Adelaide SANFL Captain Matthew Wright says becoming skipper isn’t something he thought about during his AFL career.
But that title is what Wright has held since joining Adelaide’s SANFL squad in 2019 and is now something he cherishes.
The forward will notch a special milestone during this weekend’s clash with Woodville-West Torrens when he leads the Crows out as captain for the 50th time.
Speaking to AFC Media, Wright said it had been an honour to skipper the SANFL side and he would reflect on the milestone whenever his career came to an end.
“To be honest I was never in any (AFL) leadership groups and didn’t really seek that out too much,” Wright, who also leads Adelaide’s goal kicking tally this season with 27, said.
“I was sort of thrust into it when I finished off with Carlton and came back to Adelaide.
“But it was probably the best thing for me to come back and sink or swim in the deep end a little bit.
“At the moment I’m caught in the week-to-week and just trying to win a game of football.
“But it’ll be cool to tell my boys - Theo and Oliver - that their old man captained a SANFL team for a fair chunk of time.”
Wright’s football career has almost come full circle.
He was selected by the Crows at the 2010 AFL Rookie Draft and went on to play 94 games in five seasons, before joining Carlton as a delisted free agent in 2016.
Wright then lined up in 65 AFL games for the Blues until he retired in 2019, and returned to SA to captain Adelaide’s SANFL side, as well as take up a role as the team’s forward coach.
“It was tough early days - I remember coming in at the breaks and asking the players a little bit what they were seeing on the field because it was pretty hard to pick up on at times,” Wright said.
“But that’s grown over the past couple of years and you can see the game a little bit clearer and understand the role.
“It keeps you on your toes a little bit but I’ve really enjoyed it.
“I am very appreciative of the competition having started with North Adelaide before I was drafted and it’s not lost on me that I’ve been able to captain a SANFL team.”
Wright said his most memorable time as skipper so far was during 2019 when the Crows featured in the SANFL finals.
With the Crows sitting third on the ladder heading into the Round 17 match against the Eagles, Wright hoped to skipper the side to another finals series this year.
“You definitely appreciate the years you win a few more games, particularly after a couple of years when you don’t,” Wright said.
“The 2019 (SANFL) finals series was awesome. It was such a young group that went on and played some AFL together.
“I’m hoping we can go through that again and play a deep finals campaign this year.”
Adelaide takes on Woodville-West Torrens at Woodville Oval this Sunday, with the first bounce at 2.30pm.
The match can be live streamed through the SANFL Now App for free.