MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 25: Mitch Wallis of the Bulldogs (right) thanks fans with Lachie Hunter of the Bulldogs during the 2018 AFL round 23 match between the Richmond Tigers and the Western Bulldogs at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on August 25, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Adam Trafford/AFL Media/Getty Images)

The Western Bulldogs have reverted to a two-man leadership structure for the 2021 season, with forward Mitch Wallis set to take on vice-captaincy duties beside skipper Marcus Bontempelli.

Bontempelli will enter his second season as captain of the kennel this year, with the club switching from a six-piece leadership group to just the All-Australian star and Wallis.

Bontempelli, Wallis, former captain Easton Wood, defender Jason Johannisen, midfielder Josh Dunkley and onballer Lachie Hunter formed the Bulldogs’ 2020 leadership group, with the latter quartet now relieved of their duties following a player vote.

Speaking to the club website, Wallis expressed his gratitude in being voted by his peers to take on the deputy role.

β€œI’m really humbled that my team-mates have shown the faith in me to have this title,” Wallis said.

β€œIt does mean a lot, and I’m not taking it lightly.Β  I’m so excited about what this group can do going forward.

β€œI can’t wait to support Marcus, the coaches and my team-mates on that journey.”

Coach Luke Beveridge commended his new leadership pairing, acknowledging the entire playing group will have a a vital role in moving the club forward.

β€œIn Marcus and Mitch, we have two outstanding figureheads who will help carry us forward,” Beveridge said.

β€œMarcus did an almighty job in his first season as captain, impressively navigating the playing group through a year which had plenty of challenges.

β€œMitch has established himself as a player and person at this football club that we can all admire.

β€œHe has always been a beacon for how to carry yourself, he’s always embraced every one of his team-mates, and he’s done his absolute best to set a good example on the football field.

β€œWe wanted to create an inclusive approach to our leadership model, which gives every player on the list an opportunity to lead in their own way,” Beveridge said.

β€œWe’re pleased to have a squad with many players who are keen to contribute to the leadership space, whether they have experience in the system or are just starting out their careers.

β€œWe’ve been strong on encouraging our players to lead, whether they have an official title or not, and we’ll give them every opportunity to contribute throughout the 2021 season.”