Leadership Group 2018
The Melton Bloods are pleased to announce Ben Archard and Braedan Kight as Co-Captains in 2018.
A player vote held following the clubs pre-season training camp was unable to split the pair, with the coaching group, Kight and Archard all believing the best scenario was to run with a joint captaincy this year.
Football Manager Brad Jamison explains the club’s thought process behind the co-captaincy decision. “It wasn’t something we were looking for initially, however Ben and Braedan are different characters. Both have different strengths as leaders so they will compliment each other really well in the role. A few options were put to them by our coach Aaron Tymms once the vote was tied up, but in the end both players decided that co-captaincy would actually strengthen the Club’s leadership position”.
Archard has made a strong impression in a short time at the Club, winning last year’s Best and Fairest award in his first year at the Bloods, and putting his hand up to help in any way he could both on and off the field. Speaking to his peers at the Club’s recent training camp, Archard re-enforced the values that he sees as critical for someone leading a football team. “To be a leader of your teammates and club means a lot. Captaincy it’s not a title that’s given to you, it’s a title you earn and continue to ensure that your club is well represented by a playing group on the field and in the community”.
Kight has played his football at the Bloods since Juniors, and in recent years has flourished on the field. He has been the club’s leading goalkicker over the past two seasons, and also featured in last year’s BFL Senior Interleague side and Team of the Year. At the Bloods recent pre-season camp, he explained to his peers that he’d always dreamt about captaining the Bloods from a young age. “It means a lot to me. I have always wanted to lead my club and teammates to success on and off the field. It gives me a lot of pride captaining such a proud club with Arch and even more pride that we got voted in by our peers and coaches. I have enjoyed being a leader at the club for the past 3 years but now to captain this club is going to be a great challenge and experience. I cannot wait for the year ahead”.
Senior Coach Aaron Tymms recognised that both players have different strengths. “Kighty been around the club along time, has the respect of the players, supporters and comp, his passion and determination are unquestionable and the players will follow. Arch brings a bit more experience having been around higher levels of footy and different clubs. Highly intelligent, knows his footy and has a different found respect from the players”. Tymms believes the co-captaincy scenario will be beneficial for the club. “I think they both complement each other really well. Where one has flaws the other has strengths so both will be great for our team, club and each other”.
The remaining members of the leadership group are Matt Denham, who will act as Vice Captain, Jack Walker, Billy Crofts, Jaycob Hickey and Luke Heaney.
Denham, a former Bloods Junior who returns home in 2018, has plenty to offer after experiencing premiership success at Bacchus Marsh in 2016. Since pre-season training began in November, Denham has been one of the standout performers on the training track and setting high standards for others to follow. Despite some initial hesitation, he was encouraged to take up a leadership role by the coaching group and his peers. “I wasn’t too sure if I’d put my hand up early on being a new club and all but I feel I can help lead the club in a good way”.
Walker has been back at the Bloods on a full time basis for a couple of seasons following a stint at Williamstown VFL. He also represented the BFL at interleague level in 2017 and is another who sets high standards on the training track. Football Manager Brad Jamison notes that Walker is one of the most respected senior players in the eyes of the younger kids at the club. "Jack is always up front of our running, he sets the standard and when you speak to the younger guys, Jack's name is one of the first mentioned when you ask who they want to train like and who they follow and learn from".
Hickey captained the Western Jets TAC Cup Team in 2015 and despite only turning 20 last December wants to continue his development as a leader within the football club. “I’m keen to try and improve my skills and hopefully do some development coach type stuff one day, I love to pass on information to the young fellas coming through who seek out ways to improve”.
Crofts returns to the Bloods on a full time basis after an injury interrupted season at Werribee in the VFL last year. This year will be the first time Crofts has put his hand up for any leadership role. “I can’t wait to get stuck into things, definitely grateful for the opportunity”, he said.
Heaney, who remarkably is still eligible to play Juniors, was a standout leader on the pre-season training camp according to Bloods Football Manager Brad Jamison. “Luke is a natural leader. He was exceptional at the camp, constantly encouraging his teammates. I think anybody who was there, or has seen Luke’s leadership in Junior teams, will know exactly what sort of leadership qualities he’s got”. For Heaney himself, the camp was tough but a great initiation to the senior arm of the football club. “Yeah it was hard, but it brought out the positivity in everyone and showed the boys that if you all work together we aren’t going to break”. Additionally, the chance to learn in a leadership role at such a young age is something he values. “I’m just keen to show the boys what I’m capable of as a leader”.
On the whole, Tymms feels the mix of players in this year’s leadership group will work well together. “The leadership group I feel is strong, they’re not all renowned talkers but there’s different types of leadership which I think as a group serve each other well”.
While the seven players above have formal leadership roles, Tymms is expecting to see leadership qualities from every player at the club as Round 1 draws closer. “From the playing group all I want is their honesty. Be willing to learn and try new things. To just give me their best week in, week out. That’s all I can ask for”.