AFL 2 years ago

Time for a new Saints skipper: Riewoldt

  • Time for a new Saints skipper: Riewoldt

    MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 10: Nick Riewoldt of the Saints leads the team out during the round 16 AFL match between the Essendon Bombers and the St Kilda Saints at Etihad Stadium on July 10, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

Champion forward Nick Riewoldt has all but confirmed this AFL season will be his last as St Kilda captain.

Riewoldt is the Saints' longest-serving skipper, having first led the club in 2005.

The 33-year-old this year became the fifth man to captain an AFL club more than 200 times, also becoming just the fifth Saint to play 300 games.

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He signed a one-year deal in June, extending his career to a 17th season.

Riewoldt, who has been in impressive form throughout 2016, was unsure at the time whether he would relinquish the captaincy.

But the six-time club best and fairest has now seemingly made up his mind.

"It is probably time for someone else to step up and take the reins," Riewoldt told radio station SEN on Wednesday.

"I've always said right the way through that (the decision will be based on) whatever is in the best interests of the club.

"We'll have that conversation in the off-season.

"But I'd certainly hope that between now and the start of next year that someone really elevates themselves."

David Armitage, Jarryn Geary, Maverick Weller, Jack Steven are among the contenders floated as Riewoldt's likely successor.

Riewoldt noted he was keen to impart as much knowledge as possible to the Saints' younger leaders.

"As a leader it is my job to help mentor those people and make sure we've got a really strong candidate," he said.

Losses to Sydney and North Melbourne in the past three weeks have scuppered the Saints' finals hopes.

But they've banked 10 wins from 20 games, showing the sort of development that has Riewoldt hungry for more.

"When you get to this stage of your career really the reason you are playing is to play for success," he said.

"That's certainly been exciting this year - the fact that we've been able to transition a little bit quicker than people would have anticipated."

Riewoldt added that playing further up the ground and running more has helped him become more durable and deal with his degenerative knee problem.

The Saints face Richmond at the MCG on Saturday.

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