Mature McGovern ready for new leadership role
Jeremy McGovern believes the tag of vice-captain of the West Coast Eagles is not a daunting one, rather an indication of his maturity as a player and the development in leadership skills under Adam Simpson’s regime.
The Albany-bred McGovern spoke to the Advertiser this week following the Eagles’ announcement earlier this month that Luke Shuey will become the club’s 11th captain with McGovern and Josh Kennedy named as his deputies.
Brought into the Eagles leadership group in 2017 under Simpson, McGovern has been promoted to vice-captain after earlier this year earning his fourth consecutive All-Australian honour at the age of 27.
The key defender has played 126 games since his debut in 2012 and set an AFL record for the fewest games played before winning a fourth All-Australian honour.
The relaxed McGovern said his focus will remain on being the best leader he possibly can for the club and would take the extra responsibility in his stride.
“Maturity is a big thing, growing up in general life so I think that is a part of it,” McGovern said. “It is more the people I am surrounded with, they have steered me in the right direction.
“Simmo saw it early in me and he and the club have given me the best opportunity to be the best leader I can.
“One of the biggest indicators of the best leaders are consistency in performance and then in those bigger games really standing up and leading from the front and I pride myself on that.”
McGovern will return to his beloved Albany over the Christmas and New Year break to spend time with family and friends and he said the new role will not change the way he approaches footy.
“I actually don’t know exactly what it involves in detail but I’m sure it will mean a fair few more meetings,” he said.
“The tag changes things straight away, I’ve noticed a few guys looking at me a little differently but I’m hoping to keep everything pretty consistent.
“I’ll keep it simple and be the same bloke I’ve always been.
“It’s a pretty strict process that goes through the board and coaching staff after the players.
“Luke is the best person absolutely, he is a well-balanced bloke that cares about the footy club and I’ll be there to support him in every step.”
Having been on modified duties after heel surgery to start the Eagles’ pre-season, McGovern is eyeing a return to full training by the end of next month.
“I’m off legs now and in January I’ll start running,” he said.
“By the end of January I aim to be back in full training and hopefully get a couple of JLT (pre-season) games in.”
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