Basking in the glow of his side’s super AFL win over Port Adelaide, captain Marc Murphy has declared the mood at Carlton to be as good as anything he’s known.
In 11 campaigns, Murphy has played in finals victories and bigger wins than their two-point success over the Power.
But on Sunday, Etihad Stadium hosted the sort of feel-good win that lives long in the memory.
It was a victory for old teammates, in Kade Simpson’s 250th game and Michael Jamison’s 150th.
It was a stirring comeback. Carlton trailed for most of the afternoon but kicked the last three goals, the last deep into time-on.
And it was achieved amid great adversity.
Levi Casboult limped from the ground after just five minutes and other key players – Matthew Kreuzer, Patrick Cripps, Lachie Plowman – were banged up along the way.
“It doesn’t get much better than that,” Murphy told ABC radio after the match.
“It’s been a really tough three years.
“It’s a really good feeling around the club … I’ve been around for 11 years now and I reckon the place is in as good shape as I’ve seen it.”
While it was impossible to ignore Murphy’s reference to Mick Malthouse’s three-year reign, the 28-year-old was more interested in hailing his long-term teammate Simpson.
“He’s been an absolute pleasure to play with,” he said.
“He’s a fantastic bloke, courageous and really unselfish. To get a win for him, and Jamo playing 150, it was one of the best feelings.”
The win was a fourth-straight victory for Brendon Bolton’s side.
A fifth would be something else, given they next play league leaders North Melbourne next Saturday on a six-day break.
“You don’t envision seeing what’s happening at the moment but the boys have been really positive about what we’re doing,” Murphy said.
“To be zip and four and fight back to be four and four, its a really good sign for this group.”