Easton Wood has paid tribute to club legend Bob Murphy after being announced as the new captain of the Western Bulldogs.
The 28-year-old will lead a leadership group of six, which includes Marcus Bontempelli as vice-captain.
The new-look group, which was voted on by the players, includes Lachie Hunter, Jason Johannisen, Jack Redpath and Jordan Roughead.
Wood, the Bulldogs’ vice-captain for the last two seasons, led the club to a historic premiership in 2016 in the absence of Bob Murphy, who missed most of that season with a knee injury.
Murphy, the Club captain from 2015-17, retired in August after 312 games.
Bulldogs’ senior coach Luke Beveridge praised Wood for his leadership qualities.
“Easton provides inspiration on and off the field and stimulates all of us to reach new heights on both a personal level and as a team,” Beveridge said.
“He is selfless, caring, always puts the team and the Club first, and is the ultimate professional.
“His experience of stepping in as captain in Bob’s absence in 2016 will give him confidence that he can lead the Club into the future, and we have full confidence in him.”
Wood has established himself as one of the AFL best defenders, playing 125 games since his debut in 2009.
“It’s a huge honour. I’m really excited about taking on the role,” Wood said.
“I feel like I’ve been pretty fortunate to have had a great lead-in into it when Bob went down, but still having that support there for him to guide me through it.
“I couldn’t have had a better apprenticeship. It’s exciting to have that challenge and opportunity to keep growing.”
In a joint decision between Dale Morris and Beveridge, Morris will step away from official leadership duties to allow a new group to forge their own identity.