GWS star midfielder Josh Kelly has given some insight into how the club’s new captain Stephen Coniglio operates.
Coniglio has taken over as Giants skipper, replacing establishment co-captains Phil Davis and Callan Ward who have moved aside after eight years at the helm.
One of the hardest working two-way midfielders in the competition, Coniglio’s ruthlessness on the field has transferred across with him into his leadership, paired with his ability to have a positive presence around the playing group, according to teammate Kelly.
“There’s no doubt he’s really popular amongst the group. The relationships he forms with players is really important for his style but he’s also got a hard edge about him,” he said on SEN Breakfast.
“You watch him on game day, he’s just ruthless in the way he attacks the ball and also in his training standards in general. He’s one of the hardest trainers out on the track and he really leads by example.
“He’s really well-rounded as a person and as a player and someone you really look up to.”
Kelly explained the importance of Coniglio’s relationship-building qualities and how it impacts the entire group of Giants.
“You need to be able to hit all parts of the playing group and get along with all the players so you can continue to build morale and cohesiveness amongst the group,” he added.
“‘Cogs’ sets the scene when it comes to those things. He welcomes the new draftees as well as anyone but he’ll also hit you between the eyes if you are not doing something right.
“I look forward to where he can take us.”
Kelly, who is a key figure in the club’s leadership group, admits it will be strange not hearing the familiar voices of Davis and Ward as regularly as before but doesn’t expect too much to differ.
“It’s no doubt going to be different not having them as captains for sure,” he said further.
“Ever since I’ve been at the football club, they’ve been captains. They’ve captained the whole eight years of the club’s existence so no doubt it’s going to be different but having 'Cogs' step into the role, I think he’s really ready for that.
“We’ve seen that over the first couple of months back at training. He’s really bringing a new perspective to the role and the boys are really enjoying that.
“We are still going to have Phil and 'Wardy' around the place doing exactly what they do and still providing all their insight and knowledge and impacting the group.”
The Giants yesterday announced the new leadership group under Coniglio which along with Kelly includes Matt de Boer and welcomes Toby Greene, Jeremy Cameron and Lachie Whitfield in official roles for the first time.
“It’s exciting having Toby, 'Jez' and Lachie come into the group for 2020,” Kelly said.
“They are going to bring a new perspective on things and obviously they are three of our best and most influential players. So having them step up is only a good thing and is surely going to help them again.”
The 2019 Grand Finalists open up their 2020 Marsh Community Cup campaign against Sydney at Blacktown on Saturday, February 29.