CARLTON midfielder Ed Curnow is confident the club’s “ultra-competitive” kids can cover the loss of Bryce Gibbs, who was traded to Adelaide during last week’s exchange period.
A former best and fairest winner, Gibbs departed after 231 games with the Blues. However, the rebuilding side will now take Picks 3 and 10 into the draft following his exit.
It will allow list boss Stephen Silvagni to add to the five first-round draft picks Carlton has secured over the last two seasons, all of which have already impressed Curnow.
“The recruits we’ve had over the last couple of years, what stands out is their competitiveness,” Curnow toldfoxfooty.com.au at the launch of MindMax’s ‘Flick Footy’ game.
“For me, that’s all I want to see, guys coming into the club who are ultra-competitive. In the end, that’s what’s going to make you a really good player.
“You need to step out on the field and have that desire to beat your opponent. It starts at training. The younger players have got that.”
Carlton claimed Sam Petrevski-Seton with its first pick in last year’s draft, adding to the first-round selections Jacob Weitering, Harry McKay, Charlie Curnow and David Cuningham it had recruited the year prior.
Curnow believes they will all need to stand up both on the field and around the club in order to help cover the loss of Gibbs, who had spent 11 years with the Blues.
“The thing about Bryce was the way he trained,” Curnow said.
“In terms of having someone to follow as a younger player and to compete against, who is of that high-end talent, that’s definitely going to be missed.
“In saying that, it’s going to allow opportunity to other guys to step up and have more midfield time.”
Curnow, 27, is one of Carlton’s most experienced players following the departure of Gibbs.
With 122 games under his belt, he now has the fourth most appearances for the club of anyone on its list — behind only Kade Simpson, Marc Murphy and Matthew Kreuzer.
While he says the loss of senior players is all part of football, he did concede it’s still tough.
“It was a little bit sad, to be honest,” Curnow said.
“I’ve been with him at the club for eight years and he’s a good friend. He’s also a pretty handy player. He’s been extremely consistent and every year he’s one or two at our club for contested ball and tackles. He doesn’t miss games.
“The standards he sets at training and the way he plays, it’s a trademark of his leadership style. It’s going to be a fair loss. But in saying that, the club has been able to get some high draft picks for him.
“We’re in that transitional phase at the moment and we’re going to the draft to bring in the talent.”