Surprised Fred ready to lead

Melbourne Heart marquee man Fred admitted he was surprised to be offered the captaincy and said he will lead by example rather than by words in his first season back in the Hyundai A-League.

Melbourne Heart marquee man Fred admitted he was surprised to be offered the captaincy and said he will lead by example rather than by words in his first season back in the Hyundai A-League.

Fred was chosen to lead Heart this season over previous skipper Simon Colosimo in a move which surprised many in the football community.

The quietly spoken Brazilian, who has improved his English considerably after spending four seasons in the MLS, has promised a collaborative approach to the captaincy as he looks to led Heart into title contention this season.

"It's exciting, and it's fantastic. I'm very honoured to be the captain for the team," he said.

"I was a little bit surprised. There are a lot of experienced players. They are all very good leaders. But I think I can do a good job of building up the team."

"It's not only me now. I think everyone can contribute to the captaincy. Everyone can be a little captain. Everyone has their responsibilities. But I think my role this year is to help develop the younger and older players."

There is a lot of importance put on the captaincy in Australia, and Fred is well aware that he will need to lead a team which has its fair share of inexperienced players.

And while saying he is not a natural verbal motivator, he feels he can lead by example, both in training and out on the field.

"Whether it's on the field, or in training during the week - you have to show the way, always train 100 per cent. I'm not the guy who wants to speak with the referee all the time, I'm a quieter guy coming in and one-on-one and talking with the guys. I'm trying to help build them up," he said.

"All responsibility falls to the captain after the coach. It's a good responsibility to take."

There are two players in particularly who will need Fred's guidance - compatriots Maycon and Alex Terra.

"It's good to have these players here and building up the team and I think they'll bring a different style and different personality to the team. We can help work together, if one guy is not very happy, you can work with him to help. It's easier to do that when you are from the same culture," he said.

Like Fred, both are talented attacking players and the 32-year-old feels Terra can make a real impression after an injury-ravaged first campaign.

"I heard he had a lot of injuries last year. I try to help him a lot. I tried to get him to work at the gym and I think we'll see he will much better this year,' he said.

Maycon, who is 182cm tall, will be used in a central attacking target player and Fred is confident he will adapt to the physical nature of the league.

"He's a very strong guy. Everyday he is getting better, because it is different in Australia than Brazil. He's getting stronger. He's holding up the ball well. He's improving and will help us a lot when the season starts," he said.

Fred is also using his language skills, in this case Spanish rather than his native Portuguese, to help Argentine Jonathan Germano settle into the club.

He is also extremely excited about the potential of his team, and in particular the younger players.

"They are very good talents. I played in this league before, there was a lot of younger players but they didn't have the talent of these guys. I can see here what great potential they have," he said.