DARREN FLEARY will skipper Huddersfield Giants in Super League this season.
The 31-year-old former Great Britain international takes over from Steve McNamara, who left the McAlpine club at the end of last season.
And Giants coach Jon Sharp has confirmed another Huddersfield-born player, Darren Turner, will take on the role of vice-captain.
Both players have led Huddersfield out in the past, but this is the first time it will be in an official capacity.
Former Leeds man Fleary was in pole position to be named skipper after a successful spell in charge of the side towards the end of the Super League VIII campaign.
Huddersfield won seven games under his command, including the superb victories over St Helens, Leeds Rhinos, Wigan Warriors and Hull.
That marked him out as a prime candidate to be handed the honour in 2004, with Sharp having no doubt he is the best man for the crucial job.
"Darren will be an inspirational leader," predicted the team chief.
"He's not one of those players who says too much, but when he does say something the players around him sit up and take notice.
"That's because his knowledge of the game is so good and that you know his views will be worth listening to.
"He's also gained experience at the very highest level and acquitted himself well at that level.
"As a result, he's held in the highest respect by his peers, and that respect is something which counts for a lot when you are a club captain.
"The fact his appointment has been so well received by his teammates proves Daz is the right man for the job."
The appointment of the 29-year-old ex-Sheffield man Turner as vice captain was also well received.
Like Fleary, Turner has achieved a tremendous amount in the game, including winning the Challenge Cup (against Wigan in 1998).
And Sharp believes Turner's contribution will be just as vital as that of Fleary.
"Rocky has had a great off-season, and that's been reflected by this appointment," added Sharp.
"When a new coach comes to the club, like I have done, you look for guidance and feedback from your senior players to ease you in.
"Rocky has led the way in this process and I'm incredibly grateful for this role he has played.
"He could have easily sat back, because he was also having to recover from a shoulder operation.
"But the way he has worked to get himself fit and the manner in which he has conducted himself throughout pre-season has made a big impression on me.
"I have no doubt that in the two Darrens I've got a great team to lead the side this season.
"But I also know there are plenty more players in this squad who will take a strong lead during the course of this coming season.
"I really am fortunate to have a very special bunch of players to work with at Huddersfield."
Sharp has confirmed that Fleary will lead his side out for the first time in Friday's pre-season clash against Super League rivals Castleford Tigers at the McAlpine (8.00).