The GIANTS have ushered in a new era with Stephen Coniglio today named AFL captain.
Coniglio, vice-captain since 2017, is the GIANTS’ first standalone captain in club history after Phil Davis and Callan Ward completed a captaincy handover in recent weeks.
Coniglio is also just the fourth GIANTS player to take on the captaincy after Davis, Ward and inaugural co-captain Luke Power.
Davis and Ward said Coniglio’s appointment marked an exciting new chapter for the AFL’s youngest club.
“This is something both Cal and I have thought a great deal about,” Davis said.
“We believe the time is right for a new leader to take our club into the next phase.
“I’m incredibly proud to have been an inaugural captain of this club, an organisation we’ve helped build from the ground up.
“Stephen is a great leader and has our full support as he takes on this new role.”
Ward said he was proud of his legacy as co-captain of the GIANTS and is looking forward to working with Coniglio in a leadership capacity.
“Although I was initially a reluctant leader, being co-captain of this club is something I’ll look back on with a huge amount of pride at the end of my career.
“I’ve learnt so much and grown incredibly with this title and I’m so thankful to have been given the opportunity.
“I’m so excited by what Stephen can offer as captain and look forward to running out beside him in 2020 and beyond.”
Chief Executive David Matthews paid tribute to Davis and Ward.
“As a start-up, we were extremely fortunate to have Phil and Callan join us to build the club in the first instance.
“They are outstanding players and people and the growth of the GIANTS has mirrored their growth and development.
“They have done a remarkable job to lead our football club and their legacy is absolutely assured in terms of the strong culture we have and also what is to come.
“Succession planning is vital to any strong organisation and this transition will be seamless.”
Coniglio said he’s honoured to take on the captaincy and follow in the footsteps of Davis and Ward.
“It’s a huge honour to be named captain of this great club,” Coniglio said.
“This club is my home and the people here are my family.
“I’ve learnt so much from Cal, Phil and the entire leadership group and will no doubt continue to lean on them for support and guidance as we move forward.
“I’m just so excited by what we’re doing here and where we can build to both as a team and a club and I look forward to leading us into that future.”
Coniglio arrived at the GIANTS via pick two in the club’s inaugural 2011 NAB AFL Draft and has since played 133 games in his eight seasons in the AFL competition.
His performance went to a new level in 2019, averaging 26 possessions, four tackles and more than a goal a game before suffering a knee injury in round 17.
Coniglio put pen to paper on a seven-year deal on the eve of the finals series, keeping him in the orange and charcoal until the end of 2026.