Dyson’s a star on the rise

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Dyson’s a star on the rise

Evans above: Dyson Heppell with the Ron Evans medal, awarded to the NAB rising star.

IT SEEMS that everything Dyson Heppell touches turns to gold.
The former Leongatha junior footballer has won award after award since running onto a football field some eight years ago.
And last week that form continued, with Heppell becoming the first player in Essendon’s history to take out the NAB Rising Star award.
The laid-back teen was favourite all year for the title, which recognises the talents of young players in the competition.
Nine selectors voted for the award on a five, four, three, two, one basis and Heppell received 44 votes.
He was a clear winner ahead of West Coast’s Luke Shuey (37 votes) and Gold Coast’s Zac Smith (21 votes).
The 19-year-old was nominated in Round 1 after a scintillating 20 disposal performance in the Bombers’ big win over the Western Bulldogs.
His form has continued in the same vein since, averaging 21.5 possessions for the season, one in which he played every game.
Such consistency is rarely seen in a player confronting his first season in the big leagues, and the rising star winner was still a little shocked when the medal was popped around his neck.
“It has been a huge year, but I’ve enjoyed every second of it,” Heppell said.
“Leading in to the season my goal was to play in Round 1 and I guess I managed to put in a reasonable pre-season and was lucky enough to be able to play.”
Heppell was accompanied to the award ceremony by his parents Ann-Maree and Paul, girlfriend Kate Turner, Leongatha  and former junior coach Andrew Westaway.
“It felt like we were at the Brownlow,” mother Ann-Maree said.
“There was so much media about but he handled it so well, he got up there, accepted the award and spoke beautifully.”
Andrew Westaway said Heppell was always ahead of his teammates in terms of ability and dedication.
“He was always driven to be a sportsman, even from an early age. He was the ideal player to coach, which is why he went on to captain so many teams.”
Power’s first
As well as nabbing a first for Essendon, Heppell is also the first Gippsland Power player to have won the prestigious rising star award.
Gippsland Power Football Club region manager Peter Francis said the former skipper’s achievement was phenomenal.
“The award’s been around since 1993, and it’s an Australia-wide, so to win one is a huge achievement,” he said.
“We’ve had some terrific players come through our ranks – the likes of (Leongatha’s Jarryd) Roughead, Pendlebury, Thomas, Ellis, the list goes on.”
And despite the esteemed company Heppell has surpassed, the news was not such a shock to the Gippsland Power staff.
“The way he prepares himself for each and every game is flawless,” Mr Francis said.
“He’s an absolute gentleman, both on and off the field; a truly outstanding individual. He’s a credit to both himself and his parents.”
Heppell was invited back to the Gippsland Power ranks recently to speak with the Under 16 team who were having their annual training camp, instructing the players on what it takes to make it to the TAC cup and beyond.

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Posted by on Sep 13 2011. Filed under Featured, News, Sport. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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