Sam Docherty is quickly becoming one of Carlton’s most loved defenders, constantly putting his body on the line, intercepting marks and playing for his teammates – and the jumper.
The young defender was instrumental in the Blues’ two-point win over Port Adelaide on Sunday, gathering a career-high 33 disposals, including nine contested possessions and seven rebound-50s.
Part of this year’s leadership group, the 22-year-old says the backline has been “helping each other out” on the field as much as possible, continually displaying a team-first mentality.
“I’m loving it (the backline), it’s a really good group down there, we’ve got a very offensive look with four or five running half-backs which is great,” Docherty told SEN on Monday.
“We’re all playing together very well and helping each other out as much as we can, which has been good.”
With the Blues’ win over Port marking not only their fourth of the season but also their fourth in a row since 2011, Docherty believes it’s just reward for a gruelling pre-season.
“We were quietly confident coming into the year we were going to surprise a lot of people with the way we were going about it,” Docherty said.
“To get four in a row hasn’t happened very often for us certainly, but it’s a big reward for all the effort over the big pre-season we put in.”
In the final stages of Sunday’s game, the Blues managed to turn the match on its head, not only booting three goals to secure the win, but also hanging onto their lead with two and a half minutes left on the clock.
“It’s a credit to the boys, we’ve worked really hard on that – instances like that where we lose momentum and wrestle it back,” Docherty said.
“We were very clinical with the way we went about it, we’ve trained a lot of stuff around close games and we were able to implement it pretty well in that game. It was very good to get away with the win."
Carlton takes on the undefeated Kangaroos this Saturday night at Etihad Stadium, in what will be another big test for the Blues.
“Yeah it is (a big challenge), we’ve just got to regroup, we’ve got a six day break so a lot of recovery this week and we’ll hit them as hard as we can on Saturday night,” Docherty said.