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Boak steps aside as skipper

Boak steps aside as captain - PTV Travis Boak steps aside as captain and returns to the #10 jumper

TRAVIS BOAK will step aside as AFL Captain of the Port Adelaide Football Club after six seasons in the role.

Boak, 30, is the club’s most capped AFL skipper with 137 games as captain, 135 of those games since taking on the leadership role officially from Dom Cassisi in 2013.

The 2011 club champion has twice been All-Australian and played all 22 games in 2018.

But he says now is the right time to allow a new leader to step up.

“Six years into the job I think it’s the right time to hand it over to the next person, whoever that is,” Boak said.

“I’ve hit 30 now and I’m at the back end of my career so I think it’s a good chance for a change of direction.

“The club is in a good position with everything that’s been set up off the field and on the field with all the players we’ve got in in the past few years, so it’s a perfect opportunity for the next person to come in and take the lead and push the group forward.”

Boak’s appointment as captain leading in to the 2013 season came at a time when the club needed strong leadership.

He immediately led the club to its first finals campaign in six years.

Boak said there was no greater honour than captaining Port Adelaide.

“I got drafted to this great club when I was 18 and my dream was just to play one game for the Port Adelaide Football Club,” he said.

“So, when I was told I was going to captain it was one of the best days of my footy career and every time I put on that number one guernsey it was a great honour.

“It’s something I hold close to me and something I’ll look back on after my career and feel so very proud of.”

The decision means Boak will give up the number one guernsey, reserved at Port Adelaide for the club captain, and return to the number 10 guernsey he wore prior to taking on the role.

 “I don’t think too much will change, there’ll just be a zero next to the one on the guernsey,” he joked.

“I’ll still be a leader around the club, and whoever takes over next, I’ll be there to support them.

“We’ve got a strong leadership group and a lot of senior players, and I’ll be one of those who’ll be there to guide and provide advice as much as I can.”

Boak became captain in coach Ken Hinkley’s first year at the club in 2013.

Hinkley praised Boak for his selfless decision to step down, thanking him for his strong leadership throughout the past six years.

“Travis always does what’s right and what is best for the team, and no matter what, nothing is going to get in the way of Trav’s ultimate goal, which is team success,” he said.

“When I first got to the club, he was the obvious choice to succeed Dom Cassisi, who had been a great captain for the club.

“We are in a pretty lucky situation where we’ve now got three or four people who I think could clearly step up because they’ve been shown how a great leader like Travis acts – he’s been a great example of what a strong captain looks like.

“Trav’s a selfless person – he knows it’s the right time – and I think it’s a great decision because it’ll free him up to enjoy the last parts of his career and may even extend his career, because being captain, as much as it’s an honour, can also be a burden on people.

“To release some of that responsibility will be good for Travis and to allow someone else to experience it will be good for them.”

The club will use the pre-season to consider its leadership group before appointing a successor.

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