Bulldogs skipper to continue in role for 2017

Western Bulldogs captains Robert Murphy (right) with stand-in skipper Easton Wood and the 2016 premiership trophy at Whitten Oval.
Western Bulldogs captains Robert Murphy (right) with stand-in skipper Easton Wood and the 2016 premiership trophy at Whitten Oval. TRACEY NEARMY

BOB Murphy has confirmed he will captain the Western Bulldogs in 2017.

The Bulldogs are yet to make an official announcement but Murphy revealed the news on SEN radio on Wednesday morning.

The popular defender missed the Bulldogs' emotional premiership triumph last year after suffering a season-ending ACL injury in round three against Hawthorn.

Easton Wood stood in as skipper in Murphy's absence, while Dale Morris and Marcus Bontempelli also led the Dogs.

Murphy, 34, said he gave serious thought to handing over the captaincy, following the lead of captains Nick Riewoldt (St Kilda), Luke Hodge (Hawthorn), Gary Ablett (Gold Coast) and Kieren Jack and Jarrad McVeigh (Sydney), who all relinquished their positions during the off-season.

But unlike Saints star Riewoldt, who stepped down after 10 successive years at the helm, Murphy said he wasn't ready to give up the top job after just two years, with most of last season spent on the sidelines.

"You definitely go through some thinking about what's best for the team and whether you're the best man for the job because ultimately we're just servants of the footy club,” Murphy told SEN.

"You've got to ask yourself a few questions about whether you think you're the right person for it, whether you've still got the energy for it and the guys coming through.

"As a servant of the footy club I'm guided by what the players and what the club need.

"(But) I've been in the job for two years, one of those with an asterisk next to it.

"I think the idea of having that mentor for the young captain is something that all clubs would look at.”

Nine months after his devastating knee injury, Murphy said he wasn't carrying any mental scarring and was ready for the start of the JLT Community Series.

"We've had a couple of practice matches up here just amongst ourselves and I've played and got through those, so I should play the majority of the pre-season competition,” Murphy said from the Sunshine Coast, where the Bulldogs are midway through a training camp.

Topics:  robert murphy western bulldogs

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