Why a change of captaincy may be good news for Callan Ward

SEN - Wed, 4th Dec 2019 - 0 Comments

Nick Dal Santo has lauded the decision to hand Stephen Coniglio the sole captaincy of the GWS Giants next season.

Phil Davis and Callan Ward have been co-captains of the AFL’s newest club since 2012, with the pair telling media on Tuesday the time was right to change leaders.

Ward has been sidelined since April after sustained an ACL injury while playing against Geelong at GMHBA Stadium, meaning Davis skippered the club for the majority of season.

But without the burden of a leadership position, the former St Kilda and North Melbourne midfielder says Ward will be able to direct his full attention to recovering from his serious knee injury.

“I’ve got no issues with the decision,” he said on SEN Summer Breakfast.

“I actually like it for Phil Davis and Callan Ward to pass (the captaincy) on so they can be there to support, I like that theory and it works well when it works at its very best.

“More than anything, (it’s great) for Cal Ward just to focus. As much as you never check and you never don’t give everything to the group particularly when you’ve been captain, at least Cal Ward can focus solely on his football and getting his knee right.”

Dal Santo lauded the way the pair have led the club since its inception, singling out Ward for the way he’s publicly conducted himself as a leader.

“What I like about (Davis and Ward) is they play a brand of football which holds up,” he said.

“I was probably surprised about Cal Ward that he has gone on to be the player that he was because I know he was young at the Western Bulldogs – I hadn’t seen enough of him or played against him enough to say ‘this is what he’s going to be’.

“But I have respected him at a distance pretty much since he got to that football club.

“The way he plays his football is what you want to see from a captain, it’s uncompromising and it’s confrontational. I love the way he speaks and represents that club.

“When they drafted Coniglio, he always had the capability of being a captain. He’s sat in the wings waiting for his time and here it is.

“I’m excited to see how it all plays out.”

Listen to more of SEN Summer Breakfast with Jack Heverin and Nick Dal Santo in the player below.