By JESS WEBSTER
Jackson Allen and James Ives will co-captain Aspley this season in a major shakeup of the club’s leadership ranks at the Hornets.
The duo replaces Ben Warren and Matthew Payne after they shared the captaincy for the past two seasons, enabling a transition period for the next generation to lead the club in to the future.
The new leadership group under Ives, 24, and Allen, 26 – who were both members of the leadership group last year – includes James Nelis, Cal Carseldine, Liam Dawson, Jordon Arnold and Jordan Hayden.
For Ives, it completes an inspiring comeback by the Hornets junior after he spent nearly two years out of the game with a serious injury, returning to the field in 2016 and stepping in to an important midfield role the past two seasons.
A former Queensland Under-16s and Under-18s captain, Ives said he is looking forward to leading the next wave of senior players in taking ownership of the club’s future.
“Ben and Payney have built an amazing platform for us other leaders coming through. I guess when the opportunity presents itself, you do all you can to be the best leader you can be and set yourself up for the opportunities that do arrive,” he told neafl.com.au.
“Whilst you’ve still got guys like Ben, Matt, and Gav (Grose) there, it’s the perfect opportunity to transition all the young guys coming though.
“It’s all about that ownership and empowerment. Ultimately, if you as a player feel a part of it and that together we’re all responsible for driving those standards, it will put us in a strong position.”
Ives said it is exciting to share the role with former Gold Coast SUNS defender Allen, who came to Aspley in 2016 due to his strong connection with former coach John Blair.
Allen said he was proud to share he captaincy with Ives, and hopes they can lead the side to more success this season.
“It only adds to the excitement captaining the side with someone like James, who I’ve known for a long time,” he said.
“There is no surprises with the other boys that are in the leadership group, who have stood out since they’ve come to the club. I think it’s good reward for all the boys who have come to the club and bought in straight away.
“I came to Aspley because of my connection with Blairy and there was always something special about the place.
“That’s only grown in the past four years, so the club has definitely become quite a special place to me as well.”
Aspley will kick off its 2019 campaign against Sydney University at Henson Park on April 6.
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