‘He’s already a pro’: High praise for No.1 Blue
Carlton leader Ed Curnow says No.1 draft pick Sam Walsh is ready to make an impact from Round 1.
Curnow, named in the club's leadership group with co-captains Patrick Cripps and Sam Docherty, former skipper Marc Murphy, and Kade Simpson, says Walsh, 18, was already mature beyond his years.
"He's (Walsh) been in and out of training a little bit because they're managing him, which is a smart thing to do," Curnow said on SEN radio this morning.
"He's already a pro, that's what's impressed me. His body, his shape and physique and his repeat efforts on the track - he's winning the footy, he's come in with the right type of confidence that I can see him playing straight away and playing well."
Walsh was a monster at U18 level and will be injected into the midfield with the likes of Cripps, Murphy, Zac Fisher, Sam Petrevski-Seton and Paddy Dow.
Curnow said Murphy jumped at the chance at continuing in the leadership group, after relinquishing the captaincy to Cripps and Docherty at the end of last season.
"I think Murph, he's pretty passionate about seeing the club do well and he's been here his whole career and it's been a tough ride at times and he's been there on the frontline for that for the footy club," Curnow said.
"I know Murph really wants to support Doc and Cripp and get behind them and give them the best chance and the club the best chance at succeeding in the coming years.
"To do that he wants to be in the leadership group and I think that's awesome."
Murphy, 31, confirmed to the Herald Sun he wanted to support the new captains.
"I spoke to Doc and Crippa before the announcement, and Bolts (coach Brendon Bolton), and they were both really keen to have me in there (the leadership group) and I was keen to stick around," Murphy said.
"I think for those guys they're at the right age and they've played a lot of good football and they both want to lead thefootball club going forward. At the ripe age of 31 it's certainly time to step away and to let those guys lead.
"Like Ed (Curnow) and Simmo (Kade Simpson), I'll be there to support them."
Murphy had interest from other clubs including Geelong to depart PrincesPark this year but inked a new deal in July until 2020 which will ensure he finishes his career in navy blue.
"I had to weigh up a lot of things and for myself and my family and this is where I've played a lot of football and I certainlydidn't want to leave," Murphy said.
"It is a business now but also loyalty to the footy club who have put a lot of faith in me over the years, I want to repaythat as well.
"I haven't had surgery for a few years now which is really good. I'm out there training every session at the moment.
"Hopefully I can hang on for a few years yet."
Curnow said new recruit Will Setterfield had already settled in well at the club, but was still working on getting healthy after a litany of injuries at GWS.
"He's had a heap of injuries, he's working really hard on basically getting his body right so that he can perform at the level and be consistently out on the track," Curnow said.
"He had his first session with us the other day which is exciting for him and (he's a) really good kid to be honest so I think he's going to do well.
"He's quite big and strong, he's around Matty Kennedy, Patty Cripps - those three are probably going to be our big bulls.
"He's competitive and he's obviously got all the attributes so he'll be a great addition to the club."
Curnow, 29, is entering his ninth season with the Blues, the dogged tagger playing 143 games and booting 27 goals.
Carlton finished as 2018 wooden spooners, winning just two games last year, but there is a new-found optimism at the club.