Melbourne midfielder Nathan Jones has spoken on the disappointment of learning that he would have to be a co-captain alongside Jack Viney in 2017, rather than keeping the title himself.
Jones was appointed co-captain with Jack Grimes back in 2014 before leading the side for the past two seasons alone.
Speaking on Fox Footy’s On the Couch on Monday night, Jones admitted he felt as though something had been taken away from him.
“I think initially — and I’ll be completely honest — I guess through human nature, I was disappointed, frustrated,” Jones said.
“At the time, being a super-competitive person, I felt like something was being taken away from me.
“I was really conscious and aware of not letting that influence my professionalism, my leadership and I guess my training standards and impact on the playing group.
“And since then I was able to sit down with ‘Goody’ (Simon Goodwin) and discuss a lot about how he saw it, why the decision was made and since then I now see it as a real opportunity.
“I’m confident in particular with Jack that we can form a really strong partnership and it can be a real positive for both Jack individually, myself individually and the footy club as a greater purpose.”
“We’d been through a bit of a process throughout the pre-season,” Jones said.
“I was always made aware we’d been working pretty hard with trying to develop our leadership group, develop the standards and behaviours that we were trying to do as a footy club.
“At some point the players would vote, the coaches would discuss it and Goody would ultimately make the decision.
“We were having a hit and we had a pretty mature discussion about the whole thing, Goody sort of laid it on the table and he was really conscious of the feelings that I would have initially and I probably reacted that way just … out of human nature.
“We were playing with the McDonald boys and Goody and I were having a genuine discussion in between shots about our leadership group and how that was going to form and obviously that was part of that discussion.
“He went through some really strong reasons and his beliefs on why co-captaincy was, in his belief, the way forward.
“I completely understand that and I think since that initial 24-48 hours I’ve been able to digest it and only see it as a positive and an opportunity.”
With Jones set to enter his fourth year as captain he’s already looking ahead to the future, believe the partnership he and Viney can produce could see them lead the club for years to come.
“Personally I do, I think I’m in a terrific position at this stage with my maturity and experience,” Jones said.
“I think Jack and I working together — particularly with Jack’s age and experience — I think that can only be a positive, which is the way Goody portrayed it to me.
“I think that’s the way it’s really worked strongly for us over the last … month since it was announced, I think it’s only a positive for the group and only a positive for the footy club.
“And I think going forward, hopefully as I start to move through, we’ve got guys coming through underneath that can then assume the next mantle and hopefully it’s a really strong sign for us in the future with developing leadership, which is a really important part of our culture.”