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Docherty eyes midfield role

Marc McGowan, AFL Media  August 31, 2017 10:01 AM

The Journey | S2E6 Season 2 | Episode 6. In the sixth episode of Season 2 of The Journey, go behind-the-scenes for history lessons, a long-awaited debut and a heartfelt goodbye. Presented by Virgin Australia.

ALL AUSTRALIAN debutant Sam Docherty is open to an expanded midfield role in 2018 as Carlton bids to fast-track its reset.

Docherty has played in only 22 wins out of 79 games since crossing to the Blues from the Brisbane Lions for the 2014 season, but is one of the keys to a brighter future.

The 23-year-old enjoyed his finest season at AFL level in 2017, performing an integral role in Carlton's possession-maintaining style and its underrated defensive structure.

Docherty averaged a career-high 27.9 disposals, while leading the League in kicks (20.9) and marks (nine) and ranking third in rebound 50s and fourth in metres gained (503.9).

He is the first Blue to receive Virgin Australia All Australian honours since Chris Judd and Marc Murphy in 2011, and one of 12 first-timers overall in this year's side. 

"It's just good recognition for the year for the guys who do make it in," Docherty told of his selection on the half-back line.

"I'm really honoured and privileged to be part of the team."

Carlton's six victories were one fewer than last year and it has failed to kick 100 points under coach Brendon Bolton since round 11, 2016. Bolton's men lost six matches by 19 points or fewer, but won five the same way.

"It was a funny season. We got the five Rising Star (nominees), which was terrific for the footy club," Docherty said.

"It's disappointing with the win-loss column (but) It does bring a sense of optimism for next year that we were so close, and if we closed out a few games we would have been a bit further up the ladder."

The Blues' pre-season is already only weeks from resuming and could be the dawn of a new era for Docherty. The club's midfield depth is shallow behind veterans Murphy and Bryce Gibbs and young star Patrick Cripps, leaving a potential opportunity for the man known as 'Doc'.

"I'm not too sure what the future's going to hold for me," Docherty said.

"The last couple of years down back's been pretty pleasing, but I played a bit of midfield time this year, so I think there's scope to develop that part of my game."