Analysis Could the form of our current generation of leaders be a reaction to the club's cutthroat list management?


Super Moderator
Apr 8, 2010
AFL Club
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Yeah it's not our leadership group - but it's our senior crop (although I forgot about Frawley), those we're relying on now that there's no Hodge/Mitchell/Lewis/Buddy/Cyril/Roughead.

I meant all this as more an aside/casual observation rather than a position I hold strongly and will defend to the death.
Sounds more like you're comparing the stars to the current crop, bit criminal to leave Gibbo and Birch out of that list if so

Buddy was a focal point but he wasn't a leader, same with Cyril

McEvoy has played 100 games for the Hawks now, he's pretty senior, played in two flags and is definitely a leader in actions as well as name

Mitchell is a big hole, reckon he'd have been in the leadership group without the injury.

We don't have the same top end talent or leaders, you don't just replace guys like we had though

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Norm Smith Medallist
Jul 12, 2009
AFL Club
I'm not really sure the premise that we've actually been that cutthroat isn't largely a media fabrication.

Seems to me there are other ways of looking at Mitchell and Lewis leaving. They were both contracted, and we allowed them to walk for deals better than what we could offer them. Cutthroat would be have been telling Lewis, "Sorry, we know your body can't handle 3 years, and we know Melbourne are going to offer you a 3 year contract, but we are not going to let you take that because we think we can get one good year of footy out of you, so you can serve out your contract with us, and then take your chances with whoever wants you after that". Mitchell had a nice coaching offer on the table after his 1 year with Eagles, again , we could have said no because he had another year to run on his contract, but let him take the Eagles deal. Sure, clearly some space for Mitchell and JOM would have been in the back of their minds, but unless you think Wright was lying , he claimed we could fit them in and still keep both Mitchell and Lewis.

From memory, Hill was still under contract too? If anything , I reckon we've not been cutthroat enough with our player management. If you want to see cutthroat, look at Geelong forcing Kelly to play out his contract despite citing family reasons for wanting to return home.

Not really sure what happened with Hodge. Seems possible he was pushed and then got a life line from Brisbane, but maybe he decided himself it was time and then got an offer he couldn't refuse from Fagan? We've certainly missed his leadership, and Brisbane have benefited greatly from having him around.

Roughy in the reserves does look pretty ruthless, but I'm pretty sure he'd have been told that was possible at the start of the year, and it isn't like a bunch of fans on this forum were not making the same call (and before this year too).

I think the major issue is that it is easy to look well led when things are going fine on field, and a bit harder when they are not. We haven't had people potting our leaders for a while, but surely that is partly because it has been a while since our on field performance has been as consistently bad as this (start of 2017 was bad, but we were pretty good for the majority of that year - about 6th place if you ignored the first 5 or 6 games). I seem to remember Crawford coming in for criticism as captain during leaner times on field.

I also think the current batch of senior players are simply not blessed with natural on field leadership qualities. Some of them are great individual players, but not necessarily inspirational leaders. We have a few that look like they might be future leader material, but they haven't been at the club long enough to be serious contenders for the role yet. The club took a long time to make a decision on the current captain. Makes me wonder if they'd unofficially decided on Mitchell and then he broke his leg before the announcement.


Premium Gold
Apr 10, 2007
AFL Club
I'm wondering whether it is less of a reaction and more of a consequence. We just don't seem to have the leadership in place. Could JOM have gone to another leadership level had he have played with Mitch/Hodge on field? I don't know. Would it have helped develop leadership skills of TOM to play with Sammy, or harmed him by not giving him as much opportunity?

I think the impact has been the loss of leadership. Not a "recation" as such.


Brownlow Medallist
Sep 5, 2007
Gippsland, Victoria
AFL Club
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Liverpool, Nashville predators
I think we massively overrate match day captaincy.
90% of a captains job is done off-field, other than tossing the coin and running out first, the captains job on field is just doing his job. Nothing else.

We lack leadership cause we are in transition. Some guys have it, others don’t.
Omeara looks an option, but he’s got enough problems to deal with, like dealing with a tag, carrying our midfield and helping worpel be in the right positions etc.

Our inability to kick goals isn’t down to captaincy, it’s simply due to a shallow midfield which leads to protecting the defence which results in slow ball movement and bombing in to the F50
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