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Why Malcolm Blight would never drop a captain


Former Geelong and Adelaide coach Malcom Blight has outlined the reasons why he never dropped a captain purely on form.

After GWS coach Leon Cameron made the shock decision to omit Stephen Coniglio for last weekend’s must-win clash with Melbourne, which they lost by five points, Blight commented on the situation.

Asked on SEN by Gerard Whateley if he had ever dropped a skipper during his time as a coach, Blight said: "No, never".

“I never did, I never would. I went through (talking about) this last year with Tex Walker with his form at Adelaide and the talks to drop him.

“I believe you are made captain, first of all for your playing ability, that’s got to be number one. Secondly, there are other things you do around the club as in talk to your teammates, you actually dictate some of the philosophy, you’re usually an older player and you’ve been around the block.

“I would have found a spot for him (Coniglio) in the forward pocket or back pocket or on the bench for 10 minutes longer. It just doesn’t taste nice in my mouth.

“You’ve picked him for lots of reasons. Football obviously first but there are a lot of other things close second, third and fourth.

“So I never dropped a captain, I couldn’t do it.”

Does it diminish his standing and status as a captain as well as his capacity to lead?

“It’s dented it, that’s all it would be,” Blight added.

“Hopefully he gets back to finding some form and hopefully, when the season is over and done for GWS, they sit down and look at that and see what actually happened.

“How come it got to that with two rounds to go? What actually happened? Did he have a niggling injury? Did he put his hand up and keep playing? Did the coach, did the medical department get it right? There’s a lot of questions asked of somebody like that being left out.”

Blight continued: “(He’d be) forlorn.

“If you read between the lines, he has put his hand up to say my form is terrible and perhaps I should miss.

“I would have found a way around it. That would have been a great springboard to get him back up. I’d say I believe in you and let’s go and do an extra training session.

“I remember doing this one time with a player. Let’s just go to a park and have a kick like we were kids. Just see if you can get that spark back.

“I can’t think of a reason why you’d drop someone unless it was absolutely disastrous.”

The Giants, with or without Coniglio, face St Kilda in another must-win match at the Gabba on Friday night.

A win would enhance GWS’ chances of clinching a top-eight finish depending on what the Western Bulldogs and Melbourne do in their games against Fremantle and Essendon respectively.

A loss to the Saints would close the curtain on a disappointing season for last year’s Grand Finalists.

Greater Western Sydney

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