Sport AFL Heath Shaw: From Rat Pack to leadership group

Heath Shaw: From Rat Pack to leadership group

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Greater Western Sydney recruit Heath Shaw admits becoming vice-captain wasn’t top-of-mind when he joined the fledgling AFL club for 2014.

The Giants on Tuesday named the former Collingwood star and Tom Scully as this season’s deputies, joining Callan Ward and Phil Davis who have been retained as co-captains for a third year running.

Former Sydney Swans ruckman Shane Mumford and ex-Hawthorn premiership player Stephen Gilham round out a beefed-up leadership group that now boasts more than 500 games of AFL experience.

“Having these six gentlemen in our leadership group is great for our young squad,” coach Leon Cameron told reporters.

“The experience they bring – not just from finals football and premierships alone, but just their experience in day-to-day preparing to play football is great.”

Shaw, who joined the Giants at the end of last season after 173 games with the Magpies, said he fully expected to play a leadership role upon arriving at his new club.

“But being one of the vice captains, I wasn’t really thinking that far ahead,” the 27-year-old told AAP.

“I’m obviously rapt to get the job and to be the deputies behind Phil and Callan and help them out as much as I can is pretty exciting stuff.

“It’s sort of all happening now – moving state, moving teams and moving into a leadership role. It’s all good so far and I’m enjoying my time up here.”

Shaw praised the maturity of incumbents Ward and Davis, and was confident they could lead the Giants to their best season yet.

“You wouldn’t think they’re 23 years old, the way they go about things,” he said.

“They can be hard when they need to and sort of comforting as well.

“The group is so young and does need guidance and they’ve done a great job. I’m happy to help out as much as I can.”

GWS play their first intra-club match of the year at Blacktown on Wednesday, before next week’s practice game against cross-town rivals the Swans in Canberra.