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AFLW: Different voice, but same style for Lions' new leader

Leah Kaslar is the new skipper of the Lions - AFLW,Brisbane Lions,Leah Kaslar
Leah Kaslar is the new skipper of the Lions

LEAH Kaslar offers a different voice, but the new captain of Brisbane's AFLW team says not much else will change after taking over from Emma Zielke as skipper.

Zielke has led the Lions to the competition's first two Grand Finals – heartbreaking six-point losses to Adelaide and the Western Bulldogs – but was pipped by Kaslar in a leadership vote prior to Christmas.

Kaslar has been a deputy to Zielke across both seasons and said she would still grab the midfielder's ear when she could.

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"Emma's a fantastic leader, probably a smarter footballer than me," Kaslar said.

"Over the past couple of years Emma and I have been in positions of leadership, so we've learnt to work together pretty well.

We've been able to lean on each other or ask each other for help when needed, and I'll definitely be leaning on her this year.

"We've had a lot of success so far under her leadership and I respect her a lot, and we'll definitely be sharing the load this year."

Kaslar, 33, has been a mainstay of Brisbane's rock-solid defence and formed a great combination with new vice-captain Kate Lutkins across 16 games.

Sam Virgo, returning from a ruptured ACL that wiped out her 2018 campaign, is also in the leadership group and will ensure plenty of direction from a powerful backline.

Emma Zielke led the Lions to two heartbreaking Grand Final defeats. Picture: AFL Photos

Coach Craig Starcevich said there was nothing between the quartet in leadership voting and said Kaslar had slightly different strengths to her predecessor.

"Emma's done a super job the last couple of years, taken the team to a couple of Grand Finals, which is no mean feat," Starcevich said.

"Our four leaders don't change their persona one little bit.

"Leah is very much about keeping people accountable and effort and those sorts of things.

"Emma's got a slightly different style and is equally as effective, gets the group standing up in big moments.

"I think it's just a change of voice."

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From a playing standpoint, Kaslar said opponents can expect more of the game-style that has characterised Brisbane's first two years.

"I think people know they're going to be up for a fight," she said.

"We're known for a relentless, intense, running style of football.

"I definitely think we've earnt some respect, but I'm not sure how far that carries in the new year."

Kaslar will get her first chance to lead on January 19 when Brisbane hosts Greater Western Sydney in a practice match at Yeronga.