Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Mellington to lead Murray Bushrangers

Nick Mellington will captain Murray Bushrangers after the young Benalla player was given the honour of the team's leader on Friday night.

DAMEN FRANCIS March 24, 2014 4:05am

Benalla’s Nick Mellington will captain Murray Bushrangers this season.

Mellington, 17, heads a six-player leadership group voted by the TAC Cup side’s players and coaching staff that was unveiled at the club’s season launch on Friday night.

Fellow Saint Caleb Marchbank and Albury’s Nick Coughlan are co-vice-captains, while Mooroopna’s Nathan Drummond, Wangaratta Magpies’ Jackson Clarke and Albury Tigers’ Dylan McDonald round out the group.

McDonald is the group’s bottom age representative.

Mellington, who is the younger brother of 2010 AFL draftee Josh, was captain of the Bushrangers’ under-16 team two years ago and played 14 TAC Cup games as a bottom age player last season.

‘‘It means a lot getting voted in by the players and coaches, because it means they regard you pretty highly,’’ Mellington said.

‘‘It’s a great honour and I’m very humbled by it.

‘‘Michael Gibbons was terrific as captain last year and Sam Martyn, another Benalla boy, was the same the year before.

‘‘If I can lead half as well as those boys did I’ll be happy and I’m sure those guys will be available to give me some advice during the year if I need it.’’

Bushrangers coach Darren Ogier said Mellington was worthy of the position in a team blessed with plenty of candidates.

‘‘Nick’s very thorough and meticulous in his preparation and on-field his work rate with and without the ball is tremendous,’’ Ogier said.

‘‘He’s led from the front over the pre-season and what he achieved last year has given him confidence and knowledge of what’s required.

‘‘I’m happy with all the boys selected, they are good footy players and even better people, which is the most important thing.’’

The Bushrangers had their final pre-season hit-outs against Greater Western Sydney Academy-NSW Rams in Albury yesterday, ahead of their opening match of the season against Bendigo Pioneers at Deakin Reserve on Saturday.

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