Marc Murphy aims to be Carlton’s next AFL premiership captain.
That is a pipe dream, given the Blues have started this season with three losses and their hierarchy admits the team is rebuilding.
But like his embattled coach Mick Malthouse, Murphy’s focus remains trying to win.
Carlton will try to break their 2015 duck on Saturday in the Wellington Anzac Day match against St Kilda.
Their job was made harder when star midfielder Chris Judd pulled out of the match on Thursday because of back tightness.
“We’re realistic where we’re at, but I’m only 27 and I want to be captain of our next premiership,” Murphy said.
“That’s what we’re playing for, the playing group as a whole, that’s what you want to do – we want to win games of football and get ourselves in the best position to play finals footy.”
“From the players’ point of view and captain’s point of view, we’re not talking about rebuilding at the moment.
“We’re looking to win every week and that’s all we can worry about.”
Carlton’s poor start to the season has sharpened focus on Malthouse, who said on Wednesday he felt disrespected by how some sections of the media were treating him.
He is out of contract at the end of this season.
“It’s been an interesting couple of weeks, opening the papers or hearing on the radio or TV about Mick,” Murphy said.
“From my point of view I’m right behind Mick, just like the players are.
“He’s a great coach, and I wouldn’t have anyone else coaching our club at the moment.
“We’ve all got a lot of respect for Mick and I think most of the football world should have.”
Likewise, Carlton’s ongoing poor form has prompted debate about how active they should be in trading later this year and whether even Murphy or Bryce Gibbs should be on the table.
“You hear heaps of things through the media, but as players you can’t worry about people being talked about being traded,” Murphy said.
“It’s round four, we’ve got a lot of work to do.”