New Hawks captain James Sicily promises ‘more aggressive plays’

James Sicily, the new captain of Hawthorn, says he will keep challenging himself on the pitch and is certain he possesses the necessary “balance” to guide the team.

In place of Ben McEvoy, who retired as the Hawks’ ruckman, the standout defender was named the team’s captain on Friday. Throughout 2022, he had stepped in for the former ruckman numerous times.

The 28-year-old Sicilian acknowledged that there could still be occasions when he crosses the line on the pitch, but he felt strongly supported in his new position by a group of six players, including joint vice-captains Luke Breust and Dylan Moore.

“We’re going to try and do it our own way – I’m someone who is pretty passionate and not necessarily going to change and become a real serious guy just because of the title,” Sicily said.

“I probably might slip up here and there but it’s all part of it, and I feel well supported by these guys who will pull me into line if I get that way.”

Sicily smiled when asked about recent scuffles during Hawthorn intraclub matches, including a physical confrontation between him and second-year forward Sam Butler at the Hawks’ pre-season camp in Morwell.

“We want to play in an aggressive way and there’s a lot of competition for spots at the moment,” Sicily said.

“Everyone is eager for the season to get started, so we’re treating every training session and game sim as if it’s a game against opposition and getting a bit of head start before we take on some real opposition.”

Sicily said he felt very comfortable going to his former captains Luke Hodge and Ben McEvoy for advice, although he was uncertain if McEvoy would take his calls, questioning whether he “had reception on the farm”.