CAPTAIN JACK… or Nick or Joel or Matthew…

We all know how important the right captain choice is to our team and generally speaking play it safe with the ever reliable Swan or Ablett – they step up week after week and perform with the pressure of leading thousands of teams. But what about the real life captains? I thought it would be interesting given all the new boys on the block this year to look at how taking on the responsibility of captain might impact on their DT output. The majority of captains are now DT relevant!

How will SELWOOD, SWALLOW, GRIMES & TRENGROVE handle the pressure??

The below table shows the captains that have been appointed in the last two years and their DT output vs. the previous year before being appointed.

DT points

DT points

DT points





1st Year

Year Prior

First Year

Variance %


Year Prior

First Year

N Van Berlo








G Ablett








L Hodge








B Green








M Boyd








J Watson








C Ling
















The last 7 newly appointed captains average 96 in their first year in the job. This is  a -3.6% decrease on their previous years output where the same 7 players averaged 99.6 points. 4 of the 7 had a greater than 5% decrease while only Van Berlo had a greater than 5% increase. Brad Green’s output disagreed most with the weight of the captaincy dropping a massive 21%.

The good news is that games played for a new captain is just above 21 so they are reliable – this is slightly down on their previous years average but you can thank Gary Abletts lack of finals action for that!

This article won’t change your team but it is a good thought starter – I know I for one would be pretty happy if Grimes can play 21 games!

Submitted by Insider Out.


  • feathertopDT

    Why give Maxwell the cup…… Shouldn’t the actual winners hold up the cup pre season EG: Joel Selwood

  • Captain Ablett all day every day. What an achievement last year with his young team. Brilliant player and captain….

  • I agree there is some food for thought here, but I would be very careful drawing strong conclusions just based on the average score between those two years. Ablett changed teams (from top to bottom, incidentally), Van berlo’s role change under a caretaker coach for those last 6 weeks inflated his average significantly, and most of those differences are negligible (and not *statistically* significant). The only one you could seriously make a case for the captaincy affecting is Brad Green, but that’s speculation really (who’s to say his form wouldn’t have dropped anyway, without the captaincy?). On the evidence presented here I’d suggest that the captaincy doesn’t really make much difference to DT scores.

  • Grimes’ problem won’t be his average…it will be playing 20+ games. And if Grimes is the bloody co-captain of Melbourne now, that heavily suggests that Melbourne have complete faith in his leadership skills & his body holding up throughout the season

  • Being captain IRL has no bearing on DT whatsoever. If there’s a noticeable change in DT average it’ll be down to other factors (role change, improving team, injury, etc).

  • Brad green is a confidence player and when he turned captain that changed.
    He missed set shots and feared he would be considered greedy so much so that he sacrificed points for other new players. The captaincy was a burden on his form last year not his body or his team but the unfamiliar role he had no other choice but to play.

    Still a gun and always will be in my eyes, can’t wait to see him get back to his best this year, kinda like Ricky Ponting over the summer.

    • good post

    • Mmmm at times I have had Green in my team over the preseason thinking that without the burdon of the captaincy he will get back to his best. There are just to many other options ahead of him. I want them all haha!

  • Glassy went down about 0.25% when he took over as captain! Gee there really must be something in this captain conspiracy thing.

    • he had the wait of the world on his shoulders once he took over with a few scandals. He is a DT god of course! Get him in your side pronto.

  • “I know I for one would be pretty happy if Grimes can play 21 games!”

    That’s why Melbourne appointed co-captains, they know it’s not possible for Grimes to see out the year.

  • mmm pointless article

  • i actually did some research including all captain changes since season 2000.
    statistically, there was no significant difference in DT averages when players became captains.

    i didn’t bother sending in my research because i figured that it was really irrelevant, seeing as there was no significant effect

  • Guys – just a warning on St Nick

    Source – WA Today (Real Footy) – Article called “resting Riewoldt” *Sorry I don’t know how to do the link think.

    Basically article is suggesting that Scott Waters plans to follow the Cricket Australia policy of enforcing the resting of players:

    ”You’ve got to look after all your players, but from Nick’s perspective, if you look at any AFL side, you’ve got to rotate your players throughout the year. Maybe we’ve got to a point now where players don’t play every game of the year. We saw Geelong manage their list really well last year, so for someone like Nick, maybe it’s two rests a year. Who knows?” said Watters, in Bairnsdale yesterday for St Kilda’s community camp

    Could be significant for selecting any older St Kilda players!

  • Is the -3.7% change statistically significantly different to 0?

  • Last :lol: