Newman named new Richmond captain - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Newman named new Richmond captain

19/11/2008 04:38:26 PM Comments (0)

Having been at Punt Rd throughout the dark times, Richmond have turned to Chris Newman to lead them into the light.

No player currently on an AFL list has played more games than the highly-respected Newman's tally of 133 without enjoying any finals action.

He made his debut in 2002 and did not play in a winning side until his 10th senior match.

The tough defender also suffered a severely broken leg midway through 2006, but has not missed a match in the last two years.

He replaces Kane Johnson as Richmond's 39th captain.

"I don't model myself on anyone in the AFL," Newman, 26, said Wednesday.

"I got picked to do this role because of something I bring to the table, so I'm not going to try and change too much.

"I am who I am and I'll try and lead to the best of my ability."

Newman takes on the top job in a time of heightened expectations at Richmond, after the club improved from last place in 2007 to ninth in 2008, winning eight of their last 11 games to narrowly miss a finals berth.

"We finished off well last year and I think the club is on the rise and to take over at that time is a huge responsibility," said Newman.

"You don't want to make any bold statements this early in the year but I think that not playing finals next year would be a step down and we want to continue on with the building blocks we set last season."

Coach Terry Wallace said there was a widespread view throughout the club that Newman was the right man to replace Johnson, who stepped down last week after four years at the helm.

"We just think that Chris sets the example of how we want the game to be played," said Wallace.

"He's hard-nosed, he has a strong approach, he will always put his head over the ball.

"When there are pressure times in games you can always rely on Chris doing the right thing."

In keeping with recent Richmond tradition, Newman will relinquish his current No.1 and take over the No.17 guernsey made famous by Jack Dyer, the club's most revered player.

Midfielder Nathan Foley retains the vice-captaincy, with reigning best and fairest winner Brett Deledio and much-improved defender Kelvin Moore promoted to deputy vice-captains.

It represents a changing of the guard at Richmond, with all four members of the leadership group aged 26 or younger.

"It was a whole club process," said Wallace.

"Certainly the playing group got a vote on who they believed should be leading them into the future, but so did the football division, the management and the board of the footy club."

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