HAWTHORN'S players will front their teammates to reveal who they are voting for as the club's next captain.

The playing group will hold an in-house vote to decide on Jarryd Roughead's replacement as skipper, likely to be held early next year.

Each player will cast his ballot on a 5-4-3-2-1 basis before informing his teammates who he voted for.

Roughead stepped down as captain last week after two years in the role, immediately sparking public speculation on who will replace him.

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Joint vice-captains Isaac Smith and Liam Shiels appear the most likely candidates, while Jack Gunston and Ben Stratton were the other members of the club's 2018 leadership group.

According to Roughead, Hawthorn's process in electing a new captain enables more feedback for the playing group to grow and improve in their leadership ambitions.

"We all get a vote, so I'll have my vote," Roughead said.

"It's 5-4-3-2-1 and we read it out in front of the group. That's the good thing about it, when you're voting you actually know who you're voting for.

"If someone doesn't vote for you, you can pick up on them and ask why not, and get better from there as well."


Roughead said you could "throw a blanket" over 10 Hawks who could become the club's next captain, though his former deputies Smith and Shiels appear the most likely choices.

Smith acted as the club's stand-in skipper for the two games when Roughead was absent last season and said he gathered some key takeaways from the experience.

"You'd love to captain Hawthorn," Smith said.

"It's a great club and it's had some great leaders. Personally, it would be a feather in the cap. But you'd also want it to be the right time and the right person as well.

"I learnt a little bit (from last year). The biggest thing is making sure the group is calm and in control so you can execute what you want to execute on the day."

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Shiels has also been touted as a future captain of Hawthorn, having been elevated into the club's leadership group on the eve of the 2017 season.

He was immediately made the club's vice-captain, highlighting its trust in his leadership abilities, but said he's not yet thinking about taking on the role on a permanent basis.

"It would be a huge honour to captain any football club," Shiels said.

"To be honest, I haven't put too much thought into it. It's day one of pre-season.

"My sole focus over the last couple of years has been to support Roughy as vice-captain, to support him on game day and off the field, so I haven't put too much thought into it.