"I'm 23-years-old and captaining one of the biggest clubs in the world."
East Ballarat product Blake Thomson is well aware of the gravity of his new role.
As Melbourne Cricket Club's captain for next season, he joins not only hallowed company at the country's oldest sports club but replaces one of the state's finest ever cricketers.
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The batsman steps into the role vacated by 142-game international and former Victorian captain Cameron White, following his retirement.
A former Victorian representative in his own right, Thomson was touted for another state contract and had conversations with interstate clubs before committing to another Victorian Premier Cricket season.
"I'm really excited. It's obviously a pretty big privilege to captain the Melbourne Cricket Club, and I'm very honoured to get a crack," he told The Courier.
"It's massively daunting; you're never going to be able to replace someone like (Cameron White).
"But, I'm not going to try to. I'll try and keep reinforcing a lot of the things he put into place last season, but I am going to be myself."
Thomson stood in as captain of the Demons for eight games last season when White was busy with Big Bash League coaching commitments.
It turned out to be a successful campaign for the former Hawk, plundering 636 runs at an average of 63.6 en route to being crowned club champion.
Thomson was hoping to take his captaincy experience and White's teachings into the new season.
"(White) is the best cricket brain I've ever worked with. I've learnt heaps off him over the past few years," he said.
"Last year, getting to take the job for a few games and then discussing them with him during the week and getting feedback was priceless. I really don't think there's anyone better you could learn off, to be honest."
Thomson returned to junior club East Ballarat for four games of the 2020-21 Ballarat Cricket Association season, while the Melbourne season was on hold due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Cricket Victoria officials feared Thomson was one of a group of premier players that would be the target of recruiters - most notably by South Australia's state side - after prolific seasons.
Thomson revealed he and his manager had discussions with interstate teams, although nothing eventuated.
Now, the top-order batsman was looking to make his mark in the new role.
"I just want to bring positivity to the captaincy," he said.
"I'm going to use other people. I've got state-contracted players and highly experienced players around me, so I'm going to bounce off other people and just place a really big emphasis on having a team environment.
"It takes more than one bloke to win a premiership."