MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 14: Zach Merrett of the Bombers directs his teammates during the round 21 AFL match between the Essendon Bombers and the Gold Coast Suns at Etihad Stadium on August 14, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

Essendon’s Zach Merrett will not let his recent leadership omission dictate his career.

Merrett, 24, has been a vice-captain at the Bombers since 2017, but was a shock omission from the five-man leadership group this week.

Merrett believes the news of his omission will still hold him in good stead moving forward.

“I think this was a really good process for us all to receive feedback and learn and grow,” Merrett told essendonfc.com.au. 

“I think ultimately this will hold me in good stead and aligns well with my vision to keep improving every day and getting the most out of myself and my teammates.

“I’m really grateful for the exposure I’ve had in the group previously and for me, I will continue to lead regardless of the title this season and beyond and support the new leadership group.

“You look at how Michael Hurley has approached his last 12 months and I take a lot of learnings from that. I’ll continue to hit the track and support Dyson and my teammates as we continue to prepare for the season.”

Dylan Shiel, Devon Smith, David Zaharakis and Michael Hurley will be the new leadership support cast to captain Dyson Heppell in 2020 after Orazio Fantasia and Joe Daniher were also omitted from their leadership duties after seeking trades elsewhere in the off-season.