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Vlastuin to thrive as skipper

Lade press conference, February 18th Head Coach for the first NAB Challenge, Brendon Lade speaks to the media ahead of the first pre-season challenge match against Fremantle.
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 10: Nick Vlastuin of the Tigers handpasses the ball during the 2015 AFL round 15 match between the Richmond Tigers and the Carlton Blues at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne, Australia on July 10, 2015. (Photo by Adam Trafford/AFL Media)
Nick Vlastuin will captain Richmond in Friday's NAB Challenge match

Fill-in Richmond coach Brendon Lade is confident accomplished, young defender Nick Vlastuin will perform admirably as the Tigers’ stand-in captain in their opening round NAB Challenge clash with Fremantle at Mandurah on Friday.

And Lade, who has taken over the senior coaching role from Damien Hardwick for the match, envisages the 21-year-old gaining considerable benefits from his captaincy experience.

VIDEO - NAB Challenge 1: Vlastuin on Freo test

“Nick was probably a bit taken aback when the boys said we want you to captain, but it’s a really good stepping stone (for him),” Lade said.

“He’ll slot into our backline and control that and everyone else. 

“He’s probably a bit nervous as well, but I’m sure if he just plays the way he normally does, he’ll be fine . . .

 “I think since he’s come to the Club he’s had that potential to be a leader.

“We’ll see how he goes with it.”