Premiership skipper Easton Wood has decided to step down as captain of the Western Bulldogs.
The 30-year-old has held the role permanently for the past two seasons, after deputising for the injured Bob Murphy throughout 2016 and leading the Bulldogs to the ultimate success.
Wood – who will remain in the leadership group for 2020 – said with many strong leaders in the Bulldogs’ ranks he felt the time was right to hand the reins to a new captain.
“After a lot of thought over the off-season and the last little while, I’ve come to the decision to step down as captain,” Wood told teammates on Monday.
“It’s been a difficult decision to come to, but I feel now’s the right time for both myself and for you boys and the group.
“I’m incredibly proud of the position we’re currently in as a group.
“The way that this group really jelled together, particularly halfway through the year after what was a really challenging start to the season… is something that I think really holds us in good stead and is the reason why I’m excited about where the group is at and what we’ve got ahead of us.
“It goes without saying that captaining this group and this Club has been the single biggest privilege of my career.
“I think as time goes on, it will only be something I’m more and more proud of and look back on even more fondly.”
Senior coach Luke Beveridge praised Wood’s impact as a leader.
“On behalf of everyone associated with our Club, I want to thank and congratulate Easton for his outstanding contribution as our captain during a period of success and significant change,” Beveridge said.
“The hallmark of great leaders is consistency of temperament, care for others and work ethic regardless of the circumstances.
“Easton has most definitely been dependable in displaying these traits and has forged a reputation as a beacon of strength and resilience within our Club.”