Jordan Lewis is ready to captain AFL premiers Hawthorn, provided Luke Hodge decides it’s time to step aside.
There is speculation that Lewis will take over next season from Hodge, who is widely respected as the sport’s best skipper.
Hodge has been the on-field leader for their premiership three-peat and, while he was busted for drink driving during the finals, he retains a lofty status in the game.
Hawthorn will most likely decide next month whether to make the change.
“There’s obviously a lot of water to go under the bridge,” Lewis said.
“When the time is right, Hodgey will understand that he’s not going to be around forever.
“So if he feels the need … to pass that on, whether it’s this year or next year, there’s probably a handful of guys waiting in the wings that could honestly stand up and lead this team really well.”
Lewis turns 30 next year, making him two years younger than Hodge.
“Hodgey is obviously the leader and has been a great leader for so long, so why tip him out when he’s at the top of his game?,” he said.
“He will do it if he wants to do it – if he doesn’t, then someone else will have to step up and fill that role.”
Lewis made it clear he is ready for the role and said given Hawthorn’s strength, it would be a straightforward succession.
“It would sit comfortably, there’s no doubt about that,” he said.
“I’ve been around for 12 years now, I’m experienced.
“You don’t have to really control this group like some of the other clubs – we have a pretty disciplined group.
“And it’s quite an easy side to lead.”
Lewis’ standing at the club was highlighted on Wednesday when new sponsor Audi announced him as their latest ambassador.
The hard-nosed onballer is the odd man out in a group that includes celebrities such as Hugh Jackman and Collette Dinnigan.
“I’m a little bit embarrassed, but you take what comes your way,” he said.
“I remember when I first arrived at the club, I had a Holden that broke down after two weeks – that was a major disaster.”