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21 hours ago
Simon Woolford has quit as captain of the Canberra Raiders after five years in the role.
The 30 year old hooker said he felt the time was right for a change.
"The main reason for this decision is the fact that I've set myself a goal of having my best year at the club next year, and to do this I felt I needed to lighten my responsibility and workload off the field," Woolford said.
"It also allows me to give the future captain some support while I'm still with the club."
Fullback Clinton Schifcofske and utility Jason Croker are considered the most likely candidates to take over the leadership.
Woolford said being a father of three young children, fulltime NRL player, team captain, president of the Rugby League Players' Association and a business owner was taking its toll.
"Being captain of an out-of-Sydney team involves a lot of travel, so this decision will help bring some balance to my life," he said.
"Being captain of the Raiders for the last five years is something I'm very proud of but I feel the time is right to let somebody else take over."
Raiders coach Matthew Elliott said he was supportive of Woolford's decision.
"It's not an easy decision for Simon to make but I understand and respect his reasoning behind it," he said.
"By making this decision now, Simon has allowed us time to choose a successor.
"There are a couple of obvious candidates, but I'd like to consult the players to get a feel for who they'd like to lead them onto the field each week.
"We are having a tactical camp at the end of next week, so I plan to incorporate this process into that camp."
Woolford is contracted to play with the Raiders until the end of the 2006 season.