KING RETAINS GEELONG
CAPTAINCY; TWO NEW VICE CAPTAINS JOIN LING
By Ben Jensen. STEVEN KING has been retained as Captain of the Geelong Football Club, while Cameron Ling takes over as the Cats' Vice Captain. Since making his AFL debut with the Cats in 1996, King has played 171 games, captaining the club for 47 games since taking over from New York Jet Ben Graham in 2003. While struggling for injury the past few seasons, he still manage 16 from 25 and 18 from 22 games in 2004 and 2005 respectively.
Cameron Ling has been promoted from Deputy Vice Captain to Vice Captain, replacing the recently-retired Brenton Sanderson. Ling will be joined by two other Vice Captains - one of whom is believed to be Matthew Scarlett, the other to come from Tom Harley, Cameron Mooney, Paul Chapman or Joel Corey.
The captaincy debate has raged ever since King was re-injured in the middle of last season. Many expected Ling to take over in 2006. But King has held on, having strong support from not only the players but more importantly senior coach Mark Thompson.
Sanderson's retirement will be difficult in more ways than one. The articulate backman has headed back to South Australia to take up a coaching role with Port Adelaide, leaving a sizable hole in Geelong's backline as well as off field. Expect to see David Johnson relish the opportunity to finally cement a spot in Geelong's backline. While 2005 was a watershed season for Johnson, he still didn't quite own the back pocket role Sanderson has commanded since the late nineties. Although initially reported as being elected to the leadership group, Johnson was not in the final squad announced after ratification by the GFC Board.
Mooney is indeed an interesting character. While seemingly unsuitable for a leadership role after much publicised outbursts of anger on the field, the club has seriously considered giving him a formal role as a Vice Captain. What is clear is that Mooney bleeds blue and white, and demonstrated by his emotions after the loss to Sydney in the semi final last season (see picture on right). With a similar reputation as Barry Hall had at a similar stage in his career, Mooney should turn it all around and direct his aggression on the ball.
A final announcement will be made at 2PM today.
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KING WITH FORMER CAPTAIN BEN GRAHAM
CAMERON MOONEY BLEEDS BLUE AND WHITE