SYDNEY star Josh Kennedy hopes his elevation to the Swans' captaincy can help him step out of the shadow of his famous grandfather, and continue to build his own legacy in the game.

Kennedy, who has also signed a new three-year deal to keep him at the Swans until the end of the 2020 season, takes over the role from co-captains Jarrad McVeigh and Kieren Jack, who decided to step down after off-season discussions about the future of the club with coach John Longmire. 

John Kennedy snr is a legend at Hawthorn, having won four best and fairest awards between 1950 and 1954 before coaching the Hawks to their first three premierships, while Josh's father John won four premierships with the dominant Hawks teams of the 1980's.

That meant Josh's move from Hawthorn to Sydney in 2009 came as a shock to the family, but since then, he's put together a remarkable list of achievements. 

The 28-year-old is a premiership player, three-time All Australian, has won the best and fairest three times, and won this year's inaugural Gary Ayres Award as the AFL Coaches Association's best player of the finals.

The new Swans captain joked on Friday that it might be finally his turn to be the face of the Kennedy name.

"I'm sure they're extremely proud, but this is my time in the sun so they can take a back seat for a minute, and I'm going to enjoy it," he said with a laugh.

"It's happened pretty quickly so I'm looking forward to speaking to my family and extended family, and I'm sure as they have been throughout my career, they'll be great support." 

With McVeigh and Jack still playing quality footy, the Swans see the time is right for Kennedy to take over the top job, and he knows having the pair by his side can only benefit the club during the transition. 

"There's aspects of my leadership that are going to evolve and improve, and there's no doubt that has to be the case," Kennedy said.

"I know I'll have the support of the leadership group and together we're steering the ship which I take great confidence out of.

"It's still a little bit daunting but not much has to change, and that's due to Jarrad (McVeigh) and Kieren (Jack), and the captains before them who have set the foundations. 

"The role requires a lot more thought about the team, about how to make other people better, and I'm looking forward to the new challenge."

Kennedy has transformed himself into one of the competition's elite onballers after struggling to make his mark at Hawthorn, and has shown remarkable consistency in Sydney, finishing in the top three of the Bob Skilton Medal in each of his seven seasons at the club.

Longmire said the contested ball king had all the attributes to make him a successful captain.

"His level of consistency is pretty rare in football, and his ability to play well week in week out is something you don't see too often," he said.

"That's something we ask all out players to do and its one thing all players strive to do, but it's another thing to deliver it.

"He just keeps lifting and getting better and better, and he's an absolute professional off the field the way he prepares and drives the group.

"All of those things come into the melting pot and add up to what we think will be a fantastic captain for us." 

McVeigh and Jack will continue as part of the Swans' leadership group, with 2016 All Australians Dan Hannebery, Luke Parker and Dane Rampe named vice-captains. 

The makeup of Sydney's eight-man leadership group will remain unchanged, rounded out by defenders Nick Smith and Heath Grundy.