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Captains, Greater Western Sydney Giants, Toby Greene, demoted, Stephen Coniglio, Josh Kelly, Marcus Bontempelli, latest

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Greater Western Sydney’s three-captain policy lasted just one season with star forward Toby Greene on Wednesday appointed sole skipper in 2023.

The announcement, coming with the club now under new coach Adam Kingsley, means Stephen Coniglio and Josh Kelly have been demoted to members of the leadership group.

Greene, a two-time All-Australian, had shared the captaincy duties with Kelly and former stand-alone skipper Coniglio last season, but will take the reins by himself at the western Sydney club.

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“It’s a huge honour,” Greene said.

“I’ve come a long way and it took a long time, but I’ve done a lot of work on my leadership skills.

“As a young kid I was probably nowhere near it and was trying to find my way in AFL footy but I’m in my twelfth season now and I’ve been here since the start.”

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Greene becomes only the second ever solo captain at GWS, after Coniglio in 2020 and 2021.

The decision to appoint Greene as the stand alone captain comes after the club was criticised for his handling of the 2022 leadership.

As Coniglio struggled with injury and form, including being dropped while captain in 2020, the Giants were labelled “too scared” to strip him of the captaincy altogether in time for the 2022 season.

Instead, Kelly and Greene were promoted to join Coniglio as captains – the first time the club announced three leaders since their debut season in 2012.

But Greene was unable to take the field for the first six rounds in 2022 after his ugly umpire contact ban hanging over from the 2021 finals series.

Despite the demotion of Kelly and Coniglio, Greene said he would still lean heavily on his former co-captains.

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“We’ve got a super strong relationship … we have a really strong bond and I’ll be relying heavily on those two throughout the year,” Greene said.

“I’m looking forward to getting to work with them, alongside the four new players who have been named in the leadership group as well.

“It’s an exciting mix with the four new guys and the three of us who have been here for a while.”

The trio will be joined in the leadership group by first-time members Tom Green, Harry Perryman, Sam Taylor and Connor Idun.

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Marcus Bontempelli will lead the Western Bulldogs once again as captain in 2023, with the club opting for an unchanged leadership group.

Jack Macrae serves as vice-captain while Taylor Duryea, Caleb Daniel and Aaron Naughton round out the leadership group.

“It continues to be such an honour captaining this club and I am really excited about what is next for this group,” Bontempelli said

“To be trusted again by the playing group and staff is something I won’t take for granted.

“There is a positive energy around our football program at the moment and it’s a privilege to lead this team for another season.”

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With GWS and the Western Bulldogs on Wednesday confirming their leaders for season 2023, there’s still a host of clubs yet to reveal who will be captain.

Carlton are yet to officially announce Patrick Cripps will carry on as skipper, likewise St Kilda with Jack Steele.

Alex Pearce reportedly leads the race at Fremantle, with Andrew Brayshaw in the mix to replace Nat Fyfe who stepped down earlier this month.

The Lions could turn to Harris Andrews after Dayne Zorko made the late call to stand down as captain just 10 days out from their first pre-season clash.

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Geelong have taken almost the entire off-season to reveal who will replace the retired Joel Selwood.

Dyson Heppell remains the favourite at Essendon under new coach Brad Scott.

Bombers great Tim Watson admitted he thought Heppell was “finished” as captain amid the controversial finish to season 2022 where Ben Rutten was sacked.

“He is a great clubman. He wins the best clubman awards year after year because he’s very empathetic towards people and is loved within the dressing room at Essendon,” Watson said on SEN.

“I would think he is reaching that period of his twilight of his career where he’s not necessarily going to be a walk-up certainty to be in the team and that’s why I thought they were moving on and would find another leader, whether that would be singular or dual captains.”

James Sicily has shrugged off his “hothead” reputation to remain the frontrunner to snare Hawthorn’s captaincy reins.

Sydney are yet to confirm if Callum Mills, Dane Rampe and Luke Parker will share the skipper role once again in 2023, but that remains highly likely.

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