At the end of the Draft for 2018, what Carlton gained and are aspiring to, is getting this club back to where it belongs – a force in the game and back on top. They were adamant in what they wanted for the club and who they chose.
From the start of the actual trade period, Carlton’s aim was getting players who would be part of the future and part of the push to the top. With the securing of Mitch McGovern a seasoned forward, Alex Fasolo, another forward. These two, together with our youngsters who are emerging and growing, will give more depth in our forward line. Then we have Will Setterfield, a midfielder, and Nic Newman, a left-footed defender. What these guys bring is what is needed for a young group of players currently at Carlton – experience. Sure we have our own experienced players, but we needed more and especially in our forward line, and we have that now.
Yet before the Draft started, what the club needed was more grunt and depth in an area that we were lacking during the season – our midfield, and we needed youngsters who possibly have the capacity to play in Round One. Without a doubt, Sam Walsh is that type of player. If you watch the way he goes about his game, he plays with a concentration that belittles his actual age.
Then the ‘purists’ of this period, those that sat glued to their TV’s or watched online, following the trackers, saw SOS and his team pull off what is considered to be the trade of the draft period. Carlton acquired Liam Stocker, a midfielder, with a historic live trade swap with Adelaide, where we will get their future 2019 first round pick and they will get ours. A gamble, sure, but it is a testament to what Carlton believe will be season 2019. It is no longer a mere ‘re-build’ but a blitzing belief and determination to become a great club again and to show this during the next season.
It is confidence in not only the talent that the club is developing and has been for the past few years, coupled with the experience of other players but also getting the right draftee’s no matter what the cost. The cost being the gamble that Adelaide finish much higher and Carlton finish near the bottom. The absolute faith that SOS, Bolts and the team have in what can be achieved next season is bloody exciting. It was one of those “boom” moments that have the potential to become either an epic fail or an unbelievable coup that sees the making of the Carlton FC. I believe in the latter and not as an epic fail.
After all that, Carlton then secured Finbar O’Dwyer, an upcoming forward and a damn agile player around the ground. Then for its last pick, Carlton picked another Silvagni – Ben, a player that plays around the ground, either in the forward line or down back.
Carlton finalized its list with the Rookie Draft with the selection of Tomas Bugg and Hugh Goddard. With that, Jed Lamb has not been offered another season at Carlton or any other AFL club. In this regard, some have questioned the legitimacy of getting both Bugg and Goddard, but while they both offer experience, they still have a lot to prove to the Carlton fans of their worthiness of being at the club. For me in this respect, it is all about them falling into line with the new culture of the club, of being part of a team and of channeling all efforts into securing success. Like Daisy Thomas, these two players have much prove to us, the supporters, more than the draftees.
Those that commentate in the media have given Carlton a mark of D in the whole draft period. All in all, I think for Carlton, it was a very successful period in which we can see the direction the club is heading into. It is exciting to see that for the first time in a long time, the Carlton FC is united in its determination to get back on top. That we, the supporters, can see what the future will hold for the club, it’s just a shame that there are those that still don’t see this. But then again the best remedy is to show them come 2019. Don’t fall into the trap of caring what others say about the club or the players, coaches etc. just care what the club will do from now on. Care that given what we have and what we have gained, we will start to rise up the ladder. It may not be as fast as we all want it to be, but it will happen. The mechanisms are in place, we just have to let it churn over and become a well-oiled machine. There will be a few glitches and it is these glitches that the mechanics of the club will tinker with and make the machine that is the Carlton FC powering at full speed once again.
As the new motto states, we may honor our past but we will definitely own our future – the mechanisms are in place.