Recommended videos

Highlights: Richmond v Carlton

11:17pm Mar 27, 2014

Malthouse rues costly mistakes

11:44pm Mar 27, 2014

Recommended articles

Sunday football as it happened

Sunday football as it happened

Recap Port's Showdown upset, plus big wins for the Hawks and Tigers

11:45am Apr 14, 2013

St Kilda v Richmond as it happened

St Kilda v Richmond as it happened

 Recap Friday night's MCG clash as the Tigers make their best start to a season in 16 years

04:00pm Apr 5, 2013

Carlton v Collingwood as it happened

Carlton v Collingwood as it happened

Recap Friday night's blockbuster as the Blues capitulate in front of 78,000 at the MCG

10:36pm Jul 5, 2013

Saturday football as it happened

Saturday football as it happened

Recap a day bookended by two major boilovers

01:00pm Mar 30, 2013

Fantasy review: round three

Fantasy review: round three

It was a tough round for AFL Fantasy coaches, Warnie writes

10:42pm Apr 6, 2014

Football world sends off Hafey in style

Football world sends off Hafey in style

Tom Hafey remembered as a great coach and a wonderful man

06:15pm May 19, 2014

Simpson excited to see young Blues tested against the best

Ben Guthrie  February 17, 2016 11:12 AM

NAB Challenge eve, North shock, ticket talk A Footy Feed update with Matt Thompson
I hope they'd be pretty nervous. It's a big deal playing your first game

ACTING Carlton captain Kade Simpson is excited to find out how his young teammates fare under the pressure-cooker environment of a clash with reigning premiers Hawthorn.

The Blues have named nine debutants for their NAB Challenge opener against the Hawks at Aurora Stadium in Launceston on Thursday night. 

Hawthorn, on the other hand, has picked 13 players who took to the field in the club's third successive premiership victory over West Coast last October.

Hawthorn v Carlton: full NAB Challenge teams

"They've (Hawthorn) got a good side in which I'm really happy about," Simpson, who is filling in as skipper in place of the injured Marc Murphy, said at Melbourne Airport on Wednesday morning. 

"We've been playing so many intraclub and match simulation drills at training that you get sick of playing against each other. You want to put it in against real opposition and is there any better opposition than Hawthorn? I wouldn't have thought so."

Carlton's three top draft picks from last season, Jacob Weitering (No.1), Harry McKay (No.10) and Charlie Curnow (No.12) will all get a taste of playing at the top level.

"I hope they'd be pretty nervous. It's a big deal playing your first game. The senior guys out there will take responsibility and show them the ropes, but they're quality young men and they'll put their best foot forward," Simpson said.

Simpson, who will deputise for Murphy in 2016, said his leadership style was slightly different.

"I'm a bit quieter off field, Murph has quite a bit to say around the group. On field, I'm pretty vocal once I cross that white line," Simpson said.

"With a lot of new and young guys out there we'll have to be pretty loud and set the right example, as well as setting blokes up in the right position."

Simpson nominated former Giants and Swans forward Jed Lamb as a player who was ready to take the next step after limited opportunities at his former clubs. 

The 23-year-old, pick No.21 in the 2010 NAB AFL Draft, managed just 12 games in three seasons at the Swans and 10 in two years with the Giants. 

"I think he's going to be a really good, pressure small forward for us," Simpson said. 

Sam Docherty, who was promoted to the leadership group this week, and Mark Whiley were the others Simpson mentioned as capable of lifting their game.

"Sammy Docherty's pre-season has been absolutely outstanding so I'm really looking forward to seeing what he can do this year," Simpson said. 

"Mark Whiley's a guy we haven't seen a lot of through injury and he's taken a big step, and he'll have a massive role in the midfield tomorrow night."