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Morris to lead VFL Tigers

Morris to captain VFL Steven Morris speaks to Roar Vision about being named captain of Richmond VFL for 2018.

Much-loved Richmond defender Steve Morris will captain the VFL Tigers in 2018.

Morris stood down from the Tigers' AFL list at the end of 2017 after a six-year career at the competition’s highest level.

The 29-year-old tough defender said it was an easy decision to remain committed to the Club’s VFL program.  

“To be named captain, it’s a real honour,” Morris said.

“Obviously there’s a reason I stayed on at the footy club and I absolutely loved my time last year.

“We’ve got a great bunch of guys at VFL-level that are helping us as a Club get to where we want to get to.

“To see those guys put the effort in week-in-week-out last year and some of them didn’t get rewarded with games when it mattered most.

“That would have been tough, but they all stayed on. Too see that sort of character in guys like that, wanting to stick around a Club and help even though they may not get a game, really influenced my decision to stay.”

Richmond’s VFL captaincy was left vacant after 2017 skipper Sam Darley signed with Geelong Football League club North Shore as their senior coach.

Morris was appointed his successor after the Club’s VFL players and coaching staff voted on a five-man leadership group.

The 2018 group also consists of key-defender Hugh Beasley, small forward Jake Aarts and midfielders Jacob Ballard and Tom Silvestro.

Morris brings extensive experience to the program, having played 87 senior matches for the Tigers.

The son of Richmond great Kevin Morris, he was recruited to the Club in 2011 and went on to earn a reputation as a tough as nails defender.

He said as he gets older, his outlook on football has shifted.

“For me at the stage of the career that I’m at, I just want to have fun,” Morris said.

“The VFL environment is very much that – it’s good fun. As I touched on before we’ve got a sensational group of blokes around and it just makes it enjoyable to be around.

“Having nearly gotten (to win a VFL Grand Final) last year, obviously that had something to do with; wanting to make amends this year and hopefully go one better, that’s a driving factor as well.”

Morris will also hold a development coaching role with the VFL Tigers this year.

Whilst he eyes off success on the field, he is passionate about making a difference off of it.

“It’s a real opportunity for me to upskill in coaching, upskill in leadership and learn a bit more about myself in leadership,” he said.

“I want to take that to the next level and help as many of the young guys as a I can because we’ve got sensational talent.”

Morris will work closely with Richmond’s VFL and development coach Craig McRae.

McRae, a triple Premiership player at Brisbane, returned to Richmond at the end of 2015 and was quick to make an impact on the Club’s VFL program.

Morris said he looked forward to learning off McRae.

“I think the main thing I’ve learnt off him and will continue to learn off him is probably his care,” Morris said.

“His connection with everyone at the Club is just unbelievable, whether it’s the top person or the person you’d least expect him to be putting time into.

“He probably wouldn’t want me to say this but he’s walking around the oval (before training) with a guy that’s trying to work on his fitness who works in property.

“It just speaks volumes of the character of the man and it’s no wonder guys want to play for him and he gets the best out of them.”

Richmond’s VFL season kicks off with a Grand Final rematch against Port Melbourne on Saturday, April 7.