Stephen Coniglio's introduction to AFL captaincy has been unprecedentedly challenging, but words of wisdom from the odd couple of Oscar-winning actor Matthew McConaughey and NRL icon Cooper Cronk has helped.
GWS star Coniglio isn't alone in being promoted to skipper for what is already a remarkable 2020 AFL season, the future of which remains in doubt amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
But the gun midfielder is the only one to do so while attempting to help teammates move on from an 89-point thumping in the 2019 grand final by Richmond, a contest he was unable to play in because of injury.
Coniglio has relished the leadership burden during the past week, trying to ensure teammates stay focused on Saturday night's opener against Geelong at Giants Stadium.
The 26-year-old can even see an upside to the uncertainty, suggesting administrators and players may find that shorter quarters and other changes caused by coronavirus are great and should become the norm in future seasons.
"Every now and again in life - I was watching Matthew McConaughey's video message yesterday and he was talking about how there are lots of red lights in life," Coniglio told reporters.
"But eventually it'll go green. It's how we deal with these situations ... we're in a situation that nobody has come across in this game's history.
"For me and our club it's about how we can get through this, and the AFL have obviously changed a few things up. Maybe at the end of this red light, there will be a few changes we can take and build to make our game even better."
Cronk, who GWS recruited as a leadership consultant after their grand final heartbreak, visited the club on Friday morning.
"He had a chat with the boys, 1.5 metres away," Coniglio said.
"Broad stuff that he's been working on ... Cooper has been phenomenal for our group and someone who we want to learn off as leaders."
Coniglio argued players and fans would benefit from shorter quarters, adding that playing multiple games in a week could be one of the changes that remains in place beyond the health crisis.
GWS players switched off phones and turned off TVs at the club on Wednesday as they and so many others waited on an update as to whether the season was going ahead.
Coniglio declared the most resilient team would win this year's premiership.
"Richmond's performance, I didn't get to see a lot of it last night, but they jumped them and it speaks volumes about their group that they can adapt quickly," Coniglio said.
"No matter what is thrown in front of them.
"We know we're resilient and we know what to expect from each other."