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'Complete package' van Berlo remains Crows captain

Nathan Van Berlo poses for a photograph during the Adelaide Crows 2013 team photo day at AAMI Stadium, Adelaide. (Photo: Michael Willson/AFL Media)
Nathan van Berlo will lead the Crows again in 2013
He lives the values of the club and of the players. He is the ultimate role model
Brenton Sanderson on Nathan van Berlo

ADELAIDE midfielder Nathan van Berlo will captain the Crows for a third consecutive year, with Rory Sloane, Patrick Dangerfield, Scott Thompson, and newcomers Sam Jacobs and Jason Porplyzia joining him in the leadership group.

The 26-year-old played a vital role in Adelaide's midfield in 2012 and led the club in tackles with 126 from his 25 games.

Coach Brenton Sanderson said van Berlo was a clear and obvious choice to lead the club into 2013.

"VB is the complete package when it comes to leadership," Sanderson said.

"He leads by example and he understands our game plan - he is an extension of the coaching group in that respect. His relationship with the whole squad is fantastic.

"He lives the values of the club and of the players. He is the ultimate role model for our young players and the entire squad."

Veteran defender Ben Rutten removed himself from the leadership group in order to focus more on his own game and on mentoring Adelaide's young defenders.

Sanderson said the 29-year-old would still play a key leadership role within the squad.

"Truck (Rutten) has been in the leadership group for a long time. He came to me before Christmas and said he felt there were players coming through, who were ready to lead," Sanderson said.
 
"Truck decided he really wanted to help (defensive coach) Darren Milburn fast-track those young defenders. Truck will spend a lot of time with that group, watching their game tapes and helping them at training."

Harry Thring is a reporter for AFL Media. Follow him on Twitter: @AFL_Harry.