It is not easy admitting you are wrong. But for the Melbourne Football Club, the harsh realisation in sitting near the bottom of the table and showing little promise is that they are going to have to admit to some bad decisions. Much has been said about their recruiting and their coaching. Now the buck must turn to their captaincy.
In February of 2012 the club announced the appointment of Jack Grimes and Jack Trengove as co-captains of the Demons. At the ripe old age of 20, Jack Trengove wrote his name into the history books as the youngest captain in VFL/AFL history.
When not injured, Grimes has performed admirably in the role. The title of captain has done little to affect his on-field performance, but injuries have cruelled him and therefore it is unfair to cast judgment on him.
For Trengove however, it is a different story.
In 2011, the year before receiving the captaincy, Trengove averaged over 20 disposals a game. But in 2012, that number dropped to just over 17 and so far this year he has averaged just 14. On the weekend against Carlton he collected a mere 6 disposals from four quarters of football. His performance has reached the degree where his position in the side must be questioned, along with his capacity to lead it.
It is unfair to place a club in turmoil on the shoulders of a 21 year old. The sole focus for Jack Trengove should be his football. It is apparent that he can play and therefore sad to see a young player of his calibre in such a slump. His numbers simply should not be sliding so early in his career.
At the time the decision to make Trengove captain was made, the Melbourne Football Club were seen as being brave. Just over a year on, it is clear that it was nothing short of ridiculous. Maybe the coaches thought their senior players could support him better. Perhaps they thought that the heavy losses would not pile up as they have. The club also could not have foreseen that Grimes would be sidelined for a large proportion of both 2012 and 2013. But this is the reality they face – and it’s time to admit they got it wrong.
Jack Grimes faces a two-month stint on the sidelines after breaking his collarbone on the weekend. It leaves the club with a tough decision to either let Trengove captain the side on his own when even in sharing the role his own form has suffered, or find a replacement.
The club owes it to it’s young star to relinquish him of the role, for a few years at least. There are other more experienced players within their leadership group who are able to shoulder the burden, most notably Nathan Jones, whose form this season has been nothing short of outstanding.
At the very least a rotating the role amongst the leadership group for the remainder of the season should be considered.
Founded in 1858, the Melbourne Football Club is the oldest club in the AFL competition with a proud history. Do the Demons really want to befall upon 21 year-old Trengove the mantle of leading them to the worst season in their history?