Rockliff: Ollie can lead again
PORT Adelaide gun Tom Rockliff has backed Ollie Wines to again lead the Power, in his own right, after he was dumped as co-captain of the club following a fierce member backlash.
Wines and Tom Jonas were appointed as co-captains of the club last year, ending 149 years of tradition, when Travis Boak decided to give up the sole skipper mantel at the end of the 2018 season.
Wines, now a vice-captain, had an injury-plagued year in 2019 – first dislocating his shoulder wakeboarding and then suffering a niggling finger injury.
On The Lowdown podcast, Rockliff believed that this would stand the 25-year-old in good stead for another tilt at the position at some point in his career.
“It was a really tough year for Ollie, first year as captain, shoulder (injury) and he had numerous things that just went wrong, so disappointing for him on a personal front and there is no doubt he will get another crack at it before his career is out,” Rockliff said.
Rockliff said Wines loomed as the natural successor to the 29-year-old Jonas.
“I’d imagine Ollie would be the right man for the job and I think his experiences in the leadership group and in the job will stand him in good stead,” he said.
Rockliff said the co-captaincy came about after a leadership ballot to succeed Boak had Jonas and Wines as the two standout candidates.
“We obviously didn’t have the season we wanted, but I still think it was the right decision,” he said.
“There was no doubt there was a lot of upset fans about it, the huge tradition of No.1 is something I think that is treasured dearly. (But) as a playing group, we were comfortable where it sat.”