THE Brisbane Lions lost more than a creative halfback when Sam Docherty returned to Victoria at the end of 2013.
They also lost a potential leader.
The 21-year-old may have been thrust into the role of as the AFL Players Association's Carlton delegate because "no one else wanted to do it".
But he has shown himself to be an astute member.
"I was more than happy to do it," he told APN. "It's been great for me. You get insight into the game that you wouldn't normally have. You talk to other players and grow relationships, which is really important."
Among his major duties was fronting the media on behalf of the AFLPA in the wake of the Adam Goodes booing controversy.
"It's not so much a racist issue but a player welfare issue," he said. "Seeing that it was really affecting him to the point he stopped playing footy, it had gone a little bit too far.
"That's where I threw my hat into the ring as a fellow player."
While he admits it would be an honour to one day captain Carlton, long after Marc Murphy's current reign, more pressing is the leadership at the top.
Caretaker John Barker is believed to be battling Hawk assistant Brendoan Bolton for the senior coaching position long-term.
"He (Barker) was my coach when I got down here as a defender," Docherty said. "He's doing a terrific job. It's obviously pretty tough times. With a lot of players out, he hasn't been able to do exactly what he wants. But if he got the job, I'd be more than happy."
Carlton (3-15), which tonight confronts Docherty's old team Brisbane (2-16) to try to avoid the wooden spoon, is expected to make a final decision next month.
"When it all comes down to it, there's a selection panel that we (players) have really nothing to do with and no input into," he said.
"But I'm sure the club is putting the right people and the right procedures in place to pick the right the right person.
"Whether it's Johnny or someone else, I'm just looking forward to starting up with them."
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