Who Should Be North Melbourne Captain?

This is almost like unchartered waters for myself. The last time we had a change in the captaincy was at the end of 2008, when Adam Simpson handed the reins down (literally) to Brent Harvey, who has given North Melbourne three fantastic years of leadership, exuberant play and a familiar face in the media. Back then, football was nothing more than a passing interest. I learned of the change of skipper when logging onto the AFL website one morning. “Meh, no big deal” I said to myself. A few years on, and I’m feeling every blow of the change of captaincy. Every article in the media, every talkback radio discussion, every internet forum discussion. Harvey giving up the captaincy is a good thing. It is time. Who he gives it to, well there’s a plethora of options. Let’s go through them in a detailed fashion.

CANDIDATE #1 – Drew Petrie (20)

Drew would be a fantastic captain of the North Melbourne Football Club. The Kangaroos are his club, he bleeds for the blue and white, he has plenty of resilience (who would’ve thought he would gain an All-Australian jumper after his horror 2010 season?) and he’s not afraid to get up in the faces of his opponent, not to mention getting on their shoulders when soaring for a high-flying mark. At the age of 29 though, he is the oldest player at the club behind Boomer. He will only hold the captaincy for a couple of years, before we’re all at it again.

CANDIDATE #2 – Andrew Swallow (9)

Fast becoming North Melbourne’s best player and poster boy, he is well known and gives off every bit of character from past greats, such as Anthony Stevens and Adam Simpson. After claiming his second Syd Barker Medal last year, Swallow is primed to be captain of this club. He recently signed with the club, effectively killing off any chance of him being poached by Greater Western Sydney at the end of the season, therefore showing he is as loyal as they come. He doesn’t tick as many boxes as Drew in the media stakes, however. This can be quickly fixed though.

CANDIDATE #3 – Jack Ziebell (7)

If selected captain, he will be the third youngest in VFL/AFL history, and the youngest ever for North Melbourne. Now that’s pretty impressive for a kid who’s only just turned 20, and has broken his leg twice in his three years in the AFL system. Many people were underwhelmed by Ziebell’s efforts by the halfway mark of the season in 2011 that media experts were calling for the first round draft pick to be dropped to the VFL. The fact he’s now one of the favourites to captain his side is testimony to his outstanding finish of the season. Speaks well in the media, and if chosen, could form a small succession plan where Swallow takes over after five years. The captaincy will then be returned to, when Ziebell and Swallow are ready to retire. The smart option, I believe.

CANDIDATE #4 – Daniel Wells (8)

The silky-smooth midfielder for North is a dark horse for the captaincy role. Arguably the best and most valuable player at the club, Wells is an outstanding leader for the younger players in the team. Is quite level-headed, and will be a left-field choice if chosen, but one most supporters will be delighted with.

CANDIDATE #5 – Jamie Macmillan (34)

Will captain the club at some stage of his career. The switched-on defender/midfielder showed outstanding leadership on the recent pre-season camp in Utah, coming to the aid of a struggling Majak Daw while on an arduous hill run, and even singling out a couple of senior players for not showing enough support to the struggling ruckman before delivering a great speech to the group about comradeship and supporting each other 100% of the time. The darkest of dark horses at this stage.

Myself, I’d be putting money on Petrie taking the captaincy. But I hope it is either Swallow or Ziebell, the latter especially. We’re due to find out at 12pm Friday afternoon.

About Josh Barnstable

21 year old North Melbourne supporter from country Victoria. Currently living in Melbourne studying a Bachelor of Sports Media. Dreams of becoming a sports journalist and broadcaster.


  1. Josh,

    Andrew Swallow is an excellent – and obvious – choice by the club.
    Petrie did not need the captaincy…all North people know what a gun he is:
    just let him concentrate on his own game.

    I like your commenst about MacMillan.

    Interestingly, Terry Wallace (on SEN yesterday) said that Ziebell is more
    important to the Roos than Petrie. I almost drove my car off the road. This
    was after comparing Petrie with Jarrad Waite. Waite is not even in the
    same conversation.

  2. predicted this 3 years ago and looky looky! :)
    Swallow is going to be a great leader!

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