Star recruit Brendon Goddard has been elevated to Essendon's leadership group for the 2013 season less than three months after his arrival at Windy Hill.

Goddard, who spent 10 years at St Kilda before joining the Bombers as a free agent in October, was promoted to the group alongside Jason Winderlich and Dyson Heppell.

The trio join Brownlow Medallist and captain Jobe Watson, Brent Stanton, Heath Hocking, Michael Hurley and David Zaharakis in the group, while the retired Mark McVeigh is the only player to drop out.

Bombers coach James Hird said Goddard, Winderlich and Heppell were worthy additions to the group after the players took a leadership vote two weeks ago.

"It is incredibly pleasing to see Brendon, Jason and Dyson being elevated in to the leadership group for next season," he told the Essendon website.

"We have no doubt that our young playing list will significantly benefit from both Brendon and Jason's leadership skills and experience in the game.

"It is particularly encouraging to see Dyson being elevated in to the leadership group at such a young age and it is a real credit to the way he has handled himself in his time at the club.

"We believe that we have a reasonable spread of both youth and experience and we are delighted that this group, led by Jobe, will be guiding our players both on and off the field in the 2013 season."

Goddard, 27, played 205 matches and kicked 104 goals for the Saints before his switch, while Winderlich, 28, managed just two games in 2012 after a slow recovery from a torn anterior cruciate ligament.

Heppell, 20, has been a revelation since his debut in 2011, when he won the Rising Star award before playing a further 20 games last season.


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