Marc Murphy is one of Carlton’s many leaders.
Marc Murphy is one of Carlton’s many leaders.

AFL great trashes brainless footy balls-up

AFL great Kane Cornes has whacked Carlton for announcing an eight-man leadership group ahead of season 2018, saying it's an "overrated" ploy tainted by unqualified candidates.

Marc Murphy will captain the Blues again this year and will be supported by Sam Docherty, Patrick Cripps, Kade Simpson, Ed Curnow, Matthew Kreuzer, Alex Silvagni and Lachie Plowman.

But former Port Adelaide star Cornes ripped into the credentials of some of Carlton's new leaders, saying the inclusion of young and injury-prone players like Docherty, Silvagni and Plowman defies all logic.

"Carlton's 2018 leadership group includes All-Australian defender Sam Docherty, who won't play a single game due to wrecking his knee in the pre-season, completely curtailing his ability to lead on the field," Cornes said on SEN radio.

"Also in the group is former Fremantle defender Alex Silvagni, who has managed 21 games in the last four seasons and only seven at his new club.

"Lachie Plowman (23) also got the vote. No doubt a very exciting prospect with a bright future and leadership potential, but the facts will tell you he boasts a 28 per cent winning record at AFL level and is yet to experience a final - hardly leadership material for a proud club like Carlton.

"Take me back to 1992 with Stephen Kernahan as captain and Craig Bradley as vice, instead of this eight-man rubbish."

Cornes said the belief every club needed a jam-packed leadership group was "one of the most overrated aspects of our game" and pointed to the abject failure of the Gold Coast Suns to make his case.

Are there too many cooks in the kitchen?
Are there too many cooks in the kitchen?

"Who could forget in January of 2016, a young Gold Coast outfit full of confidence and optimism about what the season could bring, unveiled their 10-man leadership group," Cornes said.

"The group included then captain Gary Ablett, Dion Prestia, Nick Malceski and Jaeger O'Meara, all of which just two years later, are no longer at the club.

"The expansive group led the club to just six wins and 15th on the ladder."

Much of the talk around the Blues' hopes last year was positive, as outsiders pinpointed impressive coach Brendon Bolton's ability to nurture the club's emerging talent as a reason for the future looking bright.

But a disappointing 2016 which netted seven wins was followed up by a less-than-impressive 2017 as Carlton ended the year in 16th place with a 6-16 record.

However, ruckman Kreuzer is optimistic of improved fortunes this season, saying the team has been working hard to find an extra gear when in possession.

"We're working on our attacking style a little bit," Kreuzer told SEN Breakfast.

"The last couple of years we've been good on our defence but we haven't been scoring enough, so we're just trying to find ways to tinker with that.

"I think we've got the players there to do that."

Skipper Murphy backed that stance, saying he was excited by his teammates' potential to produce something special in 2018.

"It's no surprise we are trying to bring some more attacking flair into our game," Murphy said.

"We have got some guys who have been training really well who have got a lot of talent in our forward line.

"We look forward to seeing what those guys can do and want to add another string to our bow to what we have worked hard on the last couple of years, which is strengthening up some of our attacking play."

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