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Neitz decides to stay as Demon's skipper

January 17, 2008 - 5:24PM

Melbourne captain David Neitz had to ask "a few questions" of himself before agreeing to continue the role at the AFL club.

After several weeks of speculation about Neitz's future as skipper, the Demons on Thursday confirmed he would lead the club for their 150th birthday celebrations.

It will be his ninth season as captain, a club record.

The two-time All-Australian and 2002 Coleman Medallist only managed 26 goals in 15 games last year, with a knee injury impacting on his form.

Last season he also became the first Demon to reach 300 games and turns 33 next week.

"It's a fantastic honour to once again captain the Melbourne footy club, after a pre-season where, I guess, I asked a few questions of myself as to whether I should be the right person to take on the job again," Neitz said.

"(I took) a bit of time and (made) sure that my body is right, which was probably one of my main issues towards the end of last year and throughout last year."

But Neitz is unsure how long he will keep playing.

"It could be [my last year], or it could not be," he said.

"Hopefully, I can perform well enough out on the field to be able to justify going on."

Neitz added it would mean a lot to lead the club in its milestone year.

"We're steeped in tradition, and it's something that everyone who puts on the Melbourne jumper is really proud of," he said.

"In the 150th year, it's going to be a huge occasion. To be leading the side, and leading the charge in 2008, is going to be magnificent."

New coach Dean Bailey said he was "ecstatic" Neitz had decided to stay captain and said the full-forward's pre-season had been "outstanding".

The Demons also announced the rest of their player leadership group, which the players helped select, with Brad Green the only omission from last year.

Brad Miller and Adem Yze will join the leadership group, which also features Cameron Bruce, James McDonald, Brock McLean and Russell Robertson.

© 2008 AAP
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