STAR midfielder Marc Murphy isn’t worried by the ongoing debate about who will replace Chris Judd as Carlton captain.
Murphy is a strong contender for the honour, along with fellow on-ballers Andrew Carrazzo and Kade Simpson.
While Murphy hopes to be appointed skipper, he’s focused on building towards round one of the AFL season during the NAB Cup.
“It would be a great honour to captain the club, but if it goes to Andrew or Kade I’m sure they’d do a great job as well,” Murphy said.
“There’s five of us in the leadership group, we’re all there to support each other – we’ve all got to take a little bit more responsibility. I’m just looking forward to getting through the next month of footy and I’m sure Mick (Malthouse) and the other coaches will make their decision after that.”
Carlton’s players had their first hit-out for the year in an intra-club match at VISY Park on Wednesday, although Murphy was one of a small group who sat out.
The 25-year-old yesterday denied he has any injury concerns following shoulder and knee surgery after last season.
“I had a bit of a late start having knee and shoulder surgery at the end of the year, but I haven’t missed a session since New Year’s – the body’s fine,” he said.
“I’ll play in the intra-club game next Friday and probably two or three NAB Cup games before round one.
“Mick didn’t want me to play (on Wednesday), a few of us are supposed to have a bit of a lighter week.”
Wednesday’s intra-club match was a chance for the Blues to trial Malthouse’s new game plan.
“He’s obviously a very successful coach, he knows what it takes to win big games of football,” Murphy said of the three-time premiership coach.
“He’s come with a new game style and structures he wants everyone to adhere to.
“Now is an opportunity to play a few games and put that into practice what we’ve been doing over the pre-season.
“The next month or so is pretty exciting leading-up to round one.”
The Blues are expected to challenge for finals under Malthouse this season, but are wary of airing expectations publicly.
Carlton made no secret of its top-four ambition last season, but after surging to premiership favouritism early in the season the wheels fell off as injuries hit.
Carlton ended-up 10th – after winning a final in 2011 – and then coach Brett Ratten was sacked following a disastrous loss to Gold Coast in round 22.
Murphy said a taste of finals two seasons ago is driving the squad to return to September action.
“It’s a fresh start for us with a new coach and new gameplan, everyone’s pretty fresh and raring to go, and having that taste of finals a couple of years ago it’s something we definitely want to do this year,” he said.