Maxwell appointed Collingwood captain - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Maxwell appointed Collingwood captain

17/12/2008 05:50:32 PM Comments (0)

New Collingwood captain Nick Maxwell's AFL career was almost over before it began.

The appointment on Wednesday of Maxwell to succeed Scott Burns as skipper reads as a success story based on a determination to overcome repeated setbacks.

Overlooked in the national draft after playing for the Geelong Falcons in the TAC Cup under 18s, Maxwell moved to VFL side North Ballarat in 2002 before being picked up by the Magpies in that year's rookie draft.

The defender was promoted to the senior list at the end of 2004 after a string of impressive games and has developed into one of Collingwood's most versatile and dependable players, with a total of 95 games for the club.

Josh Fraser and Scott Pendlebury will be Collingwood's vice-captains in 2009, with Shane O'Bree, Dane Swan and Tarkyn Lockyer also in the leadership group.

A notable absentee was Heath Shaw, whose leadership stocks sank following an incident in August when he lied to club officials about teammate Alan Didak being with him when he crashed into a parked car and was later charged with drink driving.

Maxwell admitted his career "could have gone either way" when he missed 10 weeks through injury while playing for Williamstown but was saved by coach Mick Malthouse's decision to allow him another year as a rookie.

"That was just what I needed to get that confidence and once he gave me a go at senior level I just knew I wanted more and just wanted to keep playing and play as many games as I could," Maxwell, 25, said on Wednesday.

"A lot of guys I played with at Geelong Falcons did get drafted straight up and unfortunately due to different circumstances didn't go on to play senior footy.

"So to come through a bit harder and see guys like Tarkyn Lockyer who have been on the rookie list and see how hard they've had to work, I feel that's made me a better player and a better person."

Malthouse said the decision to appoint Maxwell as captain was "a very, very easy choice in the end" because of the leadership he had shown on and off the field in guiding the younger players which make up the bulk of Collingwood's list.

"It's not something that he's going to be new to because he's been doing it since he's been at the football club. We are a young club and he's been excellent in all areas," Malthouse said.

"I think Nick Maxwell is going to be one of the great captains of the AFL, I have the utmost confidence in that because of the person.

"That's the first criteria - someone who has got great strength of character and all the other stuff comes together at the right time."

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