Ascendon captain Dyson Hepel’s place in the team has been questioned after another shocking defeat, with the club’s leadership group once again accused of lack of integrity.
The Bombers from Hell season continued into Round Nine, with a 58-point defeat to the Sydney Swans leaving the team 16th on the 2-7 record ladder.
It was meant to be an important occasion for Happel, who was playing his 200th game, but the left-footer had a memorable night despite 23 settlements.
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Despite an average of 23.1 settlements per game, Happel’s inconsistent form reflected his team, and North Melbourne’s Great David King questioned whether the 30-year-old was still good enough to stay behind Ascendon, calling it an “awkward situation”.
“Let’s start with the captain – is he in their best half-back group? Does he have a role in the team right now?” The king asked Whateley of SEN.
“It’s hard when your captain is not in great form. Where does he sit in the case of half-back Flankers in the competition right now? Can you put him in the top 10 half-back Flankers? Of course not. Will you keep him? Top 20? Probably not.
“He doesn’t hurt his legs, he can’t stop a man, he’s regularly misjudging his positioning and showing second rate because the ball movement is coming very fast and there’s no pressure on the midfield. Everything is working against him.”
King Bomber echoed the concerns of the great Matthew Lloyd, who told star midfielder Andrew McGrath earlier in the season that he believed the team lacked integrity.
“How honest are they internally?” The king asked.
“What does Ben Rutten say to Dyson Hepel? Do they take him to the wing? Do they reset him in midfield? Do they say, ‘We don’t know where you are’?”
“Let’s call a spade a spade – what’s his best position for Ascendant right now? No one has answered. These are the kind of conversations you have.
“When your captain is not making an impact, you are in a world of pain. Are they so honest in Ascendant that they can sit down and talk informatively and intelligently and have that difficult conversation? I don’t think they are.”
“I think they live a little bit of a lie, bombers, I don’t know if their leaders are absolutely honest with the party.
“It’s a warm and fuzzy environment internally and sometimes warmth and fuzzy doesn’t really solve the problem.”
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