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Curnow eager to take on Saints

Teague: Bluebaggers 'should be excited' David Teague spoke to the media at Ikon Park today as the boys prepare for their first JLT match against St Kilda.

Carlton’s Ed Curnow says he is looking forward to playing in the JLT Community Series tomorrow night against St Kilda.

In 2017, the midfielder averaged 21.7 disposals across 13 games and ranked second overall at the club for contested possessions. However, he has plans to further bolster his strengths as a footballer this year.

“That for me is always making sure I’m in a contested situation with my opponent so I can tackle or beat the opposition to win the ball. That’s what keeps me in the game physically,” Curnow told Carlton Media this week.

“My strength is to be able to run, and gut run – so I want to make sure I’m getting the contests other players can’t get to.

“That along with communication. If I can’t do those things I’m not really much value to the team, so that’s what I really want to nail and get right.

“I feel like that’s the best way I can help Carlton win games on the weekend.”

Curnow will be keen to don the navy blue again, after his 2017 season was cut short by a slight crack to his larynx in Round 14.

“It’s probably the strangest injury I’ve had in my career,” he said.

“I got a tiny elbow to my neck playing against Richmond in the first minute.

Ed Curnow sustained a larynx injury against the Tigers in Round 14, 2017. (Photo: AFL Photos)

“I had no idea what had happened. Then after the game to get told I had a couple of small cracks in my larynx was really foreign.

“It was a frustrating injury because my body was fine - it was purely precautionary that I had to sit out and allow my larynx cartilage to knit properly back together again.

“But I’m sweet now. I’m ready to play.”

Curnow will be a part of Carlton’s leadership group for his third season.

“Being able to communicate well with my teammates and my coaches on game day and at training is probably what I pride myself on in terms of leadership,” he said.

“Off the field it’s just building strong relationships with the playing group.

“It’s making sure that I’ve got a feel for what the guys are doing in their life and then also having conversations with them about their performance on the weekend, and where I think they can get better with their footballing pursuits.

“I’ve really enjoyed my experience in the leadership group. It’s helped me grow a lot, and I’m looking forward to this year.”

Ed Curnow and Patrick Cripps do battle on the training track. (Photo: AFL Photos)

This year’s eight-man leadership group is led by captain Marc Murphy and vice-captains Patrick Cripps and Sam Docherty. Curnow said he doesn’t see any negative in having a big group take on the role.

“I think it’s exciting when guys want to put their hand up,” Curnow said.

“We’ve got a lot of guys that aren’t in the leadership group that communicate really well and set great standards on the track with their training and play some strong footy. It holds us in good stead.

“This year they’re looking at capping the amount of times a runner can deliver a message on the ground, so I feel like if we’ve got more leaders out on the football ground, we are going to be able to adapt to different situations and scenarios that the game presents.

“We can change our mode of play if necessary just purely because of that density through that area.

“So for that purpose having eight is a great thing I think.” 

Curnow recently welcomed a son, Will, with partner Emily.

“The Club were great and gave me a bit of time off around that, so I’ve spent a fair bit of time at home with Will. That’s made the pre-season very different,” he said.

“I really love that time with Will, feeding him, putting him to bed, bathing him. It’s good fun.

“I think that makes you think about the way you go about [training]. When you’re at training you want to get the most out of it.

Ed Curnow says he's ready for a big 2018 campaign. (Photo: AFL Photos)

“I just want to put my best foot forward and get into the best routine and habits as I can to perform Round 1."

Both Ed and younger brother Charlie have been named in Carlton’s JLT Community Series side for Wednesday. Ed is not worried about the hype Charlie, who placed fourth in the NAB Rising Star for 2017, has received.

“He’s going into his third year and he’s definitely been hyped up a lot, but Charlie is pretty good because he kind of just rolls with it. He’s got a good attitude,” Curnow said.

“He doesn’t let it go to his head and he still gives his time to everyone. He’s still close with his mates from school, and he’s still very close with his family.

“It’s not like he’s become a different person. He’s a very relaxed character, he’s well-liked around the club, and best thing of all he trains hard.

“I think a lot of guys can cop a bit of hype, but they sometimes can’t back it up with their effort.

“Even if Charlie plays a really tough position on the ground where he’s going to be targeted by opposition at times, his work rate will get him through.

“I’m excited to see how he goes this year. He’s still very young. If he keeps his body in good nick, he’s going to have a career.”