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Tuohy backs Murphy to lead Blues

Travis King, AFL.com.au  February 12, 2016 10:38 AM

Tuohy talks captaincy and NAB Challenge Zach Tuohy spoke to the media ahead of training at Ikon Park today.

Carlton defender Zach Tuohy has thrown his support behind Marc Murphy to retain the Blues' captaincy, believing the "much-maligned" skipper is the obvious choice to lead the group into a new era.

The Blues will make a call on whether to stick with Murphy before new coach Brendon Bolton's 'reset' club is tested in battle by his former team Hawthorn in the NAB Challenge opener in Launceston next Thursday.

Tuohy said the Blues have "a lot of leadership density", particularly among their senior players, but Murphy was the standout candidate in the Irishman's eyes. 

"I would imagine there would be an announcement very soon. From my point of view I'd like to see Murph run on as captain," Tuohy said. 

"I think he's had a tough time over the last few years, he's been much-maligned and the way he's held himself the last few years … he's a player I respect incredibly."

After 98 games, Tuohy also wants to shoulder more responsibility under the new regime – whether he's voted into the official leadership group or not.

"I'd like to be considered a leader. I think I've been around a little while now and I'm probably one of the more experienced players given how young we are," he said.

"I've tried to grow my leadership on-field and off-field and I'll continue to try and do that."

Tuohy produced a career-best season in his rebounding role from the backline last year, with the durable 26-year-old's penetration and run invaluable for the wooden-spooners.

He ranked third at the club for rebound 50s, fourth for marks, fifth for kicks and finished third in the best and fairest behind Patrick Cripps and Murphy.

Although Bolton has demanded more flexibility from his players, Tuohy isn't eyeing a change of role and said a settled defence could provide stability as the Blues come to grips with their new game-plan 

"I've had a couple of little hits up on the wing and that (in pre-season training), but I'm pretty settled down back to be honest," Tuohy said.

"It does help to have players roll through different positions – and I do hope to be a guy who can do that – but if you can get a set defence it probably would help.

"We haven't played any kind of competitive games yet, so until you actually get out there and try and do it against opposition it's hard to know what to expect.

"But certainly from a theoretical standpoint we understand what needs to happen and it's been trained really well, so you can't really ask for any more than that this time of year.

"(Hawthorn) have been the benchmark for the last few years and it's going to be a great test for us on day one to see if we can hold up under pressure."