SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 25: Ben McEvoy of the Hawks runs onto the field during the round 23 AFL match between the Sydney Swans and the Hawthorn Hawks at Sydney Cricket Ground on August 25, 2018 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Hawthorn have announced that Ben McEvoy will captain the club in 2021.

It confirms reports yesterday by The Herald Sun's Marc McGowan that the big man was a surprise bolter in the Hawks captaincy stakes having polled strongly in Wednesday's player vote.

McEvoy, who turns 32 later this year, has played 222 AFL games since making his senior debut for St Kilda in 2008.

He crossed from the Saints to the Hawks at the end of 2013 and went on to win two premierships in the brown and gold in 2014 and 2015.

McEvoy has been in the leadership group the last two seasons and is one of the most respected players at the club.

Jaeger O’Meara will serve as his vice-captain, while Liam Shiels, Jack Gunston and Tom Mitchell and James Worpel round out the six-man leadership group, with Worpel being the only new addition to the crop.

“To be voted in by my teammates and receive the support of the club is an honour,” McEvoy told

“My wife Nicky, and kids Angus, Moira and Clancy have all been embraced by Hawthorn and I’m excited to take on this challenge with my family by my side.

“This club has given me a lot over the years and I see this as an amazing opportunity to give back and play my role in ensuring we continue to make the Hawthorn family proud.

“I’m lucky to be surrounded by a strong leadership group, each equally committed to putting in the hard work required to get Hawthorn back up the ladder.

“The entire playing group is intent on making amends for our disappointing 2020 campaign and this has been reflected in the energy and intensity on the training track.

“We can’t wait to get stuck into games and translate our efforts into on-field success.”

Hawthorn CEO Justin Reeves said McEvoy was the right man to the lead the club forward and praised Worpel for stepping up into a leadership role.

“We’ve got a fantastic mix of youth and experience within our ranks and this leadership group is reflective of that,” Reeves said.

“Ben is one of those people who is universally admired both inside and outside Hawthorn’s walls. He’s a salt of the earth, family man with strong values and we know he’ll set a fantastic example leading from the front.

“Ben is much loved by all at the club, including our members, and exemplifies what it is to be a Hawthorn person.

“Everyone at the club is proud to have Ben McEvoy as our leader.

“James Worpel’s inclusion in the group is a testament to his natural leadership qualities and rapid development over his first three seasons. The attributes he has shown so far make it clear that he is ready to take the step into our leadership group.

“We know these six men will drive the standards for their teammates with great leadership and discipline and we’re looking forward to watching them propel the Hawks forward in 2021.”

Retired former skipper Ben Stratton and new Cat Isaac Smith are the two omissions from last year's leadership group.