The rise of Shaun Burgoyne reached a new high on Wednesday when he was made a joint vice-captain of the Port Adelaide Football Club.

Burgoyne, 24, is the only addition to last year’s leaders. Warren Tredrea has been retained as captain, while 2006’s vice-captains Chad Cornes, Brendon Lade and Michael Wilson, will also continue.

Burgoyne’s elevation to vice-captain comes after being made part of the extended leadership group prior to the 2006 season.

He went on to have a career-best year in 2006, leading the Power’s midfield and winning All-Australian honours, finishing sixth in the Brownlow Medal, and runner-up to Brendon Lade in the John Cahill Medal.

Behind-the-scenes, Burgoyne’s leadership also reached new heights, to the point where he could not be ignored for an official title in 2007.

“It’s a great delight and no surprise to see Shaun elected to the vice-captaincy position,” Power coach Mark Williams said.

“He has a great sense of responsibility, a great sense of purpose in what he does. He really does put the team before himself and his opinions carry a lot of weight within the group.

“He is very honest and very much a leader with the way he plays but also with the way he carries himself off the field. We have an array of indigenous players and Shaun being elected to that position represents their standing in our group as well.

“If you look at the captain and vice-captains and then include Darryl Wakelin and Josh Mahoney, it’s a great leadership group.

“The vice-captains compliment each other. There’s a couple of older ones who have been here from the start (Lade and Wilson) and there’s a couple of others (Cornes and Burgoyne) who have come through the ranks, reached the heights of individual accolades but on the other side of it they’re very much about what they can do for the group and caring for each other so it’s a great mix.

“They’re great support to Warren and the football coaches as well.”

Burgoyne said he was honoured to join what he considered to be an outstanding group of leaders.

“I’m honoured. I’ve never set goals to be vice-captain or captain but when the leadership group asked me to be in there I was happy to agree,” he said.

“We’ve got a great captain and three other vice-captains so hopefully I can add to the group.

“I’ve always tried to be a team player on the field and lead by example in the way I play so hopefully other players see that.

“I have been working pretty hard on my leadership skills off the field because with such a young group we need as many leaders as possible so hopefully I can take my leadership further this year.”

Captain Tredrea endorsed Shaun’s addition to the leadership group.

“He’s probably been the biggest improver out of the whole group. He had a career best year last year,” Tredrea said.

“From day one when he walked in to the place he was in cruise mode with his training and his life, he was pretty quiet. He’s now moved on to not only be an outstanding player but he stands up at training, voices his opinions and last year took on a real leadership role with the aboriginal group of players. This year we’ll see Shaun take that next step again.”

Tredrea admired the job his vice-captains of last year did while he was battling to overcome his knee problems.

“The guys did a tremendous job last year,” he said. “Everyone has grown a bit and they all had great seasons which reflects how well they handled the responsibility. They were real benchmark players for us.

“(The 2007 leadership group) is a mix of players but everyone in the group is working together. We’ve got a common goal and that is to improve our playing group as quickly as possible. When you’re willing to learn and listen and willing to improve yourselves as we are, it’s only going to be good for the footy club.”

As previously announced, the club’s extended leadership group in 2007 is made up of seven players – the five leaders with official titles, as well as Darryl Wakelin and Josh Mahoney.