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Why James Sicily felt like an ‘impostor’ despite being named Hawthorn Hawks captain

James Sicily has revealed it was not until a week after he was announced as Hawthorn captain – while surrounded by fans – that he realised the gravity of the honour.

Sicily was touted as the Hawks’ next skipper the moment Ben McEvoy retired last year, but it was the club’s annual family day when it all sunk in that he was joining the likes of Luke Hodge, Sam Mitchell, Leigh Matthews, Michael Tuck and Graham Arthur.

James Sicily is relishing the chance to be Hawthorn captain.

James Sicily is relishing the chance to be Hawthorn captain.Credit:Getty Images

“I feel very privileged, first and foremost, but I probably didn’t understand the weight of it until we had family day, and we had a massive turnout at Waverley,” the 28-year-old told The Age.

“All the fans were very congratulatory, and I felt really supported by them, so that was a very cool experience [but it was also] a little bit daunting.

“We had a lot of ex-players there who had unbelievable careers, so, in that sense, I still feel a bit like an impostor at the moment, but I’m just trying to be myself and not anyone else.”

Sicily’s transformation from talented but erratic forward and sometime hothead into an All-Australian-calibre defender and now captain is well documented, but he will wait until his career ends to reflect on his unlikely journey.

“I can understand the intrigue about it; how I’ve gone from when I started to now. I feel like that’s just a part of getting better and learning and making mistakes and all those sorts of things,” he said. “I haven’t really reflected on it yet. No doubt I’m going to – most likely when I’m done in the game, and can look back and think, ‘Well, pretty cool turn-around’ but, at the moment, I feel like I’ve got a job to do, and I want to do it well.”

Being a first-year captain is tough enough without factoring in the dearth of experience at Hawthorn after the departures, for various reasons, of McEvoy, Jaeger O’Meara, Tom Mitchell, Jack Gunston, Liam Shiels, Kyle Hartigan and Tom Phillips.

Sicily, Jarman Impey, Sam Frost, Karl Amon, Blake Hardwick, Chad Wingard, Luke Breust and recruit Fergus Greene are the only Hawks who will start the season aged at least 25 years old.

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