MELBOURNE has named co-captains for 2017, elevating Jack Viney to join Nathan Jones in the new joint role.

Joining Jones and Viney in the six-man leadership group are 2016 All-Australian ruckman Max Gawn, four-time premiership player, boom recruit Jordan Lewis, key defender Tom McDonald and 2015 Melbourne best and fairest winner Bernie Vince.

Coach Simon Goodwin said the club felt the co-captaincy model was the best fit for the club and he was adamant Jones and Viney were “the two right guys”.

“We’re in an enviable position to have two fantastic leaders within our footy club – Nathan Jones and Jack Viney. They’ll be our co-captains for 2017,” he said at AAMI Park on Friday afternoon.

“Nathan is a strong leader and he’s extremely passionate about this playing group and he wants the club to have success and he’s driving every day to have that. He plays the game in a way that resembles everything we want from our players.

“Jack Viney is a young, talented player who role models exactly the core values we want in our playing group. Jack is ready for the job and he’s excited about it and with Nathan, they’ll make a great, strong partnership.”

Jones has been in the captaincy role since 2014, having been a co-captain with former player Jack Grimes in his first year. He was then sole skipper in 2015-16.

Now, on the back of his best and fairest winning season in 2016, Viney has been promoted to share the role with Jones.

The two players are among the club’s best and most respected players.

Jones, who has finished in the top three of Melbourne’s best and fairest award on five occasions, winning three in a row from 2012-14, has played 223 matches since he made his AFL debut in 2006. He was twice nominated for the NAB AFL Rising Star in 2006-07. Jones also enters the 2017 season having played 97 consecutive matches since round 15, 2012.

He said he was initially surprised with the co-captaincy set-up, but Jones added that Viney would be a great addition to the role.

“I’ve been able to digest it over the last few days and I’m really confident Jack is a really capable young leader and a terrific talent and player,” he said.

“He’s really developing along nicely, so I’m excited to having him stand next to me and helping me lead the club into the future.

“Jack and I see the game very similarly and play quite similarly and we’re both really passionate and bleed for the footy club. Our goals and beliefs are very similar and we want the footy club to succeed – not only now, but in the future. Both of us working together is going to powerful for our group.”

Viney has played 70 matches since he made his debut in 2013. He was nominated for a NAB AFL Rising Star in 2013 and finished second in Melbourne’s best and fairest in 2015.

It also means Viney and father Todd, who captained Melbourne from 1998-99, have become the first father/son combination to skipper the club on a full-time basis.

Viney said he was rapt to be named co-captain next to Jones.

“It’s really exciting. I came into the football club as a pretty gung-ho kid and I thought there was one way of being professional and being a leader, which I quickly learned wasn’t the way,” he said.

“I’ve really developed over the last three or four years and thankfully Goody has seen that as well and I’ve got an opportunity.

“I’m so proud to be co-captain of the footy club, which has so much great history, and with my old man as well, there is a bit of sentimental value to it as well. I’m very passionate and devoted to achieving success and driving us to a good place.”

The only change from last year’s leadership group is Lewis in for defender Colin Garland.  

2017 Melbourne leadership group

Nathan Jones (co-captain)

Jack Viney (co-captain)

Max Gawn

Jordan Lewis

Tom McDonald

Bernie Vince


2016 Melbourne leadership group

Nathan Jones (captain)

Colin Garland

Max Gawn

Tom McDonald

Bernie Vince

Jack Viney