Teams in captaincy limbo

Date

Joel Brooks

Suspended Essendon footballer Dyson Heppell.

Suspended Essendon footballer Dyson Heppell. Photo: Pat Scala

There are multiple teams in captaincy limbo right now as they begin to return for pre-season training.

North Melbourne, St Kilda, Essendon, Brisbane and Gold Coast are all certain to discuss their captaincy options for 2017, with the Hawks, Bulldogs, Richmond and Port Adelaide also likely to have in-house conversations as to whether they keep their same leader at the helm.

Jack Ziebell remains the most likely candidate for North Melbourne, but made it clear today that it is certainly not locked in.

St Kilda and Brisbane have both confirmed that theirs is up for the taking.

David Armitage, Jack Steven and Jarryn Geary look to be the frontrunners for the Saints, while Dayne Zorko and Dayne Beams join Tom Rockliff in the race for Brisbane's.

It is strongly believed in football circles that Tom Lynch will take over from Gary Ablett at the Suns, where he could be joined by Steven May as a co-skipper.

Sam McClure reported this time last year that the Hawks were a chance to make a change from Luke Hodge, with Jordan Lewis the likely candidate to take over. Given it was discussed a year ago, you would expect the same conversation would be happening now.

However there has been a massive change at the Hawks in this off-season, which means if Hodge does relinquish the job, the next in line could be Liam Shiels, Isaac Smith or Grant Birchall.

The Western Bulldogs are expected to welcome back Bob Murphy as skipper, however if he decides he just wants to focus on playing football on return from his knee injury, Easton Wood and Marcus Bontempelli look ready to take the lead.

At Essendon Jobe Watson might also be looking to just focus on his playing performance, rather than accepting the top leadership position. If he was to pass it down, Dyson Heppell and Cale Hooker seem more likely to be next in line, with Zac Merrett also showing enormous leadership qualities in 2016.

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