James Sicily will captain Hawthorn in 2023.
The key defender has long been linked with the role since the retirement of Ben McEvoy last year.
Sicily filled in as skipper during 2022 in the absence of McEvoy but is now the offical leader of the club.
The 28-year-old becomes the 38th captain of the Hawks and will have the support of Luke Bruest and Dylan Moore as vice-captains.
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Sam Frost, Jarman Impey and Mitch Lewis will round out a six-man leadership group that will take the group forward in 2023.
Our Skipper Sis! 🤩
James Sicily has been named our captain for 2023.
📝 : https://t.co/cfWilN1EaJ pic.twitter.com/wRROgSJvI1
— Hawthorn FC (@HawthornFC) February 17, 2023
“I feel very privileged to be given the opportunity to lead this team,” Sicily said.
“It’s an enormous responsibility but I’m ready for the challenge and can’t wait to lead this group of players.
“To be backed by the players and the club, it’s a really special feeling.
“This club has invested so much effort, love and time into me as a person first and foremost to the point where I feel very comfortable with the opportunity to lead this club, and I feel so supported in the role by teammates, coaches, family and friends.
“The entire playing group is intent on taking our game to another level in 2023, and this has been reflected in the energy and intensity on the training track so far this pre-season so I can’t wait to get started in a month’s time.”
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Sicily joined the Hawks as pick 56 in 2013 but has played 115 games as a forward and a defender.
In 2022, the Western Jets product added a Peter Crimmins Medal to his name and was dubbed stiff to miss out on an All-Australian selection.
Hawthorn CEO Justin Reeves honoured Sicily and his newfound role within the club.
“The club is truly delighted to welcome James Sicily into an esteemed group of Hawthorn people as captain of the Hawks,” Reeves said.
“The respect James has built with his teammates, coaches and our broader Hawthorn family gives us great confidence that he is the right person to lead this club into its exciting future.
“He has a great love and passion for the game and, just as importantly, for Hawthorn Football Club and I’m extremely excited to see him make his mark with this honoured duty.”
Reeves also spoke on the rest of the leadership group and what they add to the Hawks.
“Luke’s inclusion as vice captain is a testament to his natural leadership qualities, his loyalty and his commitment to this club during his 14 seasons at Hawthorn,” the CEO said.
“He has a become a real role model for our young group and I know he feels a responsibility to embed premiership-level standards and values into this group’s attitude.
“Dylan is the ultimate teammate and the ideal third piece in this captaincy structure.
“He has an incredible hunger for hard work, and he is also one of the most respected members of our Hawthorn community.
“Along with Jarman, Mitch and Sam, we know these men will set the standard in 2023.”
Hawthorn’s 2023 season begins with a round one match-up with arch rivals Essendon on March 19 at the MCG.