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Emma Zielke on her captaincy role

Honoured to be Captain Emma Zielke speaks to LionsTV after being named the first Captain of the Brisbane Lions Women's team.

History has been made. The first ever captain of the Brisbane Lions Women’s team, Emma Zielke - a proud and deserving recipient of such a monumental appointment.

Acknowledging the clubs already rich history and highlighting the exciting opportunity to add to that, Emma explains her reaction to the news that she has been when she was announced as captain.

"When I found out that I was captain of the Brisbane Lions women’s team, I was pretty speechless actually,” said Zielke.

"I got up in front of the group and didn’t really know what to say, but obviously I’m honoured and proud to be the first captain of the Brisbane Lions Women’s team.

“The club already has such a good history but I think what we’ve got going on now, making our own history with this group that we have is awesome and I’m so humbled to be named the leader of this group."

It's a responsibility that Zielke won’t be taking for granted and she has a vision for how she will go about her role.

A very team-focused approach proves Emma Zielke truly is the people’s captain.

“I want to be known as a leader that leads by example and someone that does everything to the best of my ability," said Zielke.

“I just want to be able to make sure that I’m setting the right example for the group because we have a younger group in our squad so if I can do the best that I can every single session and every single game then that’s all that I want to leave. 

Zielke, who is employed as an admin support officer at the Brisbane Lions, will be supported in her role by four 'Values Leaders' - Sam Virgo, Leah Kaslar, Emily Bates and Sabrina Frederick-Traub.

“We have a really strong leadership group this year. We’ve got two younger girls that join the group and they bring so much to it,” said Zielke.

"We’ve got experienced girls and they’re captains in their own teams at club level, so I think we’ve got a really covered leadership group and we’re all going to be able to share the load really well,” said Zielke.

Zielke has previously captained multiple state teams under Craig Starcevich’s guidance as coach, as well as in a role as assistant to Starcevich for the Under 18 Youth Girls Queensland team. Zielke also captained local team, Coorparoo to three consecutive premierships in the premier Queensland women’s league (QWAFL).

And Head Coach Craig Starcevich knows exactly what he expects from a captain.

“As far as a captain goes, we’re looking for someone who can be an extension of the coaching group - really lead by example out on the field through their actions but also take forward what the coaches are trying to instruct the group with,” said Starcevich.

“We also want someone that will galvanize the group when things aren’t going exactly the way we want it to go - someone to be a really strong leader.”

Zielke is a motivating person due to her actions but  and she can have a bit to say before we start and get the team going.

"Zielke's got quite a bit to bring to the table from that point of view,” said Starcevich.

Starcevich is hoping to see Zielke’s experience and natural composure on display through her role as captain.

“As the first captain of the team we hope for Emma to bring some comfort to the group and some composure.”

“I think the fact that she’s played high level before in the women’s space in the exhibition games is a really big plus in her particular role.

“She’ll be used to that sort of scrutiny and be able to help guide the players through that,” Starcevich said.

You can see Zielke’s AFL captaincy debut when AFL Women's team play a practice match against GWS Giants 2.30pm, Saturday 21 January at Coorparoo AFC.

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs