Josh Jackson announced as Bulldogs captain
The Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs have announced Josh Jackson as captain as part of a huge off-season of change at the club.
The NSW forward was unveiled as the Bulldogs captain during the club's pre-season camp in Terrigal on Wednesday, replacing the departed James Graham as skipper under the new Dean Pay regime.
Graham took on the full-time captaincy duties following the departure of Michael Ennis to the Cronulla Sharks in 2015, developing a cult following with his emotional style of leadership.
Jackson was the obvious candidate to replace the Englishman, who was squeezed out of the club to link with the St George Illawarra Dragons at the end of last year.
"I don't really know what to say. It's quite emotional. I love this and I'll do anything for this club and the boys," Jackson said choking back tears in front of more than 150 friends and family in Terrigal.
"It's a great honour and [an] extremely proud moment for me. I don't think anything else in my career can top this. Thanks Deano, thanks to Ray and the board. Thanks for all the positive changes the last few months. This has really been the most enjoyable preseason and most rewarding preseason that I have been a part of in my career."
"I have no doubt that this year is going to be a successful year. We've worked extremely hard the last few months, we have a great bunch of boys.
''I know it's a great responsibility, but we've got the team to do it. We have the belief and we just want to put forward a team that everybody is going to be proud of."
Former Wests Tigers captain Aaron Woods, who only started training with the Bulldogs last week, is the only other player at the club with any genuine captaincy experience.
Fellow recruit Kieran Foran also has some level of experience as skipper following a brief stint as captain of the Parramatta Eels, however Pay was reluctant to add unnecessary pressure on the newcomers.
Jackson's appointment, ahead of prop Aiden Tolman, is just the latest change in a significant period in the club's history, with Pay replacing Des Hasler as coach and Andrew Hill replacing Raelene Castle as chief executive.
"Jacko is someone you want in your side," prop David Klemmer told NRL.com.
"He's an outstanding leader and he will treat that as a big bonus for him and he will go to another level. He's going to lead this club.
"He just does the little things in the game. He will lift you. Those little things win you football games. Seeing him do that lifts you as a player as well. He is a clubman off the field and will serve the club really well."