Originally published on fitzroyfc.com.au as Rory hands over the captaincy
Anyone who’s seen Rory Angiolella play will know he always puts the team first.
And he’s taken the same approach with his decision to relinquish the Fitzroy captaincy for 2018 to aid a smooth transition for the man to follow. But he hastily points out you won’t see anything change in his behaviour. Rory will still go in hard in the midfield for Fitzroy as he continues his career with the freedom of just being a player.
The 2015 Premier B GT Moore Medallist has decided it’s time to hand over the reins and the club will announce the new captain at the season launch on 24 March.
“I’ve loved every minute of my time as captain,” Rory said. “I’m incredibly proud and humbled to have had the opportunity to serve this amazing club.
“It hasn’t been an easy decision to step down but I know it’s the right time and right decision for both myself and the club. I have a lot going on outside of football now and I couldn’t give the captaincy the time and energy it deserves. I’m looking forward to just playing and enjoying my football in a different capacity. Having made this decision, even the pre-season has been more enjoyable.
“It’s nice being the voice (of the club) and I’ve grown to love the role but six years is a long time. I was thinking the other day that I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t captain,” Rory said.
From the time he was 16, Rory captained the Fitzroy Colts Under 17s and then Under 19s – his first year in senior footy was the only year he didn’t carry the title.
“There are a lot of other good leaders at the club who deserve a chance to be captain and I’m looking forward to seeing what they bring to the table.
“And I will be there as a sounding board for advice or support and I’ll back them 100 per cent. The title hasn’t shaped the way I approach my footy so you won’t see anything change.”
The man who saw the early leadership qualities of a young Rory and gave him the captain’s role in 2012, Michael Pickering, had only praise for Rory’s decision.
“From his appointment in 2012, as a very young captain with little leadership experience, Rory has developed into an excellent role model at the club, both on and off the field.
“His outstanding work ethic, passion for the club and willingness to challenge the playing group to continually strive for higher standards has had an undoubtedly positive impact on the culture of this great club.
“While Rory won’t be formally involved in any leadership role in 2018, his brave, forceful playing style and commitment to being a strong communicator, particularly with our younger Fitzroy players, will ensure his influence at the club remains significant,” Michael said.
Fitzroy President Joan Eddy also heaped praise on the outgoing captain saying he had shown outstanding leadership of the Club’s senior men’s team and the men’s teams generally over the last six years. “You’ve been an inspiration on the field and a wonderful mentor off it, and a great support to our women’s leaders as well.
“The supporters adore you and we’re very glad you’re still playing this season. It will be so important to have you around this new young group of senior players and leaders,” Joan said.
Rory said he was really looking forward to what’s in store for the team this year. “There were great signs on Sunday – some new faces and some good ball movement.”
We’re looking forward to what he can produce without the pressure of the captaincy. From everyone at Fitzroy, thank you Rory.