Bontempelli is Bulldogs' new AFL skipper

Marcus Bontempelli will lead Western Bulldogs in the 2020 AFL season.
Marcus Bontempelli will lead Western Bulldogs in the 2020 AFL season.

Marcus Bontempelli's long-expected rise to the captaincy at the Western Bulldogs was unsurprisingly sealed with an overwhelming player vote.

When Easton Wood announced he was standing down from the role after two years on Monday, every player at the club - bar one - cast their vote for Bontempelli to succeed him.

In his typically self-effacing manner, Bontempelli voted for Lachie Hunter.

"I didn't (vote for myself) I guess that speaks to how I view myself ... I wouldn't put myself before the team in any way," Bontempelli told reporters on Tuesday.

"It's something that I never probably would do.

"To feel like they wanted me to be a part of the leadership, the official captain of the club, is a great feeling."

The 24-year-old will have Hunter as his deputy in a six-man leadership group, which also includes Wood, Jason Johannisen, Mitch Wallis and new addition Josh Dunkley.

Wood will forever be known as a Bulldogs premiership captain after he deputised for injured skipper Bob Murphy and led the side to a famous grand final win in 2016.

Having turned 30 this year, Wood reflected on the captaincy after the Bulldogs' season ended with an elimination final loss to GWS and came to the conclusion that the time was right to hand over the reins.

"One of the main driving factors of that (decision) was just the quality of person that Marcus is," Wood said.

"Just how much he's grown, particularly in his time as my vice-captain.

"We've been working together really closely over the last two years and watching him grow over that period it was obvious to me that it was time to step down and support him in his opportunity to lead the group.

"It was a tough decision but I'm incredibly proud and privileged to have had the opportunity to captain the club.

MARCUS BONTEMPELLI'S AFL CAREER AT A GLANCE

* Born: 24 November, 1995 (24)

* Drafted: No.4 at the 2013 national draft

* AFL debut: Round 5, 2014, vs Carlton at Docklands Stadium

* AFL games: 127

* Honours: AFL premiership player (2016), Bulldogs best-and-fairest winner (2016, '17, '19), All Australian (2016, '19), AFL Coaches Association champion player of the year (2019).

Australian Associated Press