FOR Carlton veteran Marc Murphy, the ability to evolve his position and the way he assesses his own performance is a credit to his longevity.
With Saturday’s clash with Port Adelaide to mark 290 for the veteran, Murphy credits his ability to adapt for his years in the game as he approaches Carlton’s 300 club.
Speaking to Andy Maher and Bob Murphy during Carlton’s SEN membership day on Thursday, Murphy reflected on his growth in Navy Blue.
“I’ve had quite a few discussions with Cam Bruce - who’s our forward coach - about the first 14 years of my career,” Murphy said.
“As a midfielder you want to have it probably 25-plus [disposals] and impact clearances, inside 50s and rebounds 50.
“When you’re playing midfield you can kind of just chase the ball and go from contest to contest, whereas forward, your reaction has to be really good about ripping away and trying to create space in the midfield and then coming back at it.
“So it’s a lot different but I’ve actually really enjoyed the new role.”
Heading into Saturday night’s clash against the Power, the Blues will be looking to capitalise on the confidence of consecutive wins over the Dockers and the Suns.
Eager to stick to the hallmarks of their best footy, Murphy believes the Blues’ success on Saturday will come from a consistent defensive mindset.
“The last couple of weeks we’ve started to close down space a lot better and then with our ball movement, just being able to have different modes of using the football,” he said.
“Whether that’s quick or working the ball up the ground, seeing it and hitting it is something that we’ve been working on.
“Against a Port Adelaide side who are red hot, we’ll have to be right up in that area and have to harass and chase to try and get the ball going our way.”
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With learnings from losses in the first two rounds of 2021 still front of mind for the Blues, Murphy is eager to test their growth against a highly-rated side.
“Against Collingwood we were sitting off and they just hit targets. That’s what they do best and we didn’t make it hard for them decision-wise to be able to execute their skills,” he said.
“That’s something that we really focus on, trying to close down that space up the ground and come forward at every opportunity.
“That’s the way that we’d like to play and against a really good side like Port who like to use the ball really quick as well.”