Double trouble: Melbourne Demons' co-captains Jack Grimes (left) and Nathan Jones. Photo: Michael Dodge
Melbourne's Nathan Jones and Jack Grimes stood alongside each other at Adelaide Oval as the only co-captains - while Geelong skipper Joel Selwood was the only one missing from the annual gathering.
And Jones would have missed Selwood, who stayed home because of a hamstring strain, more than most.
Jones said Selwood's leadership qualities were those he respected and would like to emulate most.
They are both 25 (with Selwood playing three more AFL games - 160 - despite starting his career a year later) and are each admired for their tenacity.
According to Jones, it has been Selwood's leadership by example both on and off the field that makes him a terrific captain.
"I have really respected guys like Joel Selwood," Jones said. "He is probably someone whom I really look up to. The way he plays, how he handles himself … he's a great example.
"Joel is probably the one that I want to emulate some of the stuff that he has done, particularly with my age and games experience; I can relate to that.
"I like to think the co-captaincy has not changed me. From a football perspective there are a few more requirements off-field. I feel honoured … privileged for Jack and I to be appointed as captains to lead us to hopefully a successful year ahead.
"It has made me feel more responsible for everything that I do. Obviously, I want to continue what I am doing on the field and off the field where there is more responsibility that comes with it."
Jones is excited where Melbourne is headed under new coach Paul Roos. "What we are finding now is that Roosy has brought a real system and a real belief to the club," he said.
"As players, despite the position we found ourselves in last season, we were still really upbeat and wanted to improve, but not knowing how to go about that.
"Roosy has brought a more refreshing type of feeling. He has built up some confidence and belief for the players who needed that, and at the same time has worked hard on building our game so we can play some consistent footy.''