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Former St Kilda player Nick Heyne to captain Canberra Demons in NEAFL

Accepting the captaincy wasn't the only thing Canberra Demons inaugural captain Nick Heyne was unsure about - he was also unsure if he was staying in the ACT.

And Demons coach Ben Waite hopes it shows they really are a team for all of Canberra.

Heyne was unveiled as skipper at Demons training on Thursday night and he's had some pretty impressive mentors for the role, including St Kilda legend Lenny Hayes.

But this time last year the 25-year-old was running around for Ainslie and three months ago he was considering a move back to his native Victoria.

Before relocating to Canberra, he played three AFL games for St Kilda under then coach Ross Lyon, Hayes and Nick Riewoldt.

Heyne also spent an injury riddled year with Carlton, before Ainslie came calling.


Now he's setting the tone for the Demons, where he's helping build a culture and club they hope will get all of Canberra behind it.

He's had a bit of ribbing from his former Ainslie teammates - he works as a carpenter with former Tricolours captain Ian Lawless - but he said they understood he wanted to play footy at the highest level possible.

That meant a move to Eastlake once Ainslie dropped out of the NEAFL at the end of last season. 

His first hit-out as captain will be in this weekend's pre-season game against Albury in Albury.

"I wasn't too sure if coming into a new club [being captain] was a good thing to do, but I guess it really is a new team and that's what the guys have said to me, it's an inaugural team, so I'm happy to do it," Heyne said.

"I can't wait, I'm pretty excited for the season, ready to go."

Waite knew Heyne was considering a return down south and when he heard he was staying his response was simply: "Awesome".

He said Heyne used his words sparingly, but when he spoke people listened.

Waite was the captain-coach last year, but will miss the start of the season because of surgery on his back, which he'll undergo in two weeks.

"I thought it was quite fitting again with their being a new franchise and a new team in Canberra Demons that it would be a brand new captain too, rather than an existing Eastlake player being captain," Waite said.

"I thought it was quite representative of the new team ... I want to get away from 'Eastlake in a sheep's clothing', it's not that ... [we're] trying to encompass Canberra and include everybody."