What makes a good captain?


It's a small word but it has a big meaning - at least in the world of English football at the moment.

FA Chairman David Bernstein last week told John Terry that he would not lead out his country at Euro 2012 - a decision that led to the resignation of manager Fabio Capello.

Whoever leads the team into the Championships this summer, their first task of note will be to choose who should wear the armband in Poland and the Ukraine.

The three leading candidates - Steven Gerrard, Scott Parker and Joe Hart - all make good cases, but concerns remain over either their fitness (Gerrard), certainty of a starting place (Parker), experience (Parker & Hart) and ability to affect the action from their position on the field (Hart).

With the debate raging, we got to thinking about what makes a good football captain.

Is it someone who leads from the front?  Who inspires others by words?  Someone who commands the respect of his team mates?  Has been there and done it?

What's more, do the same principles apply at all levels of the game?  Is what makes a good captain at grassroots level the same as at the top of the game?

Is the choice of captain even that important? What do you want from your captain or is he just another player?

It didn't take long for the debate to get going on our Facebook page.  We've outlined a few of your contributions to the debate below - feel free to add your own thoughts in our comments section.

Your say: What makes a good captain?

Ash Overbury: Simple - leadership!!!

Michael Crane: A captain has to have the respect of the other players, be approachable and lead by example.

Noeleen Butler: A good captain has a lot of boxes to tick but most importantly should be a responsible person, with an appreciation of the game from the point of view of a player and a spectator.

He should be someone who will respresent the team/club and his teammates well, both on and off the pitch, and not only do what is necessary and right himself but inspire his team to do likewise.

Clay Dyson: One of the better players, lead by example, reliable on and off the pitch and well respected by those around him.

Wayne Roberts: Respect, fair, honest, passion, control, leadership.

Westway Whites FC: There is a fine line to be established between the objectives of the team and those of the individual player. I will discuss this in relation to the objectives of the team. The best captain would be someone who knows his players, who understands their game, who via support gets the best out of the talent available, who uses cool and calm language and tone of voice, who addresses his team with respect, who motivates the team through leadership even when the team is not doing as wished for, who manages to convince his player to play to the whistle, who has an ability to read the game and command players' attention in the pitch.

Beverley Richards Atherton: Has to be vocal, keep the teams spirit motivation up, encouraging, a leader, keeping the team hungry for success. And the rest of the team need to respect and listen. Not an easy job.

Matthew Turner: There shouldn't be too much of a differents at grass roots football to premier football. At the end of the day it's football it's the same rules apply to everyone. A Captain in football isn't that big as a cricket captain because a Cricket captain tells his fielders where & what to do.

Andrew Hollyhead: Someone who is positive, determined and respected amongst his team . The sort of person you who will keep going even when the game is lost . Someone who will inspire others .

Ryan Smith: A captain has to be aggressive but not an a***hole, good tackler, fight your corner when foul happens, bring the team morale up when your losing, has to give 110% every game, committed to the club and speak out when things are going wrong. They have to motivate the team before any game and to support a player when his form is off, leader, confident, get on well with the manger, try to sort any arguments between players, voice of command and constructive criticism to players.

Scott Northey: As an under 9 coach, I have the difficult decision as to who I am going to select as my captain for the rest of this and next season!  Naturally i have given the children who have showed the most leadership skills a go, but for my final decision i will be picking the child with a combination of the following skills: the most vision, best communication and organisation on field, the greatest desire to lead by example and willingness to learn and improve regularly.

However, if my decision were based on adult football, it would be based on the contender's on and off field behaviour, desire to lead by example and the person who the rest of the team looked up to the most!  Tough decisions most of the time!


Now it's your turn!

Want to add your two pence worth to the debate? Have your say in our comments section below!

You can also check out the full debate at facebook.com/clubwebsite, so come on over and get yourself involved in the next one!

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