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Ling to captain Cats in 2010

20/01/2010 07:52:46 PM Comments (0)

Geelong have plumped for solidity rather than stardom in naming their new captain, the AFL premiers picking midfielder Cameron Ling for the job ahead of Gary Ablett and Joel Selwood.

Dual premiership player Ling, 28, has played more than 200 games for the Cats and admitted it was a great honour to captain the side he barracked for as a child.

Brownlow Medallist Ablett and Selwood were named in an expanded leadership group to back up Ling.

But suggestions one of the duo may be given the Cats captaincy to help head off the million-dollar advances of new franchises Gold Coast and Greater Western Sydney ended on Wednesday as the club chose 10-year veteran Ling to replace retired Tom Harley.

Both Ablett and Selwood were coy when asked their intentions beyond the end of this season when their contracts expire.

However both confirmed negotiations with the Cats were under way and expressed they were happy at the club.

"We're here, we're contracted for 2010, and we're looking to play some good footy in 2010," Selwood said.

And Ablett said: "That's something we'll keep under wraps for now.

"We're working with the club. As time goes on, I'm sure something will come out about it."

Ling has long been seen as the favourite to replace Harley, stepping in for him last season when the skipper was injured and being publicly endorsed by Cats president Frank Costa.

And he has vowed the Cats will maintain their hard-nosed approach to being the best in the business on his watch.

"I never thought I'd captain Geelong, I never thought I'd play a game here," Ling said.

"I don't think we need to change too much, especially myself, I don't need to change too much about the way I go about things as a leader.

"Just because I've got the `c' next to my name doesn't mean I have to re-invent myself as a leader.

"I like to think of myself as pretty hard and pretty ruthless in expecting the guys to keep getting better, to look at ways of getting more and more professional."

Geelong chief executive Brian Cook said Ling would make "an exceptional captain".

"It's got a bit of romanticism to it - Cameron supported the Cats when he was a kid ... played for our VFL team, played for our AFL team, became an All-Australian, has finished in the top four seven times in our best-and-fairest and is a dual premiership player," Cook said.

"Not only does he meet his commitments on the field and off the field, but he displays great values."

Ling, Ablett and Selwood are among an eight-man leadership group named on Wednesday, with no permanent vice-captain.

Jimmy Bartel, Joel Corey, Corey Enright, James Kelly and Harry Taylor will also be part of the Cats' leadership group.

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