JOBE Watson has rediscovered his passion and will lead Essendon for the seventh season after being elected the club's skipper for 2016.
The Bombers announced their leadership group on Friday, with the 30-year-old Brownlow medallist to take the reins again with midfielder Dyson Heppell his vice captain.
Under new coach John Worsfold the Bombers last week voted on the players they thought best exhibited the leadership criteria they wanted at the club.
The coaching staff, football department and club's executive also contributed to the process, with Watson to continue the role he took on after Matthew Lloyd departed at the end of 2009.
There was some doubt Watson would remain Essendon captain after he acknowledged last season he had been worn down and lost some of his passion for the game during the supplements scandal.
Heppell captained the Bombers during Watson's nine-week absence at the end of last season due to a shoulder injury, but Watson said he "had the passion" to hold the position again.
"I spent some time away by myself overseas and had a long think about what I wanted out of footy and my role at the football club," Watson said.
"Over there I decided that I was still passionate about playing and still had the urge to lead and was excited about leading this team and this club.
"In my mind once it was ratified that my teammates felt that I was the right person to do it, I knew I still had the passion for the role."
Essendon's leadership group will also include David Myers, Brendon Goddard and Cale Hooker, with Michael Hurley and Mark Baguley added to the group.

Michael Hurley and Jobe Watson running in the pre-season. Picture: AFL Media

The retired Paul Chapman, as well as David Zaharakis and Brent Stanton, are out of last year's leadership group. Zaharakis was only in the group for one season this stint having been cut the previous year.
Watson, who is contracted to the end of 2017, was thought to be considering an early retirement as the weight of the on-going scandal grew.
"During the time I'd just lost the love of the game. It was difficult to go out and play. I hadn't thought long and hard about [retiring], but I knew it wasn't making me happy," Watson said.  
"People go through difficult circumstances and difficult times in everyone's life, it's just how you respond and what you do afterwards that's more important."
The players voting system on their camp at Healesville last week gave Watson the belief he should go on again in the position, a thought that was validated after chatting to Worsfold.
"I always felt I had a good relationship with my teammates but that's different to being a captain. I admitted that I didn't feel like I did the role well last year," Watson said.
"I felt my teammates were entitled to think, 'Perhaps he's not the right person for it'. That's why you have a voting system, that's the democracy of it. I was really excited once they decided I was the right person for it."
Worsfold said he was pleased to see Watson excited about the pre-season program when he arrived back at training.
"For me coming in, I was looking for the passion and energy from Jobe as a leader around the footy club, knowing his status as a player and the experience he's had," Worsfold said.
"I certainly would've challenged him if I'd felt he looked weary and it was a burden for him. But I didn't see any of that."
Watson has been the face of the Bombers' playing group throughout its turbulent three seasons in the ASADA/WADA spotlight, and the club remains under a cloud heading into Christmas.
The 34 past and present Bombers (12 are still at the club) are awaiting a verdict from the Court of Arbitration for Sport on WADA's appeal of the AFL Anti-Doping Tribunal's decision to clear them of infraction notices.
Watson said the players remained confident of a result in their favour.
"It's obviously something that's imminent and we're prepared to deal with it when we will," he said.