Bombers skipper’s huge show of faith ahead of crucial season for club on and off the field

Dyson Heppell will turn his back on free agency and sign a two-year contract extension with Essendon, reports the Herald Sun.

The deal, which will reportedly be formalised in the new year, will lock the Bombers skipper away until the end of 2022.

While it would be unusual for a club captain to explore his free agency options, Heppell has been particularly loyal to Essendon during a time of great tumult.

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In 2015 the midfielder put pen to paper on a five-year deal, despite being embroiled in the supplements saga that saw him sidelined for the entire 2016 season.

Essendon hasn’t won a final since 2004 and Heppell will be hoping to arrest that poor record next season.

Dyson Heppell has been training well. Photo: Martin Keep/Getty Images

Dyson Heppell has been training well. Photo: Martin Keep/Getty ImagesSource: Getty Images

The 27-year-old played through significant duress post-bye this year, with a foot issue limiting his ability to train.

In what is welcomed news for Essendon fans, Heppell is on track for a Round One berth against Fremantle next year.

While the search for an elusive finals win will be front of mind for the club, the Bombers also must navigate the coaching handover between John Worsfold and Ben Rutten.

The succession plan, which was unveiled at the end of the season, will ensure Rutten takes over the senior coaching reigns at the end of 2020.

Heppell, meanwhile, will again qualify for free agency at the end of 2022.

The top-10 draft pick has played 169 games for Essendon since being selected in the 2010 draft.


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