Boyd the new top Dog - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Boyd the new top Dog

By Melissa Woods 21/01/2011 03:30:36 PM Comments (0)

New Western Bulldogs skipper Matthew Boyd hopes to bring some mongrel to his position as the side looks to finally break their flag drought.

The 28-year-old midfielder led the Bulldogs onto Whitten Oval on Friday for the first time as captain, as the club also announced its new deputies, Daniel Giansiracusa and Adam Cooney.

Boyd replaces Brad Johnson, who retired last year after five seasons as captain, and is looking to steer the club to its first premiership since 1954.

"Hopefully we'll have a bit of a hard edge," replied Boyd when asked what would be the trademarks of his captaincy.

"Sometimes I say some things that may not go down so well with the group but I think we're an honest group and we need that honesty so hopefully that's one of the things that I can instil."

He planned to continue Johnson's inclusive style, using the skills and experience of the playing group.

"I want to empower guys to be able to stand up and take some opportunities to develop their leadership as well," said Boyd.

"Johnno started that with myself and a few of the other guys and I thought it worked really well, that we all got the opportunity to put our stamp on the group and I hope I can do the same".

Boyd nominated retired Sydney skipper Brett Kirk as a favourite amongst former and current leaders, likening their careers thus far.

"Probably a similar sort of situation with Brett Kirk, off the rookie list, not the flashiest player going around, and I'm certainly not that," said Boyd who was selected in the 2002 rookie draft before making his debut a year later.

"Hopefully I can take something out of his (career) but you want to be your own person, that's what leaders do."

Coach Rodney Eade said it was hard to look past the 2009 All Australian's outstanding work ethic.

Boyd has finished top three in the club's best and fairest for the past four years, topping the count in 2009, while he polled sixth in last year's Brownlow Medal.

"There were some good people to choose from which I think is probably the strength of that leadership group," Eade said.

"It was probably his influence on the rest of the group across the whole spectrum of training and certainly player performance.

"Off the field as well, to be able to not only challenge but encourage and influence to strive and achieve their best."

The Bulldogs will have three players definitely missing from their NAB Cup openers against Sydney and Greater Western Sydney on February 19, including Cooney who is recovering from a hamstring injury and knee soreness, as well as defenders Ryan Hargrave and Brian Lake.

Forward Barry Hall missed training, sent home with conjunctivitis but is expected to be back at training on Saturday.

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