Dayne Zorko says Hugh McCluggage is the “perfect fit” to replace him as Brisbane captain, but but Lions great Jason Akermanis believes Lachie Neale is the “obvious choice” to become the club’s new skipper.
Zorko, 34, announced on Tuesday that he had stood down as Lions captain, a role he had held since midway through 2018 when replacing Dayne Beams.
The Lions will vote on their new leader in the coming weeks, with star trio Neale, McCluggage and Harris Andrews reportedly the frontrunners for the captaincy job.
But Zorko singled on on midfielder McCluggage to replace him.
“Hugh for me is the one that probably has the ability to do it,” Zorko told SEN on Wednesday, pushing 24-year-old midfielder McCluggage’s credentials.
“Whether maybe he’s a little bit too raw at the moment or he wants to find his feet a little bit more, that’s a decision the club will have to make.
“For me, he would be the perfect fit.”
Triple-premiership winner Akermanis also mentioned McCluggage as a candidate but preferred fellow Brownlow medallist Neale for the captaincy role.
“There’s an obvious choice for the new captain, and that’s Lachie Neale,” Akermanis said.
“He’s been there for a few years now, he’s already a leader in the team, he’s won a Brownlow Medal and came very close to winning another one.
“Your captain needs to be in your top five players.”
Former Lions co-captain Simon Black, also a three-time premiership winner and Brownlow medallist, said 29-year-old Neale was the logical choice if an older skipper was appointed.
However, he pointed to younger trio McCluggage, Andrews and Jarrod Berry as “long-term” captaincy options.
“Hugh has got his game in order, and he’s matured a lot,” Black said.
“He’s a quieter personality but he leads by example … and Harris is someone the players would really warm to.”
Akermanis and Black agreed that only one skipper should be named rather than the co-captaincy option.
However, Lions coach Chris Fagan said all leadership options were “on the table”.
“Once we’ve got our leadership group identified, then we’ll find out who wants to be captain,” Fagan said.
“I don’t know whether we’ll have one captain or two captains.
“I know there are traditional views out there that you only have one captain, but I think you’ve got to read your situation and see what’s best for your group at any given time.”
Brisbane starts its 2023 campaign against Port Adelaide in Round 1 on March 18.
Story Credit: news.com.au