Richmond put a much-publicised effort into recruiting lots of big-name players.
Greater Western Sydney mentor Kevin Sheedy has gone back to the future in formulating the Giants’ leadership group for his 29th and final AFL season as a head coach.
Following Luke Power’s retirement, Callan Ward and Phil Davis have been entrusted as GWS’s co-captains this year with Tom Scully promoted to vice-captain.
Beefy leadership teams have become the norm in the league – Sydney snared the 2012 premiership with a nine-man group that included Jarred Moore, who was delisted at the end of last season.
Even the Giants had eight in their inaugural leadership group, but the responsibility is now on the shoulders of Ward, Davis and Scully – three key players in the fledging club’s future.
“They’ll be surrounded by other leaders on the ground and off the ground … there’s plenty of leaders at the club,” Sheedy told AAP.
“So they’re all there. But in the three names, we’ve probably gone back to where we started from in the VFL.
“Although we think some others might put their hands up very soon.”
With the majority of Sheedy’s young charges having taken their baby steps, he now wants to see them lead and earn the chance to dictate terms alongside Ward, Davis and Scully.
And the opportunity could come as early as February 24, when the Giants host Carlton and Sydney in round one of the pre-season competition.
“At the moment we don’t need to rush people into leadership,” the 65-year-old four-time premiership coach said.
“So we’ve kept those places (in the leadership group) open, to see which guys really want to put their hand up.
“At some stage we might get them to lead the team out, maybe in the NAB Cup.
“I haven’t spoken to the other coaches about that yet.
“But to me, the pre-season competition is there to see players find opportunities in terms of positions – and maybe also leadership.”
Former Western Bulldogs midfielder Ward, the Giants’ inaugural best and fairest winner, said it was an exciting time for the team that registered two wins in their maiden season.
“I think most clubs have about eight (in their leadership group). So having three will be a bit of a change but we’re looking forward to it,” Ward said.
GWS surveyed both players and coaches to help select their vice-captain, with Scully a clear winner.
“I certainly wasn’t expecting this … I’m very humbled to be voted by my teammates as vice-captain,” Scully said.
THE AFL’S MOST INEXPERIENCED LEADERSHIP GROUP, GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY’S THREE WISE MEN FOR 2013:
Co-captain PHIL DAVIS
* Played 40 games total, 0 finals
* The only Giant to feature in all 22 games of their maiden season
* Key defender who left Adelaide in 2011 as part of GWS’s start-up concessions
Co-captain CALLAN WARD
* Played 80 games in total, 6 finals
* Clear winner of GWS’s best and fairest award in their maiden season
* Polished midfielder who left Western Bulldogs in 2011 as part of GWS’s start-up concessions
Vice-captain TOM SCULLY
* Played 50 games in total, 0 finals
* Taken with No.1 selection in 2009 draft
* Hard-running on-baller who left Melbourne in 2011 as part of GWS’s start-up concessions