New Hawthorn captain Ben McEvoy. Picture: AFL Photos

HAWTHORN has landed a captaincy shock by announcing dual premiership ruckman Ben McEvoy as the club's 37th skipper.

McEvoy, 31, won the players' vote on Wednesday with his position ratified by the club's board on Thursday.

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Midfielder Jaeger O'Meara, seen as one of the leading contenders to replace outgoing captain Ben Stratton, has been named vice-captain.


Youngster James Worpel is the sole addition to the new-look leadership group and joins existing members Liam Shiels, Jack Gunston and Tom Mitchell.

Stratton and outgoing wingman Isaac Smith are the two who fall out from last season.

"To be voted in by my teammates and receive the support of the club is an honour," McEvoy said.

"My wife Nicky, and kids Angus, Moira and Clancy have all been embraced by Hawthorn and I'm excited to take on this challenge with my family by my side.

"This club has given me a lot over the years, and I see this as an amazing opportunity to give back and play my role in ensuring we continue to make the Hawthorn family proud.

"The entire playing group is intent on making amends for our disappointing 2020 campaign and this has been reflected in the energy and intensity on the training track."

Ben McEvoy after the Hawks' loss to Collingwood. Picture: AFL Photos

McEvoy last year knocked back an approach from the Western Bulldogs to fill their void in the ruck and is expected to continue in his new key back/ruck role at the Hawks this season.

Hawthorn has re-appointed Ray McLean from Leading Teams to oversee the club's leadership programs this year after several years of absence from the club.

Leading Teams was a key part of the Hawks' breakthrough flag under Alastair Clarkson in 2008 before it was re-introduced ahead of the club's three peat from 2013-2015.


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"We've got a fantastic mix of youth and experience within our ranks and this leadership group is reflective of that," Hawks chief executive Justin Reeves said.

"Ben is one of those people who is universally admired both inside and outside Hawthorn's walls. He's a salt of the earth, family man with strong values and we know he'll set a fantastic example leading from the front."

McEvoy has played 131 games for the Hawks since crossing from St Kilda at the end of 2013 for a career total of 222 and has been a membership of the leadership group since 2019.