ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 31: Zach Merrett of the Bombers is tackled during the round 19 AFL match between the Adelaide Crows and the Essendon Bombers at Adelaide Oval on July 31, 2016 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

Merrett names likely 2017 Essendon capatain

Stand in Essendon captain Zach Merrett expects Dyson Heppell to be the Bombers’ skipper in 2017.

Merrett, who has been chosen to lead the side out on the weekend in the absence of the injured Brendon Goddard, says Heppell is the obvious choice to be the next captain.

“It was probably a bit of an underwhelming reaction to him (Worsfold) because I was such in shock,’’ Merrett said of being told of the news.

“It’s fantastic, it was obviously a bit of a surprise and something I definitely wasn’t aiming at to achieve this year.

“It’s a very good opportunity and I’m looking forward to it.

“But I think Dyson is probably the man for next year, he has been fantastic for this footy club so far so I think he is the man for next year.

“Dyson has done his apprenticeship last year and I think he is ready to go for next year.”

Merrett has enjoyed a standout season, averaging 29 disposals, 10.3 contested possessions and 6.4 tackles in just his third season in the AFL system.