By ZAC MILBANK
New Norwood captain Matt Panos is excited to be at the forefront of a new era at The Parade as he captains the Redlegs for the 2020 Statewide Super League season.
Past captains Jace Bode and Alex Georgiou were among a host of high-profile retirements during the off-season, thrusting the leadership spotlight onto Panos, who will rise from the vice-captaincy last year.
Speaking on SANFL Radio, the 29-year-old said he had already received a congratulatory text message from Bode, whom he will keep in contact with throughout the season.
The 2014 Jack Oatey Medallist – who has played 112 League games and booted 136 goals since 2009 – said he was incredibly proud to captain one of SANFL’s oldest and historic clubs, joining such illustrious names as Michael Taylor, Garry McIntosh and Michael Aish.
Keen to continue building relationships with Norwood’s younger players, Panos said his rapport with coach Jarrod Cotton was also a major advantage heading into his new role.
Entering his fourth year at the helm, Cotton said Panos was the right man to toss the coin for the Redlegs this year and into the future.
“Matt has been an elite player at our football club over a very long period,” Cotton said.
“A best and fairest winner, Jack Oatey Medallist and a prominent figure in the leadership group over a number of years, Panos exemplifies what we are all about both on and off the field.
“Everyone at the club is really pumped and excited about what Matthew can bring to the group which puts us in good stead heading into 2020 and beyond.”
Norwood will announce the remainder of its leadership group later this week.
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