New type of leader on verge of history
Captains are not always the best players. Leaders with a bigger profile are said to be better, but for those not as skillful, less is sometimes more. Through history, many teams have won under the very best.
But next Saturday, Nick Maxwell could be a leader taking Collingwood to another premiership and he will be the class of second nature – one who is not ranked the No.1 superstar at his club.
Nick Maxwell is a hard nosed defender who does his job week in-week out. He rarely goes under the microscope and is distanced from media scrutiny. Courageous his body is placed on the line in the most dangerous of plays. He wears the number five passed down from Collingwood champion Nathan Buckley with pride, and doesn’t take no for an answer.
With one hand on the cup already, the team looks to be raging favourites to beat St.Kilda and he could be like Tom Harley, one who will have their name down in history as a AFL premiership captain. Harley had the likes of Gary Ablett Jnr, Matthew Scarlett, Jimmy Bartel and Cameron Ling to name a few around him, yet he had the respect from his peers to be the front man for the Cats and end up as a two-time premiership winning AFL captain.
It is the same story for Maxwell – a natural leader, not with all the ability, but one who knows how to make the tough decisions and is a great listener. In the AFL 2010 season, Chris Newman, Darren Glass and retired skipper James McDonald could be classed in the same category. In the past Michael Tuck won four premierships as captain of Hawthorn but he wasn’t always the best player. Men like Leigh Matthews, Wayne Carey, Michael Voss and James Hird were.
In football, Bobby Moore is the only English captain to have hoisted the World Cup trophy in 1966. He had the respect of his teammates both at club and international level and was adored by the public. On the other hand, a legend like Bob Rose for example, never got to be captain with the players around him, but was a great Collingwood player in a team that had success.
Captains are important as they make sure team plans are executed with a man who gives 110%. Many people may think they are overrated, but they perform their duties with distinction and more behind closed doors without the public noticing. In rugby Wally Lewis, Andrew Johns and John Eales will go down as the finest, but others players shouldn’t be forgotten. Alan Shearer led Newcastle to much success and as a captain was a class above.
Some say their are two on-field leaders, one that does something special to win the match and another providing the inspiration. Nick Maxwell will be hoping to hold the premiership cup up for Collingwood after a twenty year wait and like Harley will always be remembered if successful.
Superstars shouldn’t always be given the big roles, for the man with the big heart and little profile can achieve great things for a club just like Nick Maxwell.
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