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Woodward joins Hellier as VFL skipper

Collingwood will have VFL co-captains for the first time since 2013 in the upcoming season.

It was announced at Thursday night’s season launch that incumbent Jack Hellier will continue in his post for the seventh year running. In 2019 he will be joined by former Hawthorn player Alex Woodward.

Woodward’s ascent to the VFL captaincy is a remarkable story of perseverance.

The midfielder tore his ACL for the fourth time in early 2017 and did not return until round 13 of last season.

His attitude around the club during his recovery and form upon his return earned him the respect to be selected as leader of the playing group.

Woodward’s eight home and away games in 2018 saw him poll 16 votes in the JJ Liston trophy, to finish just three behind the eventual winners.

Hellier and Woodward are joined by Michael Chippendale, Elliot Le Grice, last season’s vice-captain Matthew Smith and youngster Callan Wellings in the leadership group of 2019.

The Pies’ preparations for the VFL season continue on Friday night, with a practice match against Coburg at the Holden Centre from 7.30pm.