Essendon veteran Dyson Heppell has re-signed with the Bombers for a 12th, and seemingly final, campaign.
There had been growing murmurings that the 30-year-old may be set for a move away from The Hangar after the Bombers disaster 2022 campaign but Heppell has committed his near future to the red and black.
After a one-year deal was offered to Heppell which was labelled as underwhelming by Triple M's Damien Barrett, speculation continued to grow about where the current skipper's future lay.
"There’s an offer to him to play in 2023 as a Bomber. But it’s not from what I’ve been told to his near liking," Barrett said earlier this year.
"What we have now established is other interest from other clubs.
When negotiations between Heppell and the club stalled, reports of a possible move to the Gold Coast emerged, with a potential long-term deal involving a coaching role being mentioned.
Those reports were quickly dismissed and when speaking to 7News at Sunday night's Brownlow Medal count, Heppell confirmed he'd be staying at the Bombers.
“Yeah look, I certainly think I’ll stay at the Bombers,” he told 7 News.
“Dyson is an instrumental figure at our football club and we’re so pleased that we will see him play out the remainder of his career at our club,” Dodoro said.
“It is universally known how selfless and caring Dyson as a person is, and he has always done what he thinks is best for the team.
“Dyson’s recommitment to the Club shows just how driven he is to take this club forward in 2023, and he remains incredibly important to our football program, both on and off the field.”
“It has been one of the greatest honours of my life to captain the club I grew up supporting," Heppell said.
"The Essendon Football Club is my second home, and to see out my playing career here as a one-club player is incredibly special,” Heppell said.
“Although this year has been tough, I have real belief in our playing group and I’m committed to continuing to support the growth of this program. I look forward to working with our new coach and putting in a big pre-season together as we build towards 2023.”