Nick Riewoldt is set to become the longest-serving captain in St Kilda’s 141-year history after he was confirmed as the Saints’ skipper for a ninth season.
As we enter the 2014 season, Riewoldt has skippered the Saints for 160 games, 17 short of the club record set by Danny Frawley who led the club from 1987 to 1995.
The 31-year-old tall forward first captained the club in 2005, before co-captaining with Lenny Hayes and Luke Ball in 2007.
He has been the club’s sole captain since 2008.
Hayes returns to the leadership group supporting Riewoldt after assuming the role as a leadership mentor throughout 2012 and 2013 while Leigh Montagna, Sean Dempster, David Armitage and Jarryn Geary make up the rest of the leadership group.
Dempster, Armitage and Geary were inducted as official leaders of the club in 2013.
Riewoldt has been appointed captain as part of a process coordinated by well-known leadership consultants, Leading Teams, which have been working with the Saints over the pre-season.
Riewoldt, who signed a contract extension in November last year, said he was excited to be leading St Kilda for a ninth season.
“It is a tremendous honour to be the captain of the St Kilda football club and one that I hold very dearly,” Riewoldt said.
“Having recently signed on for a further two years, I am committed to helping the club re-emerge as a force once again.”
St Kilda coach Alan Richardson said he had been impressed by Riewoldt’s leadership qualities since his arrival as senior coach last year.
“Nick has long been regarded as an outstanding leader and after seeing him up close during the pre-season, it is easy to see why,” Richardson said.
“He is greatly admired and respected by people within the St Kilda football club and the wider football community.”
St Kilda Head of Football Chris Pelchen said the six-man leadership group would provide guidance for St Kilda’s youthful list.
“These six players have been selected by their peers to assist in guiding the club to its next era of success,” Pelchen said.
“We have an emerging player list and we believe the leadership group will play an active role in leading our younger players through a period of transition.”