Beams joins football royalty

 

Dayne Beams has joined Queensland football royalty with his appointment as the new Brisbane Lions captain.

The 27-year-old midfielder, named the new Lions skipper yesterday, is just the fourth Queensland-bred player to be appointed captain of an AFL club on a permanent basis.

His three predecessors are arguably the State’s greatest football products – Hawthorn’s Jason Dunstall, Brisbane’s Michael Voss and St.Kilda’s Nick Riewoldt.

Riewoldt, who stepped down as St.Kilda captain at the end of last season, sits third on the all-time AFL list for games as club captain.

He led the Saints 220 times over 11 seasons in 2005 and from 2007-2016 to sit behind only Carlton’s Stephen Kernahan (226) and Essendon’s Dick Reynolds (224).

Western Bulldogs Ted Whitten is fourth on the list at 212 – two ahead of Voss, who skippered the Lions for 10 years from 1997-2006.

Dunstall led Hawthorn in 61 games from 1995-98 at the end of his glittering career.

Voss, who took the Lions to their remarkable premiership hat-trick in 2001-02-03, is the only Queenslander to have skippered a premiership side.

Other Queensland products who have led an AFL side on an interim basis include Scott McIvor, Marcus Ashcroft, Daniel Merrett, Jarrod Harbrow and Dayne Zorko.

Zorko was named deputy vice-captain of the Lions yesterday behind former skipper Tom Rockliff, who was appointed understudy to Beams after two years at the helm.

Felllow Queenslander Harris Andrews, a veteran of just two AFL seasons, was identified as a future Lions skipper when he included in a seven-man leadership group that includes Beams, Rockliff, Zorko, Allen Christensen, Stefan Martin and Ryan Lester.

Beams, born in Victoria but a Queenslander from age four, captained the State U18 side in 2008 and was a member of Southport’s AFLQ premiership side in the same season.

He rejected a guaranteed contract with the Gold Coast Suns to put himself into the 2008 National Draft because he wanted to experience football in AFL heartland, and was picked up by Collingwood with selection #29.

He played 18 games in his debut season in 2009, finishing fourth in the NAB AFL Rising Star Award and winning the award for Collingwood’s best first-year player.

He had a breakout year in 2012, averaging 31 possessions per game to rank third in the League for disposals and win the 3AW AFL Player of the Year Award ahead of Jobe Watson, Gary Ablett and Sam Mitchell.

In the same year he won All-Australian selection and the Collingwood B&F, and polled 19 votes in the Brownlow Medal to finish equal eighth.

He also polled 16 votes in the 2014 Brownlow, just missing the top 10, but after 110 games in six years with the Magpies from 2009-15 he elected to return to Queensland for family reasons.

He was part of a four-way tie for the Lions 2015 B&F in season with Zorko, Stefan Martin and Mitch Robinson despite playing only 16 games, but being named Lions vice-captain in 2016 played only two games in a season ruined by injury.

Astonishingly, Beams is the 10th new AFL captain for 2017.

He joins Essendon’s Dyson Heppell, Fremantle’s Nat Fyfe, Gold Coast’s Tom Lynch and Steven May, Hawthorn’s Jarryd Roughead, Melbourne’s Jack Viney, North Melbourne’s Jack Ziebell, St.LKilda’s Jarryn Geary and Sydney’s Josh Kennedy.

Also, the Western Bulldogs’ Bob Murphy returns to the helm to replace Easton Wood after missing their 2016 premiership through injury.

 

By peter Blucher

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