Essendon fans are extremely hopeful that the Dyson Heppell bobblehead currently being sold by a prominent supermarket chain contains a hidden message about their club’s immediate future. The bobblehead, recently released as part of Coles’ annual AFL merchandise push, bears an uncanny resemblance with Jesus, who is exactly the kind of bloke the Bombers will need this year if they are to win their first final since 2004.

One local Essendon fan, Gordon Miller, sent an image of the new Heppell doll to The Watsonia Bugle yesterday to ask if it was a sign of better things to come for his club. Speaking of the discovery, Miller said, “Mate, have a look at Hepps, he looks like the Messiah. You reckon that’s a hidden message? We could do with a JC-type operator that clocks decent midfield minutes, and can also go down forward and kick a couple when needed.”

When reminded that Heppell had actually shaved off his trademark dreadlocks over the pre-season to raise much-needed funds for bushfire victims, meaning the bobblehead bears little resemblance to the Essendon captain, Miller was unconcerned. He said, “It’s Hepps, mate. For sure. And it’s got a hidden message. The only other thing I’ll say about this is that I’m glad we’re not scheduled to play a game on Good Friday this year. That would be a terrible omen.”