As the siren went on the Gold Coast game, I felt guttered, despondent, shocked and every other emotion. I just didn’t understand what happened. It was a sheer case of wow! Just plain and simple WOW! Then I thought about it overnight and read the comments on social media, both the negative and the positive and while this match, this loss probably hurts the most so far this year there are positive lessons and aspects of the game that have to be taken into consideration.
Firstly, this time last year we would not have lost by mere points, but by goals – huge-overpowering-deflated number of goals. So, in that respect, we have improved immensely. There are players who last year did not really perform to their fullest capacity and some who are just needing to take a little more time to mature into players that I personally believe they will become. Jacob Weitering was a player who came to the club with great potential then petered off in his second year, last year. This year we are seeing the rejuvenation of what will be a great player for the club in the backline. He is becoming such an outstanding player on the field that it has been hard to fault him and in the game against the Gold Coast, he was one of the best players on the field. He still needs to grow a bit more, but time is on his side in that respect. Then we have Liam Jones who played his heart out and deserved a win for that alone. Daisy Thomas is proving to be a player that is getting more and more love from supporters with each match because of his input in the game and especially in this weekend’s game.
Then we have players such as Paddy Dow who last year was an incredible player. Full of amazing potential and game-skill. This year, he is suffering what I call the Second-Year-Yipps. He is suffering exactly what Weitering suffered from last year. He needs a bit more time to develop along with another player who has been in the media these past few days for what some commentators say should happen.
Although he didn’t play in the Gold Coast game, apparently Jack Silvagni has been banded about and told that for his benefit, Carlton needs to get rid of him. I disagree – totally. I see a lot more potential than probably others see and he is the type of player who given more time, with more maturity, will grow to become a great player.
The thing that some commentators are missing is that no matter where Jack plays, he will still have the surname of Silvagni. He will still be compared with his father and grandfather. He will be a better person and player by staying at Carlton and developing and proving everyone wrong because I believe he will. He has the capacity but is just not ready yet. Some players take time to develop and grow not only in maturity but in their bodies as well. I firmly believe that Jack Silvagni will be one of those players.
The issue surrounding the call to get rid of Bolton is ludicrous, ridiculous and downright – well stupid. So, getting rid of the coach after only four rounds is a great thing? So, putting the club into a position of more turmoil is a great thing? What some people are simply not understanding is that Bolton had to take a club that was decimated and start over. He had to re-build (and I know people hate this word) from the bottom. From the culture of the club to the culture of the team. He had to balance the makeup of the team with what he had available. This year is the first year that for the first time since he took the reins that he has the foundations of a team that has the capacity to win games. The change in the atmosphere of the club as a whole has changed. It is not the same club it was four years ago; it is better. Sure, there are areas that need more improvement, but that will come.
I understand the anger, frustration that supporters are feeling, I feel it too, but I do not want to go down the knee-jerk reaction path we have done in the past. I want to maintain a solid foundation within the club and the team that will lead us not to one success, but more. This cannot be achieved if when the going gets tough, we kick out the coach. We have the core group of talent in the playing group, we just need a little bit more tweaking and just a little bit more maturity.
I believe that by the end of the season, we will surprise everyone, including those supporters who believe in knee-jerk reactions which they believe will solve the problem. History has proven it doesn’t work.
I understand how supporters are feeling, but unlike some who feel that all is doom and gloom at the club, I don’t. The club is heading towards success, it’s just going to take a little bit more time. As I have said before, I don’t want to be a club that has one success, then nothing. I want to be the club that has success after success after success and is a feared club in the AFL and given what has gone on in the past, this is going to take time. More time than we would like, but it will take time.
That’s my take.