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Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Former Hawk Brendan Whitecross endorses WA’s Ben Stratton for Hawthorn captaincy

Former Hawthorn utility Brendan Whitecross has thrown his support behind WA defender Ben Stratton as the best option to fill the club’s vacant captaincy role.
A player vote will determine a successor to Jarryd Roughead, who stepped down at the end of last season.
The vote is likely to be held next month.
“It’s going to be hard because they’ve got quite a few sticking their hands up for the leadership selection,” Whitecross told SEN.
“The club’s going to be in a tough position trying to work out who it’ll be.
“For me, he doesn’t say a lot, but when he talks, everyone listens and it has a bit impact and that’s Ben Stratton.
“I think he’s a good chance to be given the role.
“He’s a quieter type, but his impact on field everyone knows, but as I said, when he speaks everybody listens.”
Stratton, 29, told The West Australian last month he did not have a burning desire to rise to the captaincy, but would accept the responsibility if it was handed to him.
“There’s a big summer to get through and I’ll just take it as it comes,” he said.
“It doesn’t really bother me too much.”
Premiership teammates Isaac Smith, Liam Shiels and Jack Gunston are the other leading contenders to take on the role.
Brownlow Medal winner Tom Mitchell is also in the conversation.
Whitecross, who played 111 games for Hawthorn and is now a development coach at North Melbourne, offered another possible option.
“One left-field for mine is Ben McEvoy,” Whitecross said.
“He’s just got a really good grasp on AFL footy, understands his role and where the club’s at.
“He’s got a really good connection with everyone at the club, both playing and admin.
“He’d be a really good left-field contender.”
Port Adelaide are also looking for a new leader after Travis Boak stepped down last year, while Gold Coast need a replacement for departed former co-captains Tom Lynch and Steven May.
More clubs could announce changes to existing leadership groups during the pre-season, with some to conduct player votes before the new season begins in March.