Embley loses leadership role at Eagles

December 4, 2007 - 1:59PM

Norm Smith medallist Andrew Embley has become the latest victim of West Coast's clean-up, dumped from the club's leadership group after a vote amongst players and coaches.

Dean Cox and Tyson Stenglein will be the new Eagles' vice-captains in 2008, deputising for Darren Glass in his first year as the Eagles' on-field leader.

And in another sign of a generational change at the club, young guns Ashley Hansen, Matt Priddis and Adam Selwood will make up the rest of the Eagles' leadership group.

Coach John Worsfold said the continuing controversies surrounding the club made it obvious changes to the club's leadership structure were needed.

"Things have not been going that well and we are in the best position now to make some pretty drastic changes," Worsfold said.

"What we have said is `why weren't things working as well as they could have been, and how can we have a better structure?'

"We have spent a lot of time developing this, talking to a lot of different people who are well versed in leadership structures, across the business world and other areas, to come up with a structure and program.

"We believe this is a part of an action plan for change to move forward and be even better."

Having overcome his own off-field problems early in his career, Embley was made vice-captain in 2006 and despite injuries capped a memorable finals series with a best-on-ground role in the one-point grand final triumph over Sydney.

But after leading the celebrations, he then became a central figure in the Ben Cousins saga immediately after the Brownlow medallist's suspension.

It emerged he fought twice with Daniel Chick in the hours before and after Cousins' suspension.

And following another injury-hampered season last year, Embley and Daniel Kerr were involved in an incident outside a Perth nightclub in October, dismissed by the club as high jinks.

"He was disappointed because he still wanted to be on the leadership group, but he is aware of why and I will go through the areas of votes that he was lower," Worsfold said.

"The key thing is showing strong leadership to achieve what we want to on and off the field, and those players have to be more committed to that than anyone else to lead the way.

"The five that have been elected as those senior leaders are outstanding young men, and will do a great job."

Cox and Stenglein were part of last season's player leadership group which fronted the AFL Commission to answer questions, and who have been questioned by Justice Bill Gillard in his investigation of the club.

Cox said he felt the players did all they could last season to avoid the controversies that dogged the club.

"I think the leadership group did the most they could possibly do. Obviously there were areas that were out of our hands in relation to some indiscretions," Cox said

"All players that are on the list now realise the ramifications of what will happen if there is another misdemeanour.

"The leadership group will be enforcing that, and living the values that are put in place."

© 2007 AAP
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