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No word yet on Watson Brownlow, captaincy

AAP logoAAP 7/11/2016 Jason Phelan

Jobe Watson will find out next week if he gets to keep his Brownlow Medal, but the issue of the Essendon captaincy won't be resolved until January.

Watson and all of the banned players remaining at the club - bar Heath Hocking who is attending a wedding interstate - trained with their teammates on Monday.

It was the first time they were allowed to do so since their suspensions for anti-doping violations were enforced in January.

Coach John Worsfold was delighted with the physical condition of the banned players but he was unable to shed much light on Watson's intentions with regard to his Brownlow Medal.

The AFL commission will meet on Tuesday week to determine whether Watson is stripped of his 2012 Brownlow after he was one of 34 past and present players banned for anti-doping code violations.

"In all honesty I haven't spoken to Jobe about it or anyone at the club," Worsfold told reporters on Monday.

"It's a process that they (the AFL) will run ... I'm not sure how that works. We'll let it run its course.

"We're well and truly aware that the meeting is coming up, there will be an outcome from that and then we'll be ready to move on.

"That basically finalises everything, we hope for a good outcome for Jobe in terms of the medal, but that's an unknown."

It is understood Watson will be given the opportunity to make a case for keeping the medal if he doesn't choose to hand it back voluntarily before the meeting.

As he did when he took over from James Hird in late 2015, Worsfold plans to put in place a leadership program before a player vote in January to decide the club's captain and leadership group for 2017.

Watson was retained as skipper before his ban came into effect, with former St Kilda veteran Brendon Goddard the stand-in captain for the 2016 season.

Dyson Heppell is widely viewed as the club's next onfield leader, but Worsfold is unsure of Watson's intentions.

"I'm still calling him skipper out there but that's out of habit," Worsfold joked.

"We'll train, let everyone get together, and come January Jobe may say 'I've got the passion and the energy and the desire to still be in that leadership group and to lead the club'.

"But there's no use speculating on that now because there's still too much to happen."

Twelve players who were still at Essendon were banned in January, with 10 choosing to return to the club.

Under the terms of their suspensions Heppell, Hocking, Michael Hurley, Brent Stanton, Cale Hooker, Ben Howlett, David Myers, Tom Bellchambers and Travis Colyer are not allowed to speak to the media in club colours until next week.

Watson must wait until November 22 to do so because he took part in the AFL's international rules series.

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