Carlton have announced the Leadership Group for the 2018 season. The timing of the announcement was perfectly opportunistic from the media department, achieving significant air play as we sit between the Australian Open and start of the AFLW & X.
Marc Murphy retained his role as Captain for the 5th season whilst Patrick Cripps and the injured Sam Docherty were both promoted to Vice Captains. Veteran Kade Simpson has stepped down from the role to make way for Carlton’s young stars but will continue to form part of the Leadership Group.
Though its tempting to speculate if Docherty may have stepped up into the captaincy before going down, in Marc Murphy, Carlton have a respected leader that will help continue to shape the young group. Murph approaching game 250 – is coming off his 2nd John Nicholls medal and a busy offseason becoming a father for the first time. Continuity in message is extremely important especially considering the flux in our list since Bolton & SOS’ arrival.
Ed Curnow, one of the Blues’ most vocal trainers will continue into his 3rd year as a leader, with the departure of Bryce Gibbs, Ed’s role leading by example in the midfield cannot be underestimated.
Often mentioned as the spiritual leader of team, Matthew Kruezer’s stellar 2017 season has been recognised by joining the group for the first time. Nicknamed ‘Humphry’ for his quietness around the club – the promotion into the leadership shows the growing confidence that continuity of football is providing.
Alex Silvagni was a revelation in his 7 games for the Blues last year and his movement into the 2018 leadership group shows how highly he is regarded among the young group. Alex is super experienced footballer that has been in the system for 10 years – he earned his opportunity as a mature recruit through the VFL system and had to move across the country to Western Australia to do it. Rewarding characters like Ed & Alex that both needed to do it the hard way can only inspire the younger brigade about the value of work and getting everything out of themselves.
Lachie Plowman, one of our often ‘maligned’ GWS recruits, steps up as the youngest member of the Leadership Group. Lachie has not put a foot wrong since debuting for Carlton in round 4, 2016. With the loss of Sam Docherty’s voice from the back 6 its clear that the Bolton will be looking for Lachie to step up and fill the void. Opportunities like Docherty’s injury can often lead to unintended consequences and Plowman taking another step to an elite defender would be a welcome one to offset missing Sam out there.
With younger players like Jacob Weitering, Charlie Curnow, Jack Silvagni & Samo Petrevski-Seton showing glimpses of future leadership it will be interesting to see how the group evolves over the coming years.