Patrick Cripps and Sam Docherty have been named Carlton's first co-captains at Friday night's John Nicholls Medal.
Docherty, an All Australian defender in 2017, ruptured his ACL in November 2017 and missed the entire 2018 season, but the 24-year-old will be welcomed back to action with the co-captaincy.
Docherty and Cripps are Carlton’s first ever co-captains. Credit:Laura Manariti/Supplied
His leadership partner Patrick Cripps, 23, was Carlton's shining light during a dismal 2018 finishing equal fourth in the Brownlow Medal and as the winner of the Blues' best and fairest, the youngest victor since Nicholls himself won 56 years ago.
"This honour is incredibly special," Cripps said. "Playing footy at the highest level for one of the biggest clubs in the competition is huge in itself, but when you think about being named captain of the club, it’s probably something you could never really dream of. It’s surreal but a huge honour.
"I try and lead by my actions, and I really believe that leadership is something you can’t master, but you always try to improve. So the biggest lesson I learnt this year in that stand-in role was to lead by being true to yourself.
"I’m very thankful for the opportunity to lead this proud club alongside Doc. Personally, we are close mates, and we have a lot of respect for each other so I’m confident it will be a natural transition for us both."
Docherty said it was a life-long dream to captain the club he supported as a child.
"Clearly the joint captaincy is a new direction for the club, but both ‘Crippa’ and I have sat down and had really honest chats about how we’re going to take this group forward together," Docherty said.
"Despite our various differences in personality and approaches to leadership, we complement each other well and the main thing for us is our common goal to take this club back to sustained success.
"We will be also aided by the wealth of knowledge ‘Murph’ has – he’s been our leader in some pretty tough times for our footy club and this year again led so strongly on game day and during the week, so he’ll be someone we bounce ideas off and use as a resource throughout the year which we will be indebted to him for."
Murphy said it was the right time to hand over the captaincy.
"We had a number of discussions internally, and all parties felt both ‘Doc’ and ‘Crippa’ were the natural selections for the role and I am confident they are armed with the tools to do a terrific job in the role," Murphy said.
Coach Brendon Bolton said the pair were the clear best candidates for the job.
"Quite unanimously, it was determined that both Sam and Patrick would each bring a
unique lens and purpose to the role and as such, we felt it right to make the dual
appointment. It’s a new direction we’re heading in with the structure, but one I believe
will strongly benefit our young playing group in years to come," Bolton said.
"I’d also like to congratulate Marc on his leadership tenure as captain for the past six
years; particularly in some difficult times for the club since he took over the reins from
Chris Judd in 2013."
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