SYDNEY has returned to its co-captaincy model with stars Luke Parker and Dane Rampe joining Josh Kennedy as leaders of the club for season 2019 and beyond.
Kennedy was the Swans' first sole captain since Stuart Maxfield held the role in 2004. Kennedy took over as skipper from Jarrad McVeigh and Kieren Jack two years ago.
I've long said that leadership isn't about set numbers, it's about the right people for the job - John Longmire
Parker and Rampe, who had been vice-captains under Kennedy – along with former teammate Dan Hannebery – have proven themselves to be outstanding leaders.
Two of the Swans most consistent stars under coach John Longmire, they were named Virgin Australia AFL All Australians in 2016. Parker also played in the 2012 premiership, is a dual Bob Skilton medallist, and was runner-up in the award to Jake Lloyd this year.
Kennedy has been one of the Swans' greatest recruits since crossing from Hawthorn at the end of 2009, winning three club champions awards and three All Australian selections in that time, while helping the club to the 2012 flag.
He said on Friday that being told he was gaining a couple of offsiders initially had him questioning his leadership.
"I think 'Horse' (John Longmire) brought it up a couple of weeks ago and my first reaction was to think 'what am I doing wrong?', and that's honest," Kennedy said.
"But after a long and honest discussion it became less about me and more about how good these two guys have been in a leadership sense, both on and off the field.
"They've already been a huge support of mine over the last two years and no doubt this will take it to another level.
"I did enjoy the honour and responsibility (of being sole captain) but I'm more excited about this opportunity for Luke and Dane."
Rampe, who signed a three-year contract extension just last week, said he hasn't had time to reflect on another remarkable career milestone.
Just six years ago, the 28-year-old was invited to train with Sydney after suffering multiple disappointments on draft day, and wowed the coaching staff with a stand-out performance in the club's 3km time trial.
The Sydney local was added to the rookie list that summer and has played 138 games since.
"When John approached me about the captaincy it's fair to say I was in a fair bit of shock, I didn't quite know how to take it," he said.
"It's a dream come true, I'm incredibly humbled and proud to lead such a great club that I've grown up supporting and have so much respect for.
"Now I get to help drive what we've already created and put our own little spin on things, and hopefully continue on an upward trend.
"I think my strength is my emotional intelligence and I've really tapped into that over the last couple of years, and I think that’s what I can bring to the table."
Parker told AFL.com.au he's confident the new captaincy trio can have a positive influence on the group when the team returns from their Christmas break on January 7.
"I'm looking forward to the challenge ahead and working off other guys around me, and not having all the responsibility falling on one person," he said.
"As we've seen in the past, we've had two or three captains and it's worked really well."
With McVeigh and Jack still on the list alongside Lance Franklin, Heath Grundy and Nick Smith, Sydney's leadership stocks are stacked, which will only enhance the captaincy credentials of future candidates like Isaac Heeney and Callum Mills.
McVeigh, Smith, Heeney, Mills and small forward Tom Papley make up the rest of Sydney’s leadership group, with the three youngsters named in an official role for the first time.