New rookie Olly Lancashire could be captain of Crewe Alex next season.
According to the assistant director, Kenny Lunt, the experienced central defender would be among those considered likely to take over from the late George Ray.
Lancashire, who signed a two-year contract to become David Artell's first summer capture last weekend, was captain of Swindon Town last term and will be among the players expected to lead the charge for the railroaders in 2019- 2020.
Lunt said, "I think it's a good signature, as we've said before, the most important thing is that he's a good boy.
"He has a good age, brings experience and has been captain at Swindon.He arrived in Southampton and we know that he can play a little bit.
"We wanted someone who could help others after losing Michael Raynes and George Ray, who both played a lot of games, and we needed someone who could win all the air duels for which we will need him.
"We have the top of our list and got what we wanted, so we are pretty satisfied with the company.
"It's nice to have someone around the 30 mark who was there and who did it.
"It will be in the frame (to be captain), but it will be the same for Perry Ng's he's still there, Paul Green and a few others.
"We are not worried about the number of leaders we have now. We have some especially in the backbone of the team.
"We have characters, a good fitting room and a team spirit that showed last year with last – minute goals and how they celebrated together.
"It is important that drive and hunger reign, and we already know it."
Lancashire has climbed the ladder at St Mary's. In 2007, he made 13 appearances with the Saints.
Three loans to Grimsby Town were followed by Walsall, Aldershot Town, Rochdale – where he played nearly 100 league games – and Shrewsbury Town before joining Swindon in 2017, playing more than 50 league games with the Robins.
Lancashire should be a top player next season. Eddie Nolan, Nicky Hunt and Billy Sass-Davies are expected to compete for the spot alongside him at the heart of the defense.
Crewe could add other elements to his background, particularly with regard to the cover on the left rear, but will probably give priority to other areas before proceeding to another defensive move. .