AFL captaincy chat no bother: Coniglio

·2-min read

Stephen Coniglio isn't bothered about near-constant conjecture regarding his captaincy at AFL club GWS, noting he has learned who to listen to.

Coniglio's form dipped after being appointed skipper for 2020 - he lost his place in the team late in the season as the Giants failed to reach the finals.

It marked the first time an AFL/VFL captain has been dropped in 22 years.

The midfielder's hopes of a fresh start this year were derailed in round three, when he suffered an ankle injury that required surgery.

Toby Greene then excelled as stand-in skipper, starring as he steered GWS to a 4-5 record after they dropped all three games under Coniglio.

Josh Kelly is expected to be given the nod to captain the injury-depleted side in Sunday's clash with West Coast at Giants Stadium after Greene joined fellow leadership group members Coniglio, Phil Davis and Matt de Boer on the sidelines.

Greene has made it clear he has no interest in replacing Coniglio as skipper on a permanent basis, while coach Leon Cameron also moved quickly to shoot down the notion of a leadership spill.

But Essendon great Matthew Lloyd has led calls for the change to be made, starting the push in round four after Greene's five-goal haul marched GWS to their first win of 2021.

"People outside the club can say what they want, it definitely doesn't bother me," Coniglio said.

"I'm pretty good at just blocking it out.

"You learn over time, and as you mature, there's people you want or need to listen to.

"Toby and myself, we just want to win for the footy club. Whoever is captain or whatever it is, it doesn't matter as long as we're winning and growing as a footy club."

Coniglio showered vice-captain Greene with praise.

"Toby is one of my best mates," he said.

"To see his progression, not as a player because he's always been an amazing player, but as a leader ... has been really good.

"The way he's led the group has been phenomenal, so it's going to hurt not having him there."

The foundation Giant admitted it had been "incredibly difficult" during the past month, having watched on and tried to lead as much as he can.

"I'm not sure exactly," Coniglio said of his likely return date.

"I just started running today, so let's hope maybe a month.

"Maybe a little bit longer.

"Particularly with the foot, I don't want to rush it."