Every player, coach and staff member has “bought in” to Carlton’s fresh set of values, as a united club with a clear direction continues to take steps on its journey.
Carlton defender Sam Docherty believes the combination of living by these values and a gruelling pre-season is starting to pay off, with the Blues recording three victories in a row for the first time since 2013.
“We put in a lot of hard work and a lot of hours over the pre-season, and to the boys' credit we’ve put in as much as we can, and we’re finally seeing some results and some reward for effort,” Docherty told ABC Grandstand on Sunday.
Docherty noted the Club’s recent wins on the field were made more “meaningful” by the whole-of-club approach Carlton has embraced.
“Everyone is really unified,” he said.
“Everyone is buying in from the Board, down to the youngest player on the list, through to the staff members upstairs – it’s a whole-of-club approach to it, and it’s making the wins a little bit more meaningful.
“It’s not just the playing group that are getting them (the wins), it’s a lot of man hours and a lot of effort put in by everyone at the footy club, so we’re all enjoying it together.”
With a host of new players and coaches joining the Club at the end of last year, the 22-year-old says their introduction has brought a bit of “confidence to the group”.
One of those people is senior coach Brendon Bolton, who’s teaching every player exactly how he wants them to set up and move the ball – and the entire side is clearly listening.
“The best bit about it is that all the boys have bought into what he’s (Bolton) selling us, it’s really showing that everyone wants to play for each other and everyone is playing together – we’re stringing a few good games together,” Docherty said.
The young defender, who was voted into the seven-man leadership group this year, believes the Blues' experienced players are having a positive impact on the team’s youth.
“If you’ve got a few blokes leading it (game plan), that are the senior heads doing everything by the team for the team, it just filters through the whole group and I think we’re seeing 22 players that are all on board the same mindset and tactics and it’s showing together.”
Docherty, who had 24 disposals against Collingwood, including five tackles and seven contested possessions, reiterated the Club’s values have been a key part of the Blues' reset on and off the field.
“One of the first things we did under Bolts was to develop some strong values and beliefs as a footy club we want to live by,” he said.
“It’s one of those things that once you put it (values) down you decide to stick by it, and if you’re not living up to it (the values) you won’t play games, and I think that’s what we’re seeing is blokes are buying in to exactly what we’re doing and it’s really showing.”
Carlton takes on Port Adelaide this Sunday afternoon at Etihad Stadium, with the Blues striving to win four games in a row for the first time since 2011.
The match will also mark Kade Simpson’s 250th game, so we’re encouraging all Bluebaggers to get along and show their support for our vice captain.