Vodafone Warriors captain Monty Betham today announced he would step down from the role after the club�s last match of the 2004 NRL season against the Bulldogs.
The 26-year-old, who has been captain since 2002, said there were a number of reasons for his decision. �But, above all, it�s about wanting to do what�s best for the team and the club, not what�s best for me personally,� he said.
�There�s a lot of scrutiny and pressure involved in being captain and this has been a really long and hard year when I feel I�ve given as much as I can.
�You have to be accountable as captain and it�s obvious the team�s not doing too well. I�ve reached the conclusion that the players need to hear a different voice. It�s time to have a change.�
Betham said he made up his mind some time ago.�After last Saturday�s game against Parramatta I talked to the boys, feeling it was the right time after that effort to give them some motivation and to make them think about a few things,� he said.
�I sat them down, asked them for a bit of time and said my piece. It was emotional and there were some tears there. That�s why I didn�t attend the media conference afterwards because I was still a bit sad.�
With just this Sunday�s match against the Roosters and the season finale against the Bulldogs to go, Betham is driven to return the Vodafone Warriors to the levels achieved in 2001, 2002 and 2003 when they made the NRL�s top eight play-offs each year, including the club�s historic grand final debut in 2002.
�As a player I think I�ve got a lot more to offer and maybe the captaincy has hindered me at times but my commitment to this club and this team will never change. That�s why I�m doing this. It�s beneficial for the club,� he said.
�We�re looking at a period of change now with Steve Price, Ruben Wiki and Nathan Fien coming to the club while others have gone. �I�ll still be a leader. That�s what I do but having a different voice as the main driving force will be good for us.
�I always wanted to lead the club to a grand final win, so it�s a huge disappointment for me that it hasn�t worked out in the end but I�m now determined to support whoever the new captain will be and to contribute as much as I possibly can as a player.�
Betham was named as the Vodafone Warriors� captain in late 2001 but, in only his second game in charge in 2002, a knee injury ruled him out for the year. In 2002, he was untroubled by injury, appearing in 24 matches with a captaincy record of 15 wins and nine losses. A broken arm sidelined him for three months this season.