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Cats stick with skipper Joel, Gaz opts out

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I love working within this leadership group as each member brings different experiences
Joel Selwood

JOEL Selwood will captain Geelong for a seventh-straight season and is set to become the longest-serving skipper in the club's 159-year history. 

Selwood will lead a seven-man leadership group which was unveiled at Friday night's season launch at GMHBA Stadium, with Patrick Dangerfield again appointed as vice-captain and key defender Harry Taylor to act as deputy vice-captain. 

Superstar midfielder Gary Ablett will not be part of the official leadership team, with the former Gold Coast skipper (2011-2016) deciding not to carry a leadership title in his first season back at the club since 2010.

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Mark Blicavs, Mitch Duncan and Scott Selwood will continue in their leadership roles, while defender Zach Tuohy has been voted into the group in his second year at the club. 

Tom Hawkins and Cameron Guthrie have decided not to continue in their roles after they were part of an eight-man leadership group in 2017. 

Joel Selwood, a six-time All Australian, will take over the record for most games as captain early in the 2018 season, held by club legend Reg Hickey (142 games). 

Selwood, who has led Geelong in 139 games, said the Cats were in good hands heading into 2018. 

"I'm really looking forward to again leading this great club alongside my teammates this year," Selwood said. 

"We have a great group heading into 2018 and I am really excited for what's ahead. I love working within this leadership group as each member brings different experiences and assets which will only benefit us going forward."

Geelong football manager Simon Lloyd said the players voted into the leadership group were all highly respected within the club.

"These seven individuals could not be better suited to leading our playing group in the 2018 season. They are highly regarded through the club and were voted based on their ability to consistently drive and deliver on what Geelong stands for," Lloyd said. 

"Zach has been recognised by his peers and the broader club for his ability to positively influence others through action. His inclusion will be beneficial for the team. 

"Joel exemplifies the club's values and his commitment and passion for the cause is a testament to him as a captain."