CONNOR ROZEE says he has eased into the Port Adelaide captaincy, balancing competing changes to his life on and off-field through a strong support network.
Rozee was announced as the replacement as skipper for the retired Tom Jonas late last year, becoming the club’s eighth men’s captain in its AFL era.
The two-time All-Australian has had a big off-season, getting engaged, signing an eight-year contract extension and announcing he and partner Maisie are expecting their first child.
Still only 24, Rozee has taken all of the change in his stride.
Speaking ahead of the club’s Team Photo Day at Alberton Oval on Monday, Rozee discussed how he is handling his new role, how the players are settling into the new MG High Performance Centre, and how forward Mitch Georgiades is tracking as he navigates the final stages of his return from a long-term knee injury.
Connor Rozee on his first couple of months as captain:
“It's been a nice transition. I think we've got a couple of weeks on the track. It's been nice to sort of get into a bit of match play. Just adjusting to meetings and things.
“There's not big adjustments. But I think it's just probably a lot more meetings about other people, rather than just my own personal game, which has been a bit of an adjustment would be for anyone.
“There's a lot of things that I can still do to grow my leadership style, but that’ll come with the challenges that I face along the way. There’ll be a lot of different challenges, I guess, coming into games now that I probably haven’t faced yet.”
Connor Rozee on the advice from coach Ken Hinkley to him about being captain:
“That was probably Ken’s main point to me when he told me that I was going to be captain. He said, first and foremost, it’s performance. He said stay at my level and that as a captain, people look up to you - how you act and how you behave, but how you perform as well - so that's really important I think, that'd be really important for us to be successful as well.”
Connor Rozee on how he is navigating on and off-field pressures including impending parenthood:
“I think it's learning to delegate things to other people, trying not to take everything onto my own two shoulders. And the reason why we've got this leadership group around me is so I can ask things of them and they can ask things of me, and work in a way that works best for us and our scheduling and what we’ve got going on outside the football club. So, I've got really good people around me, inside the football club and outside that can help me with that sort of stuff.”
Connor Rozee on the newly opened MG High Performance Centre at Alberton Oval:
“It's been great. It's a big change from what we used to have, obviously, the temporary stuff that we got last year. So, we're all just really grateful to have a facility that we're really looking forward to coming into each day and helps us get better. We’ve got world class facilities now for our recovery and preparation and I think it's just enjoyable to come to a workspace that you like being in each day.”
Connor Rozee on Mitch Georgiades getting close to full contract training following his ACL injury:
“He did almost a full session today and I think he’s just getting close to that full contact training. So yeah, we're really excited having him back. It's been a long time since we've had him, so he'll be another asset to add to add to our forward line. He’s tracking really well so hopefully we can have him for the start of the season.”