Sport AFL Pendlebury to lead his own way

Pendlebury to lead his own way

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He’s a better player than the previous captain, but his leadership style is not as upfront.

Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley, however, is confident he has the right man in place to lead the Magpies, after announcing star midfielder Scott Pendlebury will replace 2010 premiership skipper Nick Maxwell.

Pendlebury has won two of Collingwood’s past three best-and-fairest awards, while Maxwell has had his detractors in the past about whether he can earn a place in the club’s starting lineup without the captaincy role.

Now is the chance for both men to prove their wares.

“He’s probably just a little bit better of a player than what I am too,” Maxwell said.

Buckley says backline hardman Maxwell and highly-skilled running machine Pendlebury are simply different blokes.

“Maxie is probably more in your face, probably more outgoing in regards to standing in front of the group and saying ‘this is the way, let’s head there’,” Buckley said of their contrasting leadership styles.

“Pendles probably works a little more behind closed doors, building relationships.”

Four-time All-Australian Pendlebury said if he could pass on anything to his younger teammates it would be the value of preparation.

Buckley has no doubt Pendlebury, 26, will be a huge role model.

“The desire to improve and be your best, the professionalism that Scott lives day by day is definitely his hallmark,” Buckley said.

“Pendles role models that as well as anyone.”

Buckley also leapt to the defence of 2009 All-Australian Maxwell.

“Yes Pendles has been a champion player of ours. He’s won Copeland Trophies,” Buckley said.

“But Maxie finished in the top five in the best and fairest in 2012.

“We could not possibly value the importance of the way Nick goes about his footy any more.

“But he cops a lot of flak externally for some reason. Really that doesn’t count.

“What we see internally is what matters.”

Maxwell said he had been discussing a possible timeline with Buckley about a leadership change for almost a year.

Buckley described 30-year-old Maxwell as the ultimate team man.

Two matches shy of the 200-game milestone, Maxwell says this could be his final season.

Asked if he had something to prove as a player in 2014, Maxwell looked to the back of the room where his teammates stood.

“Only to the guys standing behind you,” he said.