ADELAIDE coach Neil Craig has backed veteran Simon Goodwin to stay on as captain next season, saying the five-time All-Australian is on the verge of becoming the “most outstanding” leader in the club’s history.
Goodwin, who turns 33 next month, has led the Crows to two finals series since taking over from Brownlow Medallist and best mate Mark Ricciuto at the end of 2007.
He recently signed on for a 14th season at West Lakes, but gave no indication as to whether or not he would retain the mantle of skipper next year.
Craig said the decision – to be made before Christmas – would be left up to the players.
“I would be supportive of whatever the playing group wants, but what I will say is that Simon has done an outstanding job,” Craig said on Friday.
“His playing credentials are there for everyone to see and you see his on-field leadership, but what a lot of supporters won’t see is his leadership off the field and on a day-to-day basis. He’s developing into, possibly, the most outstanding captain this club has ever had.
“Is that an endorsement from me? Yes, it is but in the end I’m more concerned about what the playing group expect from their leaders.”
Craig said the players voted in the 2009 leadership group, including Goodwin, Nathan van Berlo, Ben Rutten, Tyson Edwards, Brett Burton, Michael Doughty and Scott Stevens, were no guarantee to be included in the group again next season