AFL clubs ponder captains in off-season

Jason Phelan
(Australian Associated Press)

 

AFL CLUBS THAT COULD MAKE A LEADERSHIP CHANGE IN THE OFF-SEASON

ADELAIDE

Incumbent: Taylor Walker Candidate: Rory Sloane

* Walker was criticised for some post-grand final comments in 2017 then endured a horror season marred by injury and poor form. He wants to keep the top job, but having pledged his future to the club, Sloane is the obvious replacement if the Crows opt for a change.

PORT ADELAIDE

Incumbent: Travis Boak Candidate: Ollie Wines

* Wines is the heir-apparent having declined a move back home to Victoria to sign a long-term deal. Boak has done the job with aplomb for six years, but he turns 31 next season and has spoken publicly about making a decision on the captaincy in the off-season.

GOLD COAST

Incumbent: Steven May Candidates: Touk Miller, David Swallow

* If May doesn’t sign a new deal before pre-season starts the Suns will surely have to make a change. The club has had previous skippers Gary Ablett and Tom Lynch depart and they can’t afford to go through a season with speculation over May’s future beyond 2019.

CARLTON

Incumbent: Marc Murphy Candidates: Patrick Cripps, Sam Docherty

* Murphy has stoically captained the Blues through through one of the darkest periods in the club’s history. But he turns 32 next year and with prime candidates in Cripps and Docherty waiting in the wings not many would blame him for taking a back seat to try to enjoy his footy in the twilight of his career.

HAWTHORN

Incumbent: Jarryd Roughead Candidates: Isaac Smith, Liam Shiels

* Roughead has occasionally bristled at questions about his form and speculation he could follow the same path as the likes of Luke Hodge, Jordan Lewis and Sam Mitchell and play elsewhere next year. Coach Alastair Clarkson has all but guaranteed that won’t be the case, but he turns 32 next season and is in the last year of his contract.

ST KILDA

Incumbent: Jarryn Geary Candidates: Seb Ross, Jack Steven

* Geary has done a good job but he was probably always going to be a transitional skipper after taking over from the long-serving Nick Riewoldt two years ago. Steven has long been seen as the next player up, but Ross is a bolter who skippered the side when Geary was injured in round 11.

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