The Carlton Football Club began the first leg of its journey under senior coach Brendon Bolton in 2016.
After notching up seven wins for the season – three more than last year – the Blues ended up finishing 14th on the ladder.
With the team now on a break, we’re taking a look back at each player’s year in statistics. Here’s the review for Carlton’s No. 15, Sam Docherty:
Season 2016: 22
Season 2016: 1
KEY AFL STATISTICS (averages in brackets)
Disposals: 566 (25.73)
Kicks: 359 (16.32) Marks 173 (7.86)
Contested possessions: 138 (6.27)
Uncontested Possessions: 399 (18.14)
Rebound 50s: 119 (5.41)
Tackles: 57 (2.59)
After showing glimpses of his potential last year, Docherty took his game to the next level in 2016.
Averaging nearly 26 disposals off half-back, he and Kade Simpson forged a solid partnership in defence, making it much harder for the opposition to score.
His ability to run and carry the ball out of the Blues’ backline was a feature of his game, ranking third in the competition for rebound 50s behind Giant Heath Shaw and Swan Dane Rampe. He also topped the Blues for total marks, averaging nearly eight per game.
For the first time in his career, Docherty was named in the 40-man All-Australian squad and made the AFL Players’ Association’s final 22Under22 team.
Capping off a tremendous year, he was not only crowned the Club’s best and fairest, but he also took home the Most Improved Player award.
HE SAID IT
“It means a hell of a lot, obviously being a Carlton supporter growing up it’s been a dream to play for the Carlton Football Club – I honestly never thought I’d get close to winning one of these,” Docherty said.
- Docherty spoke to Carlton Media after being announced as the 2016 John Nicholls Medallist.
THEY SAID IT
“We really worked hard together over the pre-season, all our training and running was together…we’re forging a very good bond back there – he’s a very deserved winner and he had a super year.”
- Kade Simpson praises his fellow defender after coming runner-up in the best-and-fairest count.
There was a moment in Carlton’s Round 22 win over Melbourne that epitomises Sam Docherty’s mindset and competitive streak. When Demons ruckman Max Gawn stood on the goal-line with the footy in his hands, it looked to be a certain goal for the Dees. Docherty, who’s half Gawn’s size, jumped on the big man and tackled him with his entire body, spoiling the ball across the line for a behind.