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Ready to lead

Thursday, 15th February, 2018

West’s leadership group for 2018 (from left) Jayden Sutton, Tom Kickett, Judd Carpenter, captain Liam King, Josh Cieslik, Lachie Harvey and Sage Hocking. PICTURE: Andrew Gosling West’s leadership group for 2018 (from left) Jayden Sutton, Tom Kickett, Judd Carpenter, captain Liam King, Josh Cieslik, Lachie Harvey and Sage Hocking. PICTURE: Andrew Gosling

By Tyler Hannigan

The West Football Club have elected their new leaders for 2018 with star player Liam King set to lead the club.

King was one of last season’s vice captains and eventually led the side, along with Hagen Grose, after captains Daniel Milne and Brett Martin suffered season-ending injuries early on in the 2017 campaign.

“I’m very honoured (to captain the West Football Club),” King said of his rise to captaincy.

“I’m really grateful for the opportunity to captain a great bunch of lads.”

West senior coach Phil Bell said that King proved he could handle the responsibility last year.

“Before I took over the coaching role I watched West for a season (in 2016) and Liam was just a player,” Bell said.

“But last season he really stood up as a leader of the football club when Martin and Milne went down and he was easily our best player.” 

Leadership certainly seemed to agree with King in 2017 as it was King’s best season as a player. He took out the West League best and fairest and was named in the midfield of the AFL Broken Hill Team of the Year.

While King said he always wanted to be a leader, he wasn’t sure about captaincy.

“I felt as if I was definitely a leader but to be captain wasn’t something I thought I’d have the opportunity to do,” King admitted.

“Last season really helped,” he added.

“I feel as if it equipped me with the right tools to do the job again this season.”

The seven-man leadership group also contains senior players Judd Carpenter, Lachie Harvey and Tom Kickett as well as youngsters Josh Cieslik, Sage Hocking and Jayden Sutton as the Robins push forward with youth.

“Sage is a quality young man,” Bell said.

“He’s someone who could easily be a 200-plus game player for West if he stays in town. 

“Sutto (Jayden Sutton) is the same. He’s only young and being in the leadership group is more of a learning curve for him than anything,” he added.

“Josh had a few issues early last season but we’ve sorted them out and he’s really stepped up too.”

Bell said that the leadership group will be the driving force behind improving the culture and discipline at the club.

“One of the reasons I brought in the leadership group this year is because whilst we have a few more personalities this year with new players and older players that have come back to play, I want the leadership group to take responsibility for making sure that all our guidelines and structures are being followed,” Bell said.

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