KING RETAINS GEELONG
CAPTAINCY; CAMERON LING, TOM HARLEY AND MATTHEW SCARLETT NEW VICE CAPTAINS
By Ben Jensen. STEVEN KING has been retained as Captain of the Geelong Football Club, with Cameron Ling elevated to a shared Vice Captain role along with backline stallwarts Matthew Scarlett and Tom Harley. 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, promoted from Deputy Vice Captain to Vice Captain, is seen very much as the captain in waiting.
Harley and Scarlett played their 100th game together in 2004, after both having stellar 2003/2004 seasons. Both struggled in 2005; Scarlett through form over the first ten rounds, while Harley missed half the regular season through a persistant hip injury.
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.
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NEW VICE CAPTAINS MATTHEW SCARLETT AND TOM HARLEY
KING WITH FORMER CAPTAIN BEN GRAHAM