LEETON-Whitton's new coach Tom Groves has made his first big decision after opting to elevate Mason Dryburgh as a co-captain alongside incumbent Tom Meline next year.
The Crows began their pre-season on Monday night and although they haven't lured any recruits as yet, Groves is confident they have the experience to help some young players through their first taste of senior football.
Ruckman Dryburgh was part of Leeton-Whitton's drought-breaking premiership in 2018, and is regarded as one of the best big men in the league.
"He (Dryburgh) doesn't say a lot, but what he says is worth its weight in gold," Groves said.
"He's very experienced and his footy improves every year, he can take his game to the next level I think.
"They're both premiership players and lead by example, it was quite an easy decision."
Groves was co-coach at Coleambally for a season after previous experience as an assistant at the Blues and Griffith.
He's also spent time coaching with the Giants Academy in recent years.
Groves said the butterflies began to build on the morning of the side's first training session, but is confident he's got the apprenticeship on the board to help lift the Crows up the ladder.
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"Obviously we're pretty young at the moment. We're starting pre season nice and early so we can see that youth get a good start into senior footy to make it a bit easier.
"The talent is there, with a bit of hard work we should keep seeing improvement I think.
"Bryce O'Garey hasn't officially (decided if he's playing), he was weighing up retirement, but guys like Bootsy (Brad Boots), Meline, Matt Rainbird and myself, there's experience there to guide these fellas in the right direction."
Groves said he will bring his own ideologies to the job after Sam Darley quit as coach one year into a two year deal to play football in Geelong.
"All coaches have different philosophies and tinkers with game plans, some things will be a little different," he said.
"I was saying to Jenna (wife) this morning (before training) 'I'm a bit nervous', but it's good because it shows it means something.
"I'm really looking forward to it actually. I'm excited to get into it, I feel confident."
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