‘It was coach’s call’: Swifts to revert to co-captaincy system

NSW Swifts coach Briony Akle will adopt a co-captaincy system this year, reverting to an arrangement which was abandoned by the organisation in 2014.

Akle will announce both Maddy Proud and Paige Hadley as co-captains for the 2021 season on Tuesday and says the decision to switch up the captaincy format was based on “observations”.

Paige Hadley and Maddy Proud will be announced as Swifts captains for the 2021 season. Credit:Getty

“It wasn’t anything taken away from Maddy, it was more, ‘How can I help you?’ Maddy was fantastic and said, ‘Bring it on.’”

The debate over whether co-captains or a single captain works better continues to rage in Australian sport. Akle said bringing the system back was a matter of Hadley having been through the “ugly times” of the Swifts having played for the club since 2012.

Proud and Hadley also had a shared experience this year after joining the Diamonds squad this year as debutants.

Both players underwent fourteen days of hotel quarantine in New Zealand to participate in the Constellation Cup, but failed to get a minute on court.

New Diamonds coach Stacey Marinkovich received a mountain of criticism after implementing a rotating captaincy system into the Test series.

And while Akle said she wasn’t being quite as bold as Marinkovich in the change to the Swifts leadership, she believed in the power of co-captains and would continue the system if it was a success.

“I believe that it can work beautifully,” Akle said. “They’ve already got their heads together going what can we do for the team to make it better each week it’s a collaboration of brains trust.”

The Swifts face off against the Firebirds for their first game of the 2021 season on May 2. It will be their first home game in over year after the competition was taken to the Sunshine Coast last minute for the 2020 season due to COVID-19.

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