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Sam, tell us a little about yourself?
A little about myself, well I’m Sam Docherty, I’m an AFL Carlton Footballer, Captain of the club as of last year and I now have a wife and a dog. I’m from Phillip Island, grew up down there moved to Brisbane for a couple of years when I first got drafted and now, I’m living around the corner in Windsor. Footy is pretty much my life at the moment although I’m currently studying, I’m a year through a business degree just ticking my way through that while in footy, no idea what I’m actually going to do with it though.
How did you first get into footy, was it always a passion of yours?
I was probably forced upon it by my old man, he was a huge footy fan, a local legend down in Philip Island. I was brought up in a family of sport and especially footy. I was playing under 11s when I was 7 and I just loved footy. I didn’t actually think I was going to go professional because it just felt like it was a bigger step then it actually is, knowing what I know In the city, there are kids that can see the pathway and can kind of make it through it from a young age. Whereas in the country it was like this pipe dream and you will never get there. You are just this small drop in the ocean in the middle of the country and someone is going to find you and draft you, but I got there in the end.
What were some of the challenges you faced along the way?
Challenges? I’ve had a few, a lot actually. Obviously getting drafted interstate was tough, I thought id be fine and mature enough to go do it. To uproot your life away from all your family and friends straight out of school was pretty tough. I was lucky that I had my partner with me up there which helped me out a lot.
The next challenge I hit was my dad passing away when I got traded back to Carlton, having to go through that with another couple of health issues which was really hard to deal with, but I got through it. I found out that it would stuff me around for a couple of years but after I figured it all out, I got through it and now I’m a lot more of a happier person than I was back then.
Lastly would be my back to back ACLs. The first one wasn’t as hard, I was in a good place mentally, so I think I was able to get myself out of that hole quite quickly, whereas the second one was a lot harder. I couldn’t imagine doing it again so it really was lot harder to deal with, to go through the whole rehab knowing you have done absolutely everything you possibly could to get yourself back. Its pretty much 12 months recovery, so a whole season. A footy career if your lucky is 10 years and I’ve pretty much wiped out 2 years, which is a bit flattening but I’m back in preseason and going really well at the moment.
What’s been your highlight moment of your career so far?
Getting drafted is always one of the biggest highlights, to know that you’re actually going to go play footy for a living. From a personal point of view, it would be winning the best and fairest. There is something about it, having my whole family going for Carlton since I was young, especially my dad – having our family name entrenched in the Carlton history that and the captaincy have the same meaning behind them, really special to me. Someone can look it up in 50 years and it will be there, my kids looking it up in 50 years and be proud, knowing that their family is a part of something, which I think is pretty cool. There aren’t many people that do both in their football career so I keep kind of moving up into a new echelon that I never though I would be when I was 16 and running around Phillip Island.
Any Advice for young aspiring AFL players and sports players?
I always say enjoy the nonprofessional years. I think a lot of kids get caught up in putting everything they possibly can towards footy. When you get into the senior system you have enough time to be serious and put everything you have got to play footy and that what’s your expected to give once you are in there although kids these days I see like, haven’t had a drop of alcohol before they got drafted. They haven’t got out and properly socialised and enjoyed being a kid. You get told at such a young age these days that you will basically get drafted and you end up being a semi-professional before you’re even a professional. Some of the best years are through high school, not having a care in the world, enjoy being a kid and going to school. Enjoy it while its fun, there are a lot of players that lose the love of actually playing footy.
How would you describe your style, and what’s an everyday look for you?
I would say its split in two my casual everyday style is pretty much gym gear, casual shirts, casual runners’ total comfort.
I would say my second style in a ‘simple elegance’’ I like to keep things less colourful, I’m not very extroverted in the way I dress. Simple but affective.
Apart from your footy boots, what’s you go-to shoe?
I wear my staple black leather boots when I go out and then casual runner day to day.
What made you choose Tommy for your wedding for you and your groomsmen?
I wore a pair of the Wild Rhinos at the Brownlow last year and they were extremely comfortable. So, I spoke to all the groomsmen and they said, if you going to get new shoes can you get something that is not going to give us blisters, I knew they were so comfortable so I came back here. We went black tie, so I wanted a clean black shoe, black sole round the bottom that the Tommy’s have, and they went with the kit.