Rock­liff: Ol­lie can lead again

The Advertiser - - SPORT - SIMEON THOMAS-WIL­SON

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.”

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