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Carrazzo's new deal, sign of things to come?

Ben Collins  March 12, 2013 11:00 PM

Carrazzo's journey
(Andrew Carrazzo) leads very well on the ground (and) has a very strong opinion and voice

CARLTON will reveal its new captain at Visy Park on Wednesday morning, with Andrew Carrazzo and Marc Murphy the frontrunners.

Carrazzo signed a contract extension until the end of 2015 on Tuesday and if named skipper his first official outing will be a big occasion - he will lead the Blues in the NAB Cup Grand Final against the Brisbane Lions at Etihad Stadium on Friday night.

Football manager Andrew McKay said the 29-year-old, who was recruited from Geelong in the 2002 Rookie Draft, was a key signing for the club.   
“He is highly regarded by everyone here at Carlton, and the fact he finished sixth in last year’s best and fairest even though he missed a large chunk of the season through injury, indicates how significant he is to our team,” McKay said. 

The club has shared the captaincy duties throughout the NAB Cup and last week Carrazzo performed the job in the narrow loss to Adelaide at AAMI Stadium.

Coach Mick Malthouse told the Blues' website last week the club had "struck gold" with its leadership options, observing that Carrazzo "leads very well on the ground (and) has a very strong opinion and voice".

The three-time premiership coach has a history of selecting captains who are not necessarily among the top few players at the club, preferring to place his faith in those who best exemplify key leadership traits such as discipline, hardness and selflessness.

Working against Carrazzo is his age, four years the senior of another popular choice, Murphy. Murphy has regularly featured in the top three of the club's best and fairest since 2008 and won it in 2011. The former No.1 draft pick was also an All Australian that year.

A popular theory, which Carlton's 1987 premiership coach Robert Walls espoused on last week is that Murphy will captain the club one day, whether it be now or later, and Carrazzo could fill the role until then.

Carrazzo, who won Carlton's best and fairest in 2007, has played 154 games and averaged 22.6 disposals. In his past 107 outings he has averaged 25.7 touches.

Appointing Carrazzo captain would also strengthen Carlton's longheld links to the Italian community. The Blues have a proud Italian heritage - their heartland is the Italian precinct in Lygon Street, and they boast popular former players like Sergio and Stephen Silvagni, Vin Catoggio, Anthony Koutoufides, Scott Camporeale and Brendan Fevola.

On Wednesday night the Blues will also induct past greats into their Hall of Fame at their season launch at Melbourne's Plaza Ballroom.

Andrew Carrazzo is a midfielder in NAB AFL Fantasy. He averaged 90.7 points in 2012. Register your team at our AFL Fantasy Hub.