Essendon’s dream start to the season has continued this morning when young gun Dyson Heppell was awarded with a Rising Star nomination.

The 18-year-old starred in his debut match against the Western Bulldogs on Sunday afternoon racking up 20 disposals in the Bombers 55-point win over the hapless Dogs.

Essendon coach James Hird couldn’t be happier with the last years No. 8 draft making the smooth transition from the TAC Cup to the AFL.

“Dyson is an exceptionally talented footballer who has made a really smooth transition into AFL football. He’s been consistent throughout our NAB Cup campaign and also last week against the Bulldogs, demonstrating his flexibility as a player and also his capacity to perform under pressure,” Hird said.

“He is a player of outstanding character who we believe has the potential to grow into a long-term player for the Essendon Football Club.”

Heppell will this week fly to Sydney with the Bombers when they take on the Swans at ANZ Stadium. Essendon, who are known to be not great travellers, haven’t won a game at the stadium since 2002. Meanwhile Swans coach John Longmire will be searching for his first win as head coach after drawing with Melbourne on Sunday.