New Western Bulldogs skipper Marcus Bontempelli is already one of the competition’s best players.
A third Charles Sutton Medal and second All Australian selection in 2019 – prior to his 24th birthday – only served to emphasize that fact.
But can he rise to another level in 2020?
Based on the pre-season the gun midfielder is putting together, teammate Sam Lloyd believes it’s possible.
“He’s flying this pre-season… he’s come back super fit,” Lloyd told RSN Breakfast Club on Friday.
“It’s a bit embarrassing for a couple of the boys when we do match simulation, because he’s starting to take the piss a little bit.
“He’ll be fine come game time, it comes naturally to him.”
The leadership transition has been a smooth one according to Lloyd, with Bontempelli inheriting the captaincy duties from Easton Wood and Lachie Hunter stepping into the role of deputy.
“I wouldn’t say it’s changed too much, Bont’s a natural leader,” Lloyd said.
“I think it was always going to be a pretty seamless transition, especially when you get every one of the players’ votes.”