Melbourne’s Jack Trengove has told the AFL club he won’t captain them next season.
Trengove, 22, became the youngest-ever captain of a VFL/AFL club when he was appointed, along with Jack Grimes, ahead of the 2012 season.
But the Demons have endured a tumultuous time under the pair’s leadership, with just four wins in 2012 and two this year, amid a host of off-field changes.
The decision by Mark Neeld to appoint Trengove and Grimes was widely criticised in AFL circles, including by former Collingwood skipper Tony Shaw, for putting too much pressure on the young players. Trengove struggled for much of 2013, although found better form late in the season. Grimes has been hit by injury.
It was widely considered that courageous and comabative midfielder Nathan Jones was the side’s natural leader and should have been appointed captain while the young players developed. Jones and Grimes will be among the leading contenders for the captaincy in 2014.
New coach Paul Roos says he has an open mind about who will captain the club next season and how many skippers there will be.
But Trengove, picked at No.2 in the 2009 draft, says he won’t be one of them as developing himself as a player would be more helpful to the team.
“The best way that I can individually contribute to this is fulfilling my potential as a player,” said Trengove.
“At 22 years of age and entering my fifth year in the game, it is important that I start making big inroads.”
Roos declined to say whether he thought making Trengove captain for the past two seasons had helped or hindered him.
“It’s probably best for him now not to be captain and I think he’s made that decision himself,” the new coach said.
“I think it’s really about Jack now becoming a great player.
“Was it good or bad? That’s irrelevant now, to be honest.”
Roos said Trengove was capable of having a big impact next season.
“He does have some really good talent,” he said.
“We want to get the ball in his hands as much as we can. He’s a really good decision-maker, he uses the ball really well, so I’m confident he’ll have a good 2014.”
Grimes has indicated he’s keen to stay on as skipper, if selected.
“I think he feels he’s probably developed in the role and enjoyed the role, so I’m certainly open to Jack continuing as captain, but he’ll be part of the process,” Roos said.