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Aussie Rules: Dangerfield set to lead Cats

Geelong have named Patrick Dangerfield as their new skipper, there is a shock retirement just two weeks before the new AFL season begins and a number of clubs have been hit by injury issues.

We are just a couple of weeks away from the 2023 AFL campaign beginning on 16th March and now the Cats fans know who will be leading them in the season ahead.

It comes as no real surprise as Dangerfield was the hot fancy to get the role and replace Joel Selwood, but now it is locked in. There is also plenty going on at other clubs so let’s take a closer look at the latest big news coming out of the AFL.

Dangerfield named Cats skipper

Geelong are priced at 5.50 to go back-to-back and win the 2023 AFL Grand Final and Dangerfield will be the man attempting to lead them there.

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The Cats have taken their time with this appointment following the retirement of Selwood in the aftermath of last season’s flag success.

But now the Cat is out of the bag so to speak and Dangerfield has been confirmed, with star defender Tom Stewart also appointed as vice-captain. Selwood had been captain of Geelong for the last 12 seasons and his boots will take some filling. 

However head coach Chris Scott is in no doubt that Dangerfield along with Stewart and the rest of the leadership group are the right men to take the club forward. Meanwhile Dangerfield has also said it is a “joy and a privilege” to be handed the position.

Pearce to lead Dockers

Meanwhile Fremantle have also confirmed that Alex Pearce will be their new captain, replacing Nat Fyfe who has stepped away from leadership duties altogether. The 27-year-old was always destined to lead the Dockers but injuries have hampered his career.

However he now gets his chance and fingers crossed he will be able to stay fit and lead from the front. Young guns Andrew Brayshaw and Caleb Sarong have been named as vice-captains, while Jaeger O’Meara, Hayden Young and Sam Switkowski have been added to a new-look leadership group.

The Dockers are priced at 4.25 to go one better and finish in the top four in the 2023 AFL campaign.

Castagna calls it a day

Richmond Tigers star Jason Castagna has announced his retirement from the AFL at the age of 26, stating that he no longer has the desire to play at the highest level.

The small forward has played 134 games for the Tigers after being taken in the 2014 AFL Rookie Draft, and went on to win three premierships with the club. He has was set to play another vital role for the club in the season ahead but informed team-mates on Monday that he would not be playing on.

Castagna says it was a hard decision but felt he would be letting his team-mates down if he carried on playing while not being able to give his all. The Tigers, who are priced at 9.00 to win the flag, will now have to wait until the mid-season draft before they are able to replace Castagna.

Grass is not always Greener for Tom

Greater Western Sydney have been handed a huge boost with the news that Tom Green has pledged his future to the club by penning a new four-year deal.

The 22-year-old has this year been elevated into the Giants’ leadership group and is seen as a potential future captain of the club. Opportunities elsewhere may have arisen for Green at some point but he is now locked in with GWS until at least the end of the 2027 season.

Injury round-up

Essendon have been rocked by the news that the influential Dyson Heppell could miss round one after suffering a foot injury. Heppell suffered a foot strain against the Gold Coast and has been in a moon boot for the last few days.

Geelong star Jack Henry has his own foot problem to deal with after landing awkwardly against Hawthorn last week. He is set to undergo surgery and will be sidelined for the “medium term”.

Luke Jackson could also be a doubt for Fremantle for round one after suffering a head knock that will keep him out of this week’s practice match against Port Adelaide.

Meanwhile Western Bulldogs forward Laitham Vandermeer will miss the start of the season after suffering a leg fracture last week. The Bulldogs are expecting to be without the talented 24-year-old for at least the next eight weeks.

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