Melbourne Storm on Thursday announced a new leadership structure with the appointment of Jesse Bromwich and Dale Finucane as joint vice-captains of the club for the first time, supporting Cameron Smith for the 2019 NRL season.
Smith, the NRL’s all-time games record holder, will enter his 12th season as sole captain – he has led the team on 243 occasions. Prior to that he was co-captain along with a number of other players.
Kenny Bromwich and Will Chambers round out the five-man senior leadership team.
Announcing the new-look leadership structure, coach Craig Bellamy said the move to appointing official vice-captains would ensure the club was well placed for a bright future.
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“Cameron is one of the greatest leaders to have ever played the game and we have been very fortunate to have him as our captain for more than decade,” Bellamy said.
“It’s important for our club that we continue to develop leaders in our playing group to assist Cameron now, as well as having them attuned to what is required with the captaincy role.
“We are very lucky to have quality players on and off the field ready to step up into leadership positions within the team.
“The new leadership format allows both Jesse and Dale as vice-captains an opportunity to experience the some of the responsibilities of being a captain, and in turn, allow us as a club to witness how they handle the extra responsibility.
“Jesse and Dale have proven to be great leaders for us over several seasons and their appointment as joint vice-captains was received very well by the playing group.
“Kenny was a very popular appointment too and is a natural leader for us on the field.
“He’s come through our emerging leaders’ program along with Will, Dale and Jesse which tells us the program is working.”
Bellamy also announced the make-up of the emerging leadership group with Joe Stimson, Christian Welch, Felise Kaufusi and Sandor Earl all given responsibility for 2019.
The move to appoint permanent vice-captains will not only provide Smith with support on and off the field but will further develop the playing group under the guidance of leadership coach and former Collingwood premiership captain, Nick Maxwell.
“Maxi has been working really closely with our playing group and, in his fifth season, we are definitely seeing the benefits of having him around the club,” Bellamy said.
“This season, for the first time, Maxi will be working with both leadership groups rather than just the emerging leaders.”
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The new leadership structure was announced to the playing group in Geelong during their annual two-week training camp.
“The players had a tough couple of weeks in Geelong which has given us a chance to review 2018 but, more importantly, look at where we are heading this season and how we want to approach the year,” Bellamy said.
“It’s been a great opportunity for us to also look closely at the leadership of the playing group and have the right mix of players and experience.”