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Future Captain?

Matthew Hagias  March 25, 2016 8:32 AM

Dylan Shiel was elevated to the GIANTS' Leadership Group this week.

Make no mistake, Dylan Shiel has all the qualities needed to captain the GIANTS one day.

An ultimate professional lauded for his preparation and recovery, Shiel importantly sets the standard both on and off the field.

He’s a natural leader, a well-respected team-man and has the potential to become one of the AFL’s next elite midfielders.

Despite his captaincy qualities, for now the 22-year-old would rather bide his time and learn from those already at the helm.

After all, his time will come and he’s in no rush to take charge.

Shiel was named in the club’s leadership group this week alongside Devon Smith, Stephen Coniglio and Matt Buntine joining vice-captain Heath Shaw plus co-captains Callan Ward and Phil Davis.

The promotion is both a reward for his personal growth and recognition of his impact on the playing group.

“It’s obviously a big honour to be inducted into the GIANTS leadership group,” Shiel said.

“I’m going to lead by example with how I operate around the footy club and also how I play on the field.

“It would be nice to think one day maybe (I could captain) but obviously Callan Ward and Phil Davis are pretty young themselves… and those guys are doing a really good job.

No stranger to responsibility, Shiel was inducted into the GIANTS’ Emerging Leaders Group back in 2014.

He also captained his club Edithvale-Aspendale throughout his junior career and vice-captained the Victorian state team at the National Championships in 2010.

Entering his fifth season in the AFL, Shiel admits his focus has shifted since finding his feet in the competition.

“In the first few years of an AFL career, not that it’s the wrong thing, but young players tend to try and focus on themselves to establish themselves as an AFL player,” he said.

“I guess, like the club, I was trying to do that with my personal game.

“Probably now since a few of us have done that and now that we’re in the leadership group we’re able to try and help others around us and really make this club a better place and a better team.”

The former Dandenong Stingray was pre-selected by the GIANTS as a 17-year-old and has gone on to play 64 games for the club.

Shiel had an exceptional start to the 2015 season, averaging 26 disposals before injuring his knee against St Kilda in Round 15.

He has since recovered fully and is raring to go this Saturday when the GIANTS play Melbourne at the MCG.

“My body is really good, can’t really say more than that,” Shiel said.

“I love playing at the MCG, the home of footy. We don’t get to play down there too much so we have to make the most of our opportunities there.”