New deal for Doc

Lui Zacher
March 13, 2023 / 8:37 pm

SAM Docherty’s inspiring comeback continues, with the Carlton utility signing a two-year AFL deal.

Docherty, 29, played every game last season – one of only three Blues players to do so – after undergoing two rounds of chemotherapy in 2010 and ’21.

He returned from cancer treatment in round one last year and provided one of the highlights of the season with his goal in the win over Richmond.

Docherty shared the captaincy with Patrick Cripps for three years before he handed over to the Brownlow Medallist last season.

He was also runner-up to Cripps in last year’s club best-and-fairest voting.

While better known as a defender, Docherty had time in the midfield towards the end of his stellar season.

“The support Carlton have given me over the years has been exceptional, and I am eager to see where the next few years take us,” Docherty said.

“This group is incredibly connected, and I have enormous belief in the group to go to the next level.

“This season is even more special for me as a first-time dad, it’s going to be amazing to have Ruby and my wife Nat in the stands supporting me.”

Docherty said on Sunday that he would put no pressure on teammate Tom De Koning, who will be out of contract at the end of the season.

“The funny thing with these negotiations is everyone’s in a different mindset, so you’ve just got to respect guys with whatever their process is,” he said.

“Whatever Tom does, whenever it is, whatever he does – it’s completely up to him.”

The AFL season opens on Thursday night with the now-traditional Carlton-Richmond MCG blockbuster.

(C) AAP 2023