Chris Newman won’t be remembered as being the most high-profile Richmond captain, but he will leave a legacy just as significant as those who have gone before him.
Newman led his teammates out as skipper for the last time, in Round 23 of the 2012 season, after four years at the helm.
He will continue on as a player with the Tigers, while Trent Cotchin takes the reigns as captain, chosen from an impressive group of candidates.
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“It’s probably something I thought about for a little while. I think it’s just the right time,” Newman said.
“I still pinch myself a bit. To captain an AFL side, let alone the Richmond Football Club, is mind blowing when I think of it.”
Inside the four walls of the ME Bank Centre, at Punt Road Oval, Newman could not be rated more highly.
While his courage and skill on the field has been easily identifiable for Tiger fans each week, it’s more difficult to gauge the way he has led a young playing group from the lower reaches of the ladder, to become a credible finals aspirant.
Damien Hardwick, Newman’s coach for three of his four captaincy years, perhaps summed it up best as he addressed the attendees at the 2012 Jack Dyer Medal night.
“He has captained this Club with courage, commitment and an unrelenting desire to make things better,” Hardwick said.
“His decision to step down as captain, to me, says everything about his leadership. He is absolutely selfless. It has never been about Chris Newman, it has always been about what is best for the team.
“That, to me, will be his legacy as captain, and I trust every one of his teammates will take that attitude into the pre-season and beyond.
“I can guarantee you that if every player looks at the selfless attitude of Chris Newman, and works their backsides off for each other during the pre-season, we will take the next step, and nobody, more than ‘Newy’, deserves to experience football in September.”