After four years at the helm, Rory Sloane has passed the Adelaide captaincy to Jordan Dawson who is set to become the Crows’ ninth AFL skipper from this season.

Sloane, 32, is stepping down from the leadership group altogether in 2023 as he prepares to return from a knee reconstruction and the Club ushers in a new era.

The decision to appoint Dawson as Sloane’s successor was formally endorsed by the Board and senior management this week.

After being drafted by Sydney from SANFL club Sturt in 2015, Dawson played 64 games for the Swans before returning home to join the Crows last season.

He played every game in his debut season for the Club, finished runner-up in the best-and-fairest and wrote himself into Crows folklore in just his third game when he kicked the winning goal in a famous after-the-siren Showdown victory at Adelaide Oval.

The 25-year-old was added to the Club’s leadership group mid-way through last season and has excelled in the role.

“I could not be more excited to captain the Club I barracked for growing up as a kid,” Dawson said.

“It was surreal to pull on the guernsey last year, and now this is a huge honour.

“Everyone at this Club wants to win and have success and do it as quickly as we can, so I’m honoured to have the responsibility of driving that.

“It’s an incredible privilege and even better having the likes of Rory Sloane and Taylor Walker – both highly respected captains of the Club – and our leadership group here to help me on this journey.”

Widely respected for his courage on and off the field, Sloane was named co-captain alongside Taylor Walker in 2019 before taking on the job in his own right in 2020, and he has since led the Club with distinction through some of its most challenging years.

“The time is right because we have somebody who has stepped up and is ready to lead,” Sloane said.

“We have been talking about this for five to six months, and I could 100 per cent keep going as captain, but there is someone else who is ready to take the Club forward.

“It has been an honour to lead this Club for the past four seasons, but once a captain always a captain, and there are blokes like Tex and myself and the rest of the leadership group there to help Daws going forward.”

Crows Coach Matthew Nicks paid tribute to Sloane and praised Dawson as they transition the captaincy.

“Rory has been a follow-me captain who puts his head in the hole on game day and has never asked anyone to do anything he wouldn’t do himself,” Nicks said.

“He’s led our Club brilliantly through some very challenging times and never let us down.

“But now is the right time to pass the baton to our next captain and it emphasises the deep connection we have formed, that it’s not about the individual but what’s best for the team going forward.

“Jordan is ready because in key moments he steps up and delivers, particularly on-field.

“We identified him as having leadership qualities when we recruited him from Sydney and they have shone through in the past 18 months with us.”

Adelaide’s full leadership group for 2023 will be confirmed in coming weeks.