NICK Riewoldt has been appointed St Kilda captain for an eighth season.
The Saints confirmed Riewoldt would continue in the role for a seventh consecutive year, making him the longest-serving current AFL captain.
He will once again be joined in the Saints’ leadership group by Leigh Montagna, Nick Dal Santo, Ben McEvoy and James Gwilt as well as new additions Sean Dempster, Jarryn Geary and David Armitage.
Riewoldt said he was proud to lead the Saints once again.
“I’m honored to again be named captain of the Saints in 2013," he said.
"It’s an exciting period for the club and with the support of our strong leadership group, I’m looking forward to leading the team into a successful season."
The Saints have also implemented a leadership development program that will see Lenny Hayes, Stephen Milne, Justin Koschitzke, Sam Fisher and Jason Blake supporting the leadership group.
The program will also mentor players who are part of the Emerging Leaders Group.
“We are looking for a critical mass of leaders who are committed to driving high standards. We need to develop emerging leaders and so some of our most respected players will be involved in mentoring those who have been identified as possible future leaders,” senior coach Scott Watters said.
Fisher and Adam Schneider have elected not to remain part of the leadership group.
Fisher said he would focus on getting back to his best form after missing a large chunk of 2012 through injury.
“I have enjoyed being part of the leadership group for the last seven years but I missed eight games through injury last season," Fisher said.
"Over the summer, my commitment to the club was questioned in some quarters outside the club. While I don’t agree with it, I think the best thing for me is to concentrate on ensuring I deliver my best form."
The Saints will play an intra club match at Linen House Centre, Seaford on February 9 and will kickstart the NAB Cup the following week with games against Adelaide and Port Adelaide at AAMI Stadium on February 17.
More than 24,000 Saints supporters have already united in 2013. Join them and sign up for a 2013 club membership by visiting saintsmembership.com.au or by ringing 1300 GO SAINTS (1300 467 246). Loyalty Unites Us.