After 10 rounds, Charlie Curnow sits atop of the Coleman Medal leader board with 33 goals. It’s one of the stories of the year given the number of injury troubles and setbacks the young spearhead has been through.
With Carlton currently sitting third on the AFL Ladder, it’s fair to say they have exceeded their expectations, thus far.
Last year’s Coleman Medal winner, Harry McKay, is currently sidelined with a knee injury but has benefited majorly from a fit and firing Curnow in the front half for the Blues this season and it has the 25-year-old on track to break a century long-standing record should his sparkling form continue.
A 121-year-old record on the line
After 14 goals in the past 3 matches, Curnow is now out in front in the race for the Coleman Medal and is on target to break a 121-year-old record set at the turn of the 20th century.
If Curnow was to win the Coleman Medal, it would be the first time in over a century, that two players from the same club would win the Coleman Medal in consecutive years.
This last occurred in 1900 and 1901 when Albert Thurgood and Fred Hiskins claimed back-to-back Coleman Medals for the Bombers.
Charlie Curnow’s presence
In 2022, Curnow has scored two or more goals in every game, bar two, from the 10 rounds so far. Within those eight games, he has scored multiple goals, 50% of them have been bags of five or more.
33 goals after 10 rounds appear to be quite the staggering achievement. Curnow is surrounded by football royalty. Only three Coleman Medal winners in the last decade have scored more goals at this stage of the season.
Those were Lance Franklin in 2011, Josh Kennedy (WC) in 2015 and 2016, and Harry McKay in 2021.
Jacob Weitering said this week on SEN, “Charlie had to take the reins with Harry [McKay] being out”. Topically talking about the great key forwards, like Lance Franklin, Weitering added “in 10, 20, 30 years’ time we’ll be talking about Charlie Curnow [as one of the greats to play the game]”.
It was fairly predicted that in the absence of McKay in Carlton’s forward line, Curnow may struggle to take on the number one defender. Yet, he has put the doubters to bed and thrived.
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What is he doing right?
Curnow is leading the offensive 1v1 contest market in 2022. So far this season, he has won 50% of offensive 1v1 contests. This ranks him equal-seventh in the past decade among all players, but first for key forwards.
Curnow winning 50% of his Offensive 1v1s so far this season, 7th best since 2012 for minimum 30 contests, only 4 players above.— JT™ (@JT026) May 24, 2022
Any guesses on #1
Curnow’s presence in the forward line doesn’t go amiss. Despite being ranked first for goals, he also ranks fifth for marks inside 50, third for contested marks, and third for score involvements. Thus, proving that there are more than a few strings to his bow.
Perhaps it is Carlton’s hustle of the ball that gives Curnow his chance upfront. The Blues are ranked first in groundball gets, relieving the pressure of contests further afield providing more run and carry through the midfield.
The Blues take on the Magpies in their next fixture before the bye. After that, they face the Bombers and Tigers before McKay is due to be fit again.
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