BRENDON Goddard has backed Dyson Heppell to shoulder the responsibility of becoming Essendon's captain, if Jobe Watson steps down from the role.

But he believes Watson's love for the Bombers and his teammates will stop him walking away from football altogether, as speculated by former coach Mark Thompson

Watson, who will miss the remainder of the season due to a shoulder injury, recently spoke about his disillusionment with football, brought on by leading the Bombers through the long-running supplements saga. 

The 30-year-old has skippered Essendon since 2009, but could hand the reins to Heppell – who has been captain for the past two matches and believes he is ready for the full-time role.

Heppell says he's ready to lead

"I think that's just him being honest and I think it's quite obvious that he's next in line for it so, whether that is next year or the year after, that's a decision that needs to be made," Goddard said.

The former Saint said 23-year-old Heppell, who won last year's best-and-fairest, has been growing into a leadership role. 

"I think he's ready at the minute, but in saying that I don't think anyone's quite ready to take on the captaincy of a footy club or know what they're expected to do," Goddard said, while speaking at a promotional event for bookmaker CrownBet on Wednesday.

"I think Hepp, particularly early in his career, his actions speak louder than his words. He is quite laid-back, quite reserved I think. Very much more of an introvert … so he's just growing into that role off-field. 

"Once (the supplements saga is) all wrapped up and we can move on as a footy club I think the job's going to be easier than it has been." 

Watson became so worn down that he has admitted to not enjoying playing football this season, and former coach Mark Thompson told 3AW on the weekend he wouldn't be surprised if the 2012 Brownlow medallist hung up the boots this year. 

However, Goddard was confident Watson would play on next season. 

"Jobe still loves the game, he loves the footy club and he loves the boys, so I think that will be strong enough reason to come back and fulfill the last year of his contract," he said. 

"Beyond that, who knows?"