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Pre-season update

Howard Kotton for afl.com.au  January 3, 2018 12:34 PM

Depth in attack excites Teague Carlton Media spoke to forwards coach David Teague after Sunday's open training session on the Sunshine Coast.

WITH Carlton currently on its Christmas break, afl.com.au's Howard Kotton takes a look at how the Blues' pre-season is panning out:

Pre-season so far: The mood is buoyant at Ikon Park after returning from the week-long training camp on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. A major focus has been working on methods to increase the team’s scoring power. The early loss of All Australian defender Sam Docherty with a season-ending ACL was a cruel blow, but there have been plenty of positives since. Skipper Marc Murphy has led by example and star midfielder Patrick Cripps is enjoying his first full pre-season after recovering from a broken leg.

Exciting youngsters Charlie Curnow and Sam Petrevski-Seton have returned looking much stronger, while Zac Fisher has been most impressive. Key forward Harry McKay, whose 2017 campaign ended prematurely with a toe injury, has built up considerably.

Recruit Matthew Kennedy is on a special program after having post-season shoulder surgery. After a minor setback with the throat injury that finished his 2017 season, Ed Curnow is back in training. Fresh from his excellent performances in the Virgin Australia AFL International Rules Series, veteran Kade Simpson is shaping up well for his 16th AFL season.

Time trial champ: While Carlton does not release its time trial results, Ed Curnow is probably the best endurance runner at the club and would figure prominently.

Training return:  January 11

Community camp: Melbourne Metro (North) Darebin, Banyule, Whittlesea and Nillumbik; Yarra Ranges (Warburton, Yarra Junction and surrounds), Tuesday, February 20 to Wednesday, February 21.

AFLX fixture: Friday, February 16, Etihad Stadium: Essendon, North Melbourne, St Kilda, Hawthorn and Melbourne

JLT fixture: v St Kilda, Ikon Park, Wednesday, February 28, 7.10pm AEDT; v Hawthorn, University of Tasmania Stadium, Saturday, March 10, 7.05pm AEDT

Click here to sync Carlton's 2018 fixtures to your smartphone

Round one: v Richmond, MCG, Thursday, March 22, 7.25pm AEDT

Last time: Round 14, 2017, MCG, Richmond 11.18 (84) d Carlton 8.10 (58)