Following five seasons as skipper in the Harbour City, Swans champion Josh Kennedy has announced he will step down from the role, with 2016 Rising Star winner Callum Mills joining Dane Rampe and Luke Parker as a co-captain for the club's latest campaign.
The academy product's latest elevation comes following his selection to Sydney's wider leadership group in 2018 when the then defender was just 21.
Speaking in the wake of the 24-year-old's rise through the ranks at Moore Park, head coach John Longmire claimed the former first-round draftee was prepared to step up to the plate following Kennedy's decision to step down.
“Josh approached me mid-way through last season and said, ‘Millsy’s ready’. To identify that, foster it, and then make a selfless decision, sums up the sort of person Josh is. I know he will continue to be an important mentor," he said.
Kennedy went on to add that while no longer an official candidate to toss the coin on game-day, he would remain within the Bloods' leadership group alongside Tom Papley, Harry Cunningham and Lance Franklin.
“We’re here for a short time in the scheme of things and it’s our duty to take that baton when it’s our turn and then pass it on when the time comes – and for me that time is now,” the 33-year-old stated.
“I’m really grateful to Jarrad [McVeigh] and Kieren [Jack], along with John Longmire and the club for giving me the opportunity to captain. I’ve learnt so much over the journey and I’m really proud of what we have achieved.
“I’m looking forward to continuing to try to get the best out of myself and this team this season. We’re in a great position and I’m excited by what’s ahead.”
— Sydney Swans (@sydneyswans) February 2, 2022
Fellow veteran Dane Rampe used the opportunity to reflect on the former Hawks' importance to the group.
“Josh has led from the front and driven a strong culture at our club. The positivity and drive amongst the playing group is a reflection of his leadership. It has been an absolute privilege to share the captaincy with him," the defender offered.