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Two ex-Swans in five-man Saints leadership group

PRIZED St Kilda recruit Dan Hannebery has been included in the club’s leadership group, while four-time best and fairest Jack Steven and wingman Jack Newnes have been left out.

Defender Jarryn Geary will captain the Saints for a third straight season.

In a departure from recent years when there has been no vice-captain, Seb Ross has been appointed as Geary’s deputy.

Rounding out the five-man leadership group are returning defender Dylan Roberton, who missed nearly all of 2018 with a heart problem, and forward Tim Membrey.

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Membrey, 24, wasn’t included in the official leadership group at the start of last season but sat in on meetings later in the campaign.

Coach Alan Richardson had praise for the two former Swans.

“Tim has been particularly impressive in how he has grown as a leader of our footy club,” Richardson said.

“He represents an important age bracket of players who are hungry to take the next step and build a solid foundation for what we as a team wish to stand for.

“Dan, on the other hand, is an extremely experienced leader who has had immediate impact since joining us late last year.

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“Having a player with such strong football knowledge, who is also so generous in the time he gives to his teammates, is a real asset to the football club.”

Newnes struggled last year after a preparation interrupted by knee surgery, while Steven trails only Saints champion Nick Riewoldt for the most Trevor Barker Awards, with the goalkicking great having won six times.

“Jack and Jack lead through their actions both on and off the field,” Richardson said.

“While they will not play an official leadership role this year, their influence on the group is still really strong and I have no doubt that will continue.”

Geary, 30, is well respected at Moorabbin.

“Gears has great balance in his leadership,” Richardson said.

“He is able to be really challenging of the group and at the same time be very supportive of his teammates.

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“I haven’t seen any player in my time in coaching who so regularly sacrifices himself for the team.

“On game day and at training, he sets the standard for the way in which we want to play and train.

“We’ve brought in a lot of experienced coaches to our football department, and one of the most consistent early impressions has been how strong a leader he is.”

Source: AFL FOOTBALL NEWS