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Ben Guthrie  February 5, 2013 2:21 PM

Beams added to leadership group Dayne Beams 2012 highlights
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Dayne Beams has been added to the Pies' leadership group

When you come into a club as a young player, you don’t really understand what it takes to perform at a high level consistently ... and that was my problem from the get go
DAYNE Beams believes a frank assessment of where he sat and where he wanted to get to as a footballer was the catalyst behind his rise to the club's leadership group.

Beams, who turns 23 on Sunday, is the youngest member of the Magpies' four-man leadership group
in his role as deputy vice-captain. Experienced trio Nick Maxwell (captain), Scott Pendlebury (vice-captain) and Luke Ball (deputy vice-captain) head the list.

Beams capped a fabulous 2012 season with his first Copeland Trophy and a spot in the All Australian team, justifying his three-year contract extension he signed last August.

Beams said he reached a turning point at the end of the 2011 season after struggling in the early stages of his career.

He missed the 2011 Grand Final against Geelong through injury, after performing below his best in the 2010 Grand Final against St Kilda and the replay.

"When you come into a club as a young player, you don’t really understand what it takes to perform at a high level consistently," Beams said.

"And that was my problem from the get go."

Beams said the disappointments spurred him to make some changes in his preparations on and off the field.

"It was something I looked at - at the end of my third year [I] wanted to be more consistent as a player, and really as a person," Beams said.

"I sorted a few things out and learned from guys I see do it well at the footy club, and that's how I approached my footy over the last year."

His on-field performance and newfound attitude impressed Maxwell, so much so he was elevated to the club's leadership group with Jarryd Blair before the club's 2012 finals campaign.

Now, after nominating for the role on a permanent basis this year, Beams realises a leadership position is something he covets.

"The first couple of years, it wasn't something I really thought about much," Beams said.

"Being asked to come in (to the leadership group) at the end of last year by Maxy was something I really enjoyed, and something I wanted to pursue."

As part of the process, the whole team voted for their preferred leaders. From there, 12 senior players came up with the quartet that would lead the club in 2013.

Coach Nathan Buckley praised Beams for receiving the recognition from his teammates.

"It's a fantastic vindication for Beamsy and what he's been able to achieve in the last 12 months," Buckley said.

"That is focus entirely on his footy, make all the right decisions, on and off the field.

"We're really looking forward to watching him continue to blossom as a leader and continue his on field performance as well."

Maxwell said Beams had come on in leaps and bounds.

"He gained so much respect from the whole group, and I think, the whole competition (last year)," Maxwell said.

"The thing that stands out to me the most is that he wants to be a leader."

Ben Guthrie is a reporter for AFL.com.au. Follow him on Twitter @AFL_BenGuthrie