Jarryn Geary will skipper St Kilda for a second AFL season but the veteran defender feels 2018 will be the true changing of the guard after the Nick Riewoldt era.
The 29-year-old will head a leadership group that has shrunk from eight last year to five in 2018 and includes Seb Ross, Jack Steven, Dylan Roberton and Jack Newnes.
Josh Bruce, David Armitage and Maverick Weller are the players to miss out.
Geary took over the captaincy from Riewoldt last year with the champion forward keen to pass the baton before he retired at the end of the season.
Riewoldt is the club’s longest-serving captain with 220 games in the role and Geary admitted he left big shoes to fill.
“There’s no doubt Nick was a leader of the club for a long time, was a great captain and probably stood out in games at times last year when he was still probably the main man,” Geary told reporters on Tuesday.
“I guess (his retirement) will probably help me.
“I tried not to compete with him, he still led in his own way so it was a conscious effort not to compete with him.
“I won’t have to do that this year.
“I think the five us will be the voice of the club. Nick obviously did that for a long time but it’s our turn to take over.”
Geary said he was humbled to be reappointed but added the official title of captain didn’t sit comfortably with him and probably never would.
“But what I am comfortable with is the fact that the playing group really backs me in and wants me to lead them out every week,” he said.
Geary, who turns 30 this year, agreed the club’s next captain would likely come from the leadership group, with Steven viewed by many as the heir apparent.
“The way he leads and plays his football is what you want – you want someone who sets an example,” Geary said.
“I’m sure there’s some things he’d like to develop – and he has – but when it’s time for me to hand over the reins and Jack’s ready and wants to take it on I’m sure he’d be capable.”