ADELAIDE onballer Brad Symes has been added to the club’s leadership group for 2010.
The group, which will again be led by captain Simon Goodwin, also includes Tyson Edwards, Brett Burton, Nathan van Berlo, Ben Rutten, Michael Doughty and Scott Stevens.
Symes’ inclusion in the player-elected group marks a significant turnaround for the 24-year-old, who was on the outer at Port Adelaide just two years ago.
The hard-working utility managed just 20 games in three seasons with the Power and was traded to the Crows at the end of 2007.
He quickly established himself as a regular in the Adelaide line-up playing 16 games in his first season, but it hasn’t all been smooth sailing.
Symes broke bones in both arms last summer after falling off the back of a moving vehicle, while hitching a ride from Max Basheer Reserve to the club’s temporary locker room on the other side of AAMI Stadium.
The injury cost Symes the opening two games of the season, but on Friday he said the unfortunate event had been a blessing in disguise.
“I sat down at the time and because I was injured and couldn’t do much for two or three months I thought, ‘how can I contribute to the team and improve as a person as well?’ Symes said.
“The leadership was the one thing I actually could do having a cast on each arm. I sat down and worked on it and it’s obviously shone through now.”
Symes is the only new face in the leadership group from last season and he admitted it came as a shock when his name was read out as part of the announcement before training on Friday morning.
“It’s something that when I woke up this morning I didn’t come to the club expecting,” he said.
“We had a pretty rock-solid leadership group last season and I didn’t see that changing going into next year, but leadership is something that I’ve been working on in the last year or two ever since I got to the club.
“It’s a massive honour to be acknowledged by my peers that I’ve been doing some of that work and they’ve seen that come through.”
Goodwin will enter his third season as captain of the Crows.
Last month, coach Neil Craig gave the five-time All-Australian a glowing endorsement saying he was developing into possibly the “greatest captain” the club had ever seen.
Goodwin expressed his pride in leading the club he grew up supporting and said he didn’t see the need to pass the baton to a younger player.
“I don’t think you can pick and choose whether you’re going to be a leader or not. It’s up to the playing group and the amount of influence you have on that playing group,” Goodwin said.
“I think the great thing about this footy club is that the leadership runs really deep. I know if I walk away and four or five other guys walk away from the footy club right now this playing group would still be in a strong position in terms of leadership.”