Charlie Curnow celebrates a goal during the round 11 match between Carlton and Gold Coast at Marvel Stadium, May 25, 2024. Picture: Getty Images

THE GOALKICKING feats of Carlton star Charlie Curnow are moving him into elite company in the game's history, but he still has some way to go to match the greats of decades gone by.

Curnow's three-goal haul against Port Adelaide last week moved him to 36 majors for the season, equal at the top of the standings with Gold Coast's Ben King, as he looks to become just the seventh player in VFL/AFL history and the first since Gary Ablett Sr almost three decades ago to win three consecutive Coleman Medals.

It also extended Curnow's run of kicking at least one goal in consecutive games to 59, which is already a Carlton record and the 22nd longest streak in the game's history. Earlier this year, he joined Lance Franklin and Josh Kennedy as the only men this century to have kicked a goal in 50 or more consecutive games.

For context, the next best active streak in the League is a goal in 20 games in a row by Greater Western Sydney's Jesse Hogan, while Fremantle's Josh Treacy is the other player along with Curnow and Hogan to have kicked a goal in every game his club has played so far this season.

But this is where Curnow is another step ahead of the pack, given he's kicked multiple goals in every game so far in 2024. That puts him in elite company; he is just the second man this century to kick multiple goals in each of his club's first 12 games in a season, joining Brisbane great Jonathan Brown in 2009.

At least two goals on Sunday night against Essendon will see Curnow move past the runs of Western Bulldogs forward Paul Hudson (multiple goals in the first 12 games of 1998) and North Melbourne's Wayne Carey (first 12 games of 1993) and leave Jason Dunstall (first 17 games of 1993) and Brown (first 18 games of 2009) in his sights.

But Curnow is not even halfway to having a perfect record of multiple goals in every match his club plays in a season, a feat achieved only twice in the game's history, by Doug Wade (for North Melbourne in 1974) and Bernie Quinlan (for Fitzroy in 1983). Wade and Quinlan kicked multiple goals in all of their clubs' 24 matches in those years.

Bernie Quinlan of Fitzroy lines up to take a kick during a 1988 VFL match. Picture: AFL Photos

The all-time record belongs to South Melbourne great Bob Pratt, who kicked multiple goals in 56 consecutive games between round 16, 1932 and round 16, 1935, although he did not play every game in a season during that streak.

Spare a thought, too, for the great Ablett during his peak years at Geelong. The Cats legend kicked multiple goals in Geelong's first 21 games of 1994 and its first 19 games of the following season, which are two more marks Curnow could surpass this year.

While Ablett did not play in all of Geelong's games in those campaigns, his record in his Coleman-winning years of 1993, 1994 and 1995 is eye-watering.

A disappointed Gary Ablett snr is presented with the Coleman Medal after the 1995 AFL Grand Final between Carlton and Geelong at the MCG. Picture: AFL Photos

Across a combined 64 games, Ablett kicked a total of 375 goals (124 in '93, 129 in '94 and 122 in '95) and managed multiple goals in all but two matches of that run. Painfully, however, those two matches were the Grand Finals of 1994 and 1995, which the Cats lost to mean the great forward retired without a premiership medallion.

We'll know by the end of August if Curnow can match Ablett in making it three Colemans in a row. If the Blues are to make it all the way to the last Saturday in September, they'll be hoping Curnow's contribution – and the result – will this time be in the great goalkicker's favour.