Joel Selwood will continue to lead the Geelong Cats into the 2020 season, extending his record captaincy into a ninth season after the club’s player leadership group was unveiled at tonight’s season launch.
Patrick Dangerfield and Mark Blicavs will continue in their roles as co-vice captains alongside existing members Mitch Duncan, Tom Stewart, Zach Tuohy and newcomer to the group Mark O’Connor.
The longest serving captain in club history, Selwood has captained 185 games for the club since taking the reins at the beginning of 2012. The 31-year-old is set to reach his 300-game milestone this season.
“The player leadership group brings a diverse range of experience and a great deal of value to our club. The seven-player group have been nominated by their peers, coaches and football executive team as those with the leadership qualities and values to lead our team and our club forward into 2020,” Geelong’s General Manager of Football Simon Lloyd said.
“We congratulate this entire group for their outstanding commitment to the club and their ability to lead by example.
“We also congratulate captain Joel Selwood on continuing his captaincy. Joel’s number one priority has always been the betterment of the Geelong Football Club, ultimately protecting who we are and what we stand for.
“He consistently takes the time to nurture, challenge and positively influence those around him. His hunger for personal growth and the development of his teammates is outstanding and we look forward to him leading the group into 2020.”
Last year’s ‘Carji’ Greeves Medallist and All-Australian Patrick Dangerfield will continue in the role of co-vice captain for a third straight season alongside Mark Blicavs who takes on the co-vice captaincy role for a second consecutive year.
Dangerfield is set to reach game 250 early this season, the 29-year-old has played 94 games for Geelong since joining the Cats at the end of 2015.
Mark O’Connor joins the player leadership group for the first time. In his fourth season for the club, the Irishman enjoyed a breakout year in 2019. The 23-year-old played 23 games, cementing his spot in the backline. O’Connor’s professionalism, drive and integrity has seen him recognised as a leader by his peers.
Dual All-Australian defender Tom Stewart will continue in the leadership group for a second year running. Stewart enjoyed an outstanding 2019 season, playing all 25 games, he was ranked number one in the competition for rebound 50s.
Mitch Duncan will enter his seventh consecutive year in the leadership group, and Zach Tuohy rounds out the group after first joining in 2018.
Veteran defender Harry Taylor made the decision to step away from the player leadership group this season.