Sam Rowe to captain Carlton

By Bronte Kerr and Isabelle O’Brien

The appointment comes after Rowe, 27, was named in the club’s leadership group ahead of the 2015 season.

Rowe’s journey to AFL stardom has been an unconventional one.

Hailing from country NSW (Walla and North Albury), Rowe was recruited as a rookie by the Sydney Swans in the 2006 Rookie Draft (No. 60 pick).

After being delisted at the end of 2007, an event that he later attributed to a lack of maturity, he relocated to Adelaide to join the Norwood Football Club in the SANFL.

His resilience paid off, and after four seasons with the SANFL, Carlton Football Club offered him an AFL lifeline during the 2011 draft.

Rowe’s big break into the AFL came to an abrupt halt, when in early 2012 he was diagnosed with testicular cancer.

After recovering throughout 2012, Rowe returned with fire in his belly, determined to fulfill his potential.

After many years of persistence and setbacks, Rowe made his AFL debut against Collingwood in Round 2, 2013.

A determined Rowe ahead of the 2015 season. Image: AFL Media.

Rowe finally cemented himself as a key defender in the 2014 season, earning the respect of his teammates and coaching staff.

Rowe has presented himself as an all-rounder on the field and joins a new wave of swingmen in the competition.  

In 2014, Rowe silenced many of the most elite forwards in the AFL, playing against Tom Hawkins, Lance Franklin, and Josh Kennedy last year.

Defensive coach John Barker attributes much of Rowe’s recently found success to his ability to keep producing and persisting.

At aged 27, Rowe is now an integral part of the Carlton Football Club-most recently reflected in his appointment to the leadership group and as captain for Friday’s game.

Rowe knows a thing or two about overcoming the odds.

For this reason he’s the perfect candidate to captain Carlton on Friday night, who will field a relatively inexperienced side against the Eagles, minus the likes of Judd, Gibbs, Jamison, and Murphy.

Rowe sat down with Jon Anderson from the Herald Sun to discuss his recent appointment.

“I’m excited to go over with the group we’ve got and see a genuine future for the Carlton Football Club, players like Patrick Cripps and Nick Graham who are ready to go,” said Rowe.

“As far as the captaincy for Friday night I was lucky enough to get the nod. It’s always nice to know you have the support of the players and coaches… I can’t say I ever really thought about being a leader although I was a vice- captain of the under- 14s cricket side,” Rowe joked.

In 2012, a determined Rowe spoke to Emma Quayle from the Age to discuss his recent cancer battle.

“I’ve seen some things I never imagined I’d see and maybe I don’t see the point in getting down about silly things any more. If you lose a game, you can win the next week. If you have a bad game, it’s not the end of the world. I guess what I’ve learnt is that things can get better. If things are bad, they’ll turn around,” Rowe reflected.

The Blues take on West Coast Eagles on Friday at 4:10pm (WST), Rushton Park, Mandurah.

Main Image courtesy of AFL Media.