By Beth Newman
It’s a position more often associated with rugby union, but last week, Morningside’s Adam Spackman was appointed the Panthers’ first Club Captain.
In the newly created position, Spackman will be a representative of the whole playing group, both juniors and seniors, and will drive a lot of the Panthers’ community initiatives.
It was a no-brainer decision for the board, with Spackman a standout on and off the field, an obvious option to complement the senior co-captains in Kent Abey, Tyson Upton and Paul Shelton.
The 25 year-old has been a standout on and off the field in the pre-season and said he was excited to be able to give back to the club in this way.
“Morningside footy club has been so good to me for such a long time,” he said.
“I moved down here when I was 16 to try and play senior footy and they gave me the opportunity and without them, I wouldn’t have half the stuff that I have right now with my footy.”
“It’s pretty humbling to be awarded a position for a footy club like this.”
That support is something that Spackman is hoping to bring to the younger crop of Morningside players coming through this season.
“I’ve been around the traps for a little while now, and there’ll be some new players so I want to try and help them I suppose fall into senior footy and find their groove and rhythm,” he said.
“I started playing senior footy when I was 16/17 so those guys can come and approach me and ask me how I found it and what mechanisms I used to cope.
“Those sorts of things are something which I can provide to other players especially but definitely just be a sounding board and provide some guidance and some support.”
The former Brisbane Lions rookie could easily have chosen to move to one of the 2014 NEAFL clubs, but he said there were some loose ends that could only Jack Esplen Oval could tie up.
“I’ve missed out on a lot of premiership success and stuff like that here and I feel like I’ve got a hole in me that isn’t filled at the moment,” he said.
“You play footy to have success with your teammates and what better place to have it than here, with all my mates.”
Knocked around by a bout of glandular fever last season, Spackman played only four games for the Panthers, but never dropped his intensity on the track when he could train, and is ready to go for 2014.
“I’ve done the work and there’s no reason why I shouldn’t be able to manage it and still play consistent footy,” he said.
The new appointment is a massive endorsement for Spackman, who would be considered most likely to replace one of the current co-captains when they retire, though that’s not a thought he is entertaining.
“I don’t think being captain is something you ever aim for, it’s just a product of who you are and what your attributes are and if that happens, then that’d be great,” he said.
“That’s a result which won’t happen this year but I can worry about that in years to come.”