible ability to extract the best out of people, both on and off the field. He backs up his words with actions, and does this on a consistent basis, which is a true mark of a leader.

“The seven members of the Leadership Group are super professionals who are passionate about helping Essendon become the most inclusive, successful and respected sporting organisation in the country. They will also maintain a strong level of communication to the Club’s leaders and coaching group on all aspects of our vision.