Sydney AFL stars Dan Hannebery, Heath Grundy and Dane Rampe have taken very different paths on their way to the Swans’ leadership group.
Veteran key defender Grundy and midfield ace Hannebery are among seven premiership players in the eight-man group.
The odd man out is dashing defender Rampe, who is in just his fourth year at the club.
Jarrad McVeigh and Kieren Jack will continue as the Swans’ co-captains, with fellow midfielders Josh Kennedy and Luke Parker plus defender Nick Smith making up the rest of the group.
It has swelled from seven last year, with the only players to drop out being the retired Adam Goodes and Rhyce Shaw.
“I don’t think anyone can replace them, but me, ‘Reggie’ (Grundy), ‘Hanners’, we’re going to cover hopefully our own chapter and lead our own way,” Rampe said.
The three newcomers are products of different states and each has undergone a distinctly different journey at the Swans.
Victorian Hannebery, who turns 25 next week, was earmarked for stardom from his teenage days and is a two-time All Australian.
At 29, South Australian Grundy is a grizzled veteran about to enter his 11th AFL campaign.
And then there’s 25-year-old local boy Rampe, who seized his late opportunity with relish, after being plucked from the relative obscurity of the Sydney competition.
“I think it’s really positive we’ve got a really diverse leadership group,” Hannebery said.
“Guys from all parts of the ground, but also guys that have had different pathways and different experiences.
“It’s something we can all draw upon each other and it’s a really exciting time this year.
“We’ve got eight in the group which is a quite a large group. We feel each one of us has got a lot to give and I think it’s the right mix for us this year.”
Hannebery said he had been working on developing his leadership skills.
“I think it’s an area I’ve taken some leaps and bounds in this pre-season and I’m looking forward to hopefully drive the group this season,” Hannebery said.
Drafted in 2005, Grundy is the second longest-serving one-club player at the Swans behind McVeigh.
“I remember first moving to the club and those guys were such professionals and such strong leaders of the group, I probably never saw myself to be there,” Grundy said.
“It’s taken a long time but, to finally get there, it’s an honour and hopefully I can lead in the right way.”