RETURNING Blue Sam Docherty is eager to see what a young Carlton group can produce with a full pre-season under David Teague.
The co-captain returned to the training track on Wednesday in his first training session back ahead of the 2020 season.
Eager to get back into full training after two consecutive ACL injuries, Docherty had high expectations for next season when speaking on RSN on Wednesday morning.
“It’s ‘Teaguey’s’ first year which, no doubt, [will mean] there’ll be some changes in our game plan from what he was implementing last year,” Docherty said.
Docherty spent much of the 2019 season coaching from the sidelines in a role that has copped some light-hearted treatment from Carlton’s newly minted Senior Coach.
Officially, the senior boys are due back next Monday.— Carlton FC (@CarltonFC) November 13, 2019
But Ikon Park was distinctly more crowded earlier today. #BoundByBlue
“He has stitched me up a few times, ‘Teaguey’: I’ve listened to a few of his things, he’s given me a few little clips. I’m looking forward to getting back out there as a player,” he said.
“I threw my coaching shirt in 12 months ago and I had to sulk back in there and grab it. Hopefully I don’t go back in there for a long time.”
Docherty also singled out Carlton Director of High Performance Andrew Russell as a key architect of the young group’s pre-season success.
To go with Teague’s first season, Docherty said the excitement this pre-season was “two-fold” due to Russell’s involvement from the outset.
“We’re taking out as much risk as we can before playing practice games and getting ready for the season.”— Carlton FC (@CarltonFC) November 12, 2019
All eyes on Round 1. Sam Docherty details his trip to Philadelphia.#BoundByBlue
“It’s also Andrew Russell’s first year with a full crack at our off-season and pre-planning,” he said.
“We picked him up at the end of the season last year where the planning was a little bit compromised. He gets his first crack at a pre-season with this group.”
With the second week of pre-season coming to a close and the remaining senior players due to return on Monday, Docherty has been impressed with the first to fourth-year crop.
“From all reports, all the boys have come back in ripping condition. It can be a bit of a throwaway line at this time of year, but it’s important for a young group that our younger guys are in a really good condition and training well,” he said.
“We’ll probably have a pretty full list training which, at this time of year, is pretty important.”