Rock­liff named cap­tain

Benalla Ensign - - Motorsport - By Monique Freer

For­mer Be­nalla foot­baller Tom Rock­liff was last week named the new cap­tain of the Bris­bane Li­ons.

The AFL club an­nounced on Thurs­day that the 24-year-old would take over from for­mer cap­tain Jed Ad­cock this sea­son.

The an­nounce­ment caps off a bril­liant 2014 sea­son in which Rock­liff was se­lected in the All-Aus­tralian team and won the Mer­rett-Mur­ray Medal as Bris­bane’s best-and-fairest player.

Rock­liff said he was hum­bled to be be­stowed the role af­ter an ex­ten­sive se­lec­tion process.

‘‘It is a lit­tle bit hum­bling and some­thing I take with great pride, and it’s a great op­por­tu­nity to be re­spected among my peers, but also the footy club as a whole,’’ he said.

‘‘It was very ex­cit­ing at the time and a huge hon­our for me.’’

Rock­liff will be the fourth Bris­bane Li­ons player to be the sole cap­tain, fol­low­ing in the foot­steps of Michael Voss, Jonathan Brown and Ad­cock.

Daniel Rich, Pearce Han­ley and Dayne Zorko were se­lected as vice­cap­tains, while Ad­cock will tran­si­tion into a men­tor­ing role for the lead­er­ship group.

The new Bris­bane Li­ons cap­tain said he felt lucky to be able to gain in­sight from Ad­cock.

‘‘Jed is an out­stand­ing leader and he could have eas­ily done the job again but ev­ery­one thought the tim­ing was right now to swap po­si­tions and for me to take over,’’ Rock­liff said.

‘‘For him to stay around and help me out will be mas­sive for me to con­tinue to sup­port me and the play­ing group.

‘‘It’ll be im­por­tant that I con­tinue my devel­op­ment as a footy player and con­tinue to learn and de­velop my lead­er­ship skills as well.’’

Born in Be­nalla, Rock­liff was over­looked in the 2008 Na­tional Draft be­fore be­ing se­lected by Bris­bane Li­ons in the pre-sea­son draft that year.

‘‘I don’t think you should ever give up in any­thing you do, it’s prob­a­bly a good les­son for a lot of young peo­ple and sports­men,’’ he said.

‘‘If you want some­thing bad enough you can con­tinue to work and hope­fully one day it will fall your way.

‘‘I was lucky enough to get picked up and I’m re­ally liv­ing my dream at the mo­ment.’’

De­spite fin­ish­ing 15th on the AFL lad­der last sea­son, Rock­liff said there was plenty to be ex­cited about for his team this sea­son.

‘‘I think you’ll see an im­prove­ment, I think you’ll see a team that are com­mit­ted, re­ally play hard, we’ll be in games for a long pe­riod of time and hope­fully we’ll get re­sults,’’ he said.

‘‘The most im­por­tant thing is that we’ve got a re­ally good core group of young guys com­ing through now.’’

Rock­liff has played 101 games and av­er­aged 32.7 touches a game in 2014.

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