AFL News for week ending Feb 26, 2023: Cats name new captain, Tiger Tim sends a warning and 'the Angry Ant' is back
Dangerfield the new Cats captain
With the departure of Joel Selwood at the end of 2022, the Geelong Cats faced a dilemma - select a new captain with more seniority to try and snare back-to-back flags or choose a younger, up-and-comer as the side looks beyond 2023.
In terms of the latter, many pundits thought Tom Stewart might be the man to fill Selwood's massive boots, but the powers that be at the Cats instead decided to give him the vice-captaincy, with Patrick Dangerfield elevated to the top role.
This won't come as a surprise for many - Dangerfield is, without doubt, a future legend of the game, with every honour possible (Best and Fairest, Brownlow, All-Australian, Grand Final) coming his way, and then some.
Good luck Paddy!
Tim Taranto shines in practice match
Meanwhile, over at Tiger Land, Tiggy Tim Taranto, fresh to the club from the Greater Western Sydney Giants, starred in his new side's practice match against North Melbourne.
Taranto was commanding for the Tigers, kicking two goals (he could have kicked several more), and seems to have slotted in very comfortably into his new side.
Oh - and for now, you can't deny it looks like any chat about Dustin Martin losing his hunger for the game can be laid to rest as he too put in a solid performance.
North fans had a lot to be happy about too, only going down by two points to the Tigers, with new coach Alistair Clarkson's influence already clear in the way the side played.
And they would have been excited to see No.3 draft pick Harry Sheezel show some great early flashy signs in his first appearance for the club.
Maybe cellar dwellers no more?
Oh, Clarko ...
As much as everyone will be happy to have coaching genius Clarko back in the game, we did see a little of the "Angry Ant" of old this week.
At a media conference at a training session, Clarko got wound up as questions came thick and fast, notably about Tarryn Thomas and the situation the club has been dealing with around him.
The heat reached boiling point where it was alleged Clarko said to Nine reporter Elisabeth Moss, “Your time will come”, which was perceived as threatening.
But, true to his nature, Clarkson jumped on the front foot and issued a statement on Thursday in which he admitted to making the comment and apologised.
Coaches can be very protective of their sides, and Clarko has shown time and time again he is no exception.
Likewise, the media can and do go hard after stories - it is their job, after all - but respect is also important in our game, as this outcome proves.
Of course, a few good-natured gibes between coaches and the media don't go astray - Ross Lyon, anyone?!
"You're quite brilliant, Shane ..."