MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 20: New Hawks captain Jarryd Roughead (centre) and vice-captains Isaac Smith (left) and Liam Shiels (right) pose for a photograph during a Hawthorn Hawks AFL press conference and training session at Waverley Park on January 20, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Graham Wright, Hawthorn’s GM of Football, has stated that there are nine players in the mix for the club’s captaincy.

This comes following Jarryd Roughead’s decision to stand down after two years in the role.

Liam Shiels, Isaac Smith, Jack Gunston and Ben Stratton were part of our leadership group. Then there’s that emerging group of leaders which includes James Sicily, Tom Mitchell, Jaeger O’Meara, Luke BreustBen McEvoy will be involved in it,” Wright told SEN.

Shiels and Stratton have emerged as early favourites for the role, but at this stage it is unclear which way the Hawks will go.

Roughead spoke about handing over the captaincy as early as July, wanting to focus instead on his own football.

“He was thinking that this was the best option for him and the club, being able to hand back the captaincy and focus on his own football and getting himself right,” Wright said.

“But also to usher in a new leadership group or person at the helm into the club is the right time.”

Wright spoke about the courage Roughead showed in coming back from a cancer diagnosis and becoming captain.

“Being able to take on the captaincy the first year back after his cancer diagnoses, it’s been an outstanding effort from his perspective.”