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Bulldog Bob considered handing over captaincy

Football

Western Bulldogs captain Bob Murphy admits he considered stepping down as skipper to usher in a younger leadership regime at the AFL premiers.

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But the inspirational veteran will retain the captaincy in 2017.

The 34-year-old heads into his 18th AFL season after missing the Bulldogs’ premiership run in 2016 due to a knee injury suffered early in the year.

Murphy, who’s played 295 games, was happy to continue as captain but said he saw value in Nick Riewoldt’s move to hand over the St Kilda leadership in 2017.

“You definitely go through some thinking about what’s best for the team, whether you’re the best man for the job,” Murphy told SEN.

“Ultimately, we’re just servants of the footy club. So you got to ask yourself a few questions about whether you think you’re the right person for it, whether you’ve still got the energy for it and the guys coming through.”

In contrast to Riewoldt, who was Saints captain since 2005, Murphy said he had more to accomplish after only two years in the role.

“I can certainly see the benefit of the Nick Riewoldt situation… Nick having been captain for so long,” he said.

“I suppose that’s where I sort of argued the difference there. I’ve been in the job for two years, one of those with an asterisk next to it.

“The idea of having that mentor for the young captain coming through is something that all clubs would look at for sure.”

Murphy underwent knee surgery in April after he ruptured an anterior cruciate ligament against Hawthorn in round three last year.

He missed the Dogs’ drought-breaking grand final win over Sydney, but said he was progressing well in pre-season.

“I shouldn’t miss a beat, to be honest,” he said.

“We’ve had a couple of practice matches up here (on the Sunshine Coast) just amongst ourselves and I’ve played and got through those.

“I should play the majority of the pre-season competition.”

-AAP

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