tmedia
Main content

CFC TV

Murphy, Blues on mission in QLD

6:09pm  Dec 15, 2017

2018 AFLW guernseys released

6:10pm  Dec 12, 2017

Fast 5 | Matt Shaw

10:44am  Dec 12, 2017

Fast 5 | Cam O'Shea

9:23am  Dec 12, 2017

Marchbank: 'I'm very privileged'

Marc McGowan, AFL Media  May 1, 2017 8:46 PM

Caleb Marchbank's injury history reads like a medical exam for a hospital resident, but homesickness proved more debilitating than anything his beat-up body took. 

The Carlton defender hails from Benalla, otherwise known as Tom Rockliff territory, and going from a town of 10,000 to the bright lights and five million people of Sydney proved too much.

Seven AFL games scattered across two seasons with Greater Western Sydney, after being the No.6 pick as a 17-year-old in the 2014 NAB AFL Draft, was not how it was supposed to pan out.

Marchbank's list of ailments includes back stress fractures, a torn meniscus in his right knee, a serious ankle injury he suffered twice last year, and a dislocated right shoulder.

Enough was enough by season's end in 2016.

He was able to find his way from the Giants to his preferred destination of the Blues, reuniting with the man who drafted him, Stephen Silvagni.

Six matches into Marchbank's Carlton career, where he has established himself as an intercept expert, is adequate evidence Silvagni was right to place so much faith in him.

His 21 disposals and 10 marks in the Blues' 19-point victory over Sydney on Saturday also earned him the round six NAB AFL Rising Star nomination.

"It's definitely a massive honour to get a nomination and I'm very privileged to get one," Marchbank, 20, told AFL.com.au.

"I didn’t even realise I was eligible to get nominated, so it came as a bit of a surprise …

"I'm just really happy about playing footy again and it's nice to get that continuity in performances and games.

"I'm happy with how I'm going and I've settled into the club well. The boys are really good and we're keen to build on our performance at the weekend."

Marchbank is averaging 16.5 disposals, 7.3 marks and 3.2 tackles this season, but it is his innate ability to read the play that is turning heads.

He snaffled five intercept marks among 13 intercept possessions in round one against Richmond and has become one of the AFL's leading exponents in that area.

Marchbank's 14 intercept marks ranks top 10 in the competition, while he is 17th for intercept possessions with 39.

West Coast star Elliot Yeo heads both categories with 24 and 62, respectively.

"I like to think it's always been a strength of mine … knowing when to drop off my man and come help another teammate," Marchbank said.

"I've always had that as a focus in my game, to drive that in my performance.

"Our game plan and Dale Amos, the backline coach, have been a big help with me becoming a better intercept player and it's great having guys like Sam Docherty and Kade Simpson to learn from."

Marchbank sneaks up the Hume Highway once a fortnight these days to see family and friends in Benalla and experience the laidback country lifestyle he still yearns for.

He "loved" his time at the Giants, but said he now had the balance right between his football and personal life – and reported for Blues fans that his body was better than ever.

"For me, it was about sorting my off-field side of things and I've loved every minute down in Melbourne," Marchbank said.

"Carlton is a great club and it's great to have family and friends around me.

"It's been well documented we have a young list, but we don’t really care about how old you are or how many games you've played – it's about how you're performing on the weekend."