Josh Kennedy named Sydney Swans captain
Among the trailblazers of the AFL co-captaincy concept, Sydney have opted to revert to a traditional single skipper, and midfielder Josh Kennedy has landed the job.
Kennedy, who has signed a three-year contract extension tying him to the club until the end of the 2020 season, becomes the first sole captain of the Swans since Stuart Maxfield at the start of the 2005 season.
Previous co-captains Jarrad McVeigh and Kieren Jack elected to stand aside but remain part of the same leadership group of eight from last season.
Three more All Australians, defender Dane Rampe and midfielders Dan Hannebery and Luke Parker were named vice-captains.
Coach John Longmire said head of football Tom Harley, chief executive Andrew Ireland, the match committee and the board had input into the decision to appoint a single captain.
"We felt as though it was right for this particular leadership group," Longmire said.
"That's not to say it's not going to change down the track either and we go back to two captains at one stage.
"Josh is 28. His football CV is absolutely outstanding.
"He doesn't have to change a lot because of the quality of person he is."
Longmire lauded Kennedy for his amazing consistency, which has placed him in the top three of the club's best and fairest in all seven of his seasons at Sydney since moving from Hawthorn.
"With my level of consistency and performance and trying to lead by example, I certainly want that to be the staple of my leadership going forward," said Kennedy, a three-time best-and-fairest winner and All Australian representative.
"I'm confident in the fact that we've got strong foundations at the club that's been set by the leaders before and excited with the list we've got at the moment."
Jack and McVeigh said the time was right for a change of leadership.
"This is about handing over the baton to the next group who will take our football club into the future," said McVeigh, who raised the idea of a single captain with Longmire.
"It happened for us - Craig Bolton stepped aside for me and Adam Goodes did the same for Kieren, so it's a natural progression."
Kennedy's appointment adds to the already imposing list of Australian rules accomplishments accrued by his family, with his father and grandfather enjoying great success at Hawthorn.
His grandfather John Kennedy Sr captained the Hawks and coached their first three premiership teams, while his father, John Jr, was part of four Hawthorn flag-winning sides.
The usually earnest Josh revealed a rare glimpse of cheeky humour when asked about how his forebears had reacted to the news of his appointment.
"I'm sure they are extremely proud but this is my time in the sun so they can take a back seat for a minute and I'm going to enjoy it," Josh said.