MARC Murphy will become one of the longest-serving consecutive captains of the Carlton Football Club, after being unanimously endorsed by his peers to lead the Blues for a sixth straight year in 2018.
Having been appointed captain in 2013, the 30-year-old sits behind only Stephen Kernahan, John Nicholls, Ken Hands and Ern Henfry as the Blues’ longest-serving captain across consecutive years.
After three years serving as Murphy’s deputy, beloved veteran Kade Simpson will hand over the reins as part of the Club’s leadership program succession plan, with Sam Docherty and Patrick Cripps assuming joint vice-captaincy roles.
The 33-year-old defender will remain in the Blues’ leadership group, alongside midfielder Ed Curnow, who joined the group in Bolton’s first year as senior coach in 2016.
In a bolstered eight-man group, experienced duo Matthew Kreuzer and Alex Silvagni, as well as rising defender Lachie Plowman round out the Blues’ on-field leadership group for 2018 after being recognised by their peers on Wednesday.
Senior coach Brendon Bolton said the new-look leadership group would drive high performance standards across the playing list.
“Marc has been superb for us and it is a credit to him that he will continue in the role for a sixth season. He lives to the Club values and behaviours, and not only is he coming off the back of arguably a career-best season, he is totally invested in our players and what we’re trying to achieve as a group,” Bolton said.
“He will continue to work closely with Sam and Patrick in their vice-captaincy roles and while it’s clear to our supporters just how talented they both are as players, both Sam and Patrick are natural and impressive young leaders who are undoubtedly ready for this next step in their careers.
“Pleasingly, Kade will continue in his role in the leadership group and his experience is paramount for our list. ’Kreuz’ often is referred to as a ‘heart and soul’ player for the football club and will be a very valuable member of the extended leadership group, alongside Alex Silvagni who is uncompromising in his pursuit of driving high standards.
“Lachie Plowman comes into the group for the first time which is a reflection of the positive impact he has amongst the group. Lachie has a real on-field presence across the back-line so he will be a welcomed addition to the group this year.
“We’ve obviously had a significant number of changes to our playing list over the past three years, so for us, we’ve been clear that we will continue to build synergy amongst our playing group and our leadership group will be instrumental in driving that this season.”
2018 CARLTON LEADERSHIP GROUP:
Marc Murphy – Captain
Sam Docherty – Joint Vice-Captain
Patrick Cripps – Joint Vice-Captain