Melbourne introduces 2015 leadership group

Nathan Jones will be the lone captain with Melbourne this season with support from three others in the team’s leadership group. The 27-year-old shared the skipper’s duties last season with Jack Grimes, but will be on his own this term. Other members of the club’s leadership group are Lynden Dunn, Chris Dawes, Daniel Cross and Heritier Lumumba. Dawes is a former Magpie while Cross is an ex-Dog and Lumumba formerly played with Collingwood. Melbourne’s head coach Paul Roos stated that the group is made up of players who have experience in finals and have gone through tough times together at Melbourne. Melbourne will attract some attention this season with fans in their BetEasy AFL Grand Final Bonus Bet.

Roos told the media, “I think it’s a really good mix of guys that understand how difficult it has been, but also some guys who have had some real success who can continue to raise standards around here.” He added that Lumumba, who joined the team in last season’s trade period, was added to the group because he’s already held in high esteem by the Demons. Roos remarked, “It just shows what high standards he does have.”

Grimes gave up his co-captaincy during the preseason so he could concentrate more on his game. Defender Dunn will be deputy to Jones this year and it’ll be his first crack at being a vice-captain after being in last year’s leadership group. Roos stated that Dunn is another player who’s held in high regard by Melbourne and he’s impressed the coach a lot over the past several months. The 27-year-old Dunn made it to the team’s leadership group early last season following the retirement of Mitch Clark. He’s been a fine performer over the past three campaigns and was a top-10 contender in the squad’s best and fairest each of those years.

Dunn was honoured with the assignment and announced, “I’ve worked really hard on my leadership, especially the last two or three years, and I think now I’ve settled down back, that has really helped me focus on game day.” Jones, who has 179 career appearances under his belt, has managed to capture three straight best and fairest awards at Melbourne, but he’s appeared in just a pair of finals so far. Demons’ fans are hoping that will change in 2015 and may want to back the club with their BetEasy AFL Grand Final Bonus Bet. Jones signed a four-year contract extension with the club in December which will tie him to Melbourne until 2019.

The skipper said he believes the team is on the right track and feels he’s personally developed on and off the field over the last three years by playing alongside Grimes and Dunn. Jones added that the team is looking forward to playing exciting football this year and he’s honoured to have been voted the team’s skipper by his peers and teammates. He added that the players want to repay the fans’ support by winning as many games as they can in 2015 to make up for a few lean years. To back Melbourne or any other AFL club this season lay down your BetEasy AFL Grand Final Bonus Bet.

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