Dear Carlton Football Club
Together with my fellow Victorian Carlton Cheer Squad crew, a few of us travelled to Launceston to the game against Hawthorn, who had won only two games. We were privileged to have the Carlton supporter group from Tasmania in our midst and it was with great excitement and anticipation that we headed to the game after that amazing win over the Bulldogs the week before and after the devastating loss against the Gold Coast Suns the week before.
The first half of the game was everything that we wanted from the playing group. The ability to move the ball around, tackle, mark and kick goals were reminiscent of the win the week before. McKay was showing how he has grown since arriving and his ability to move around the ground given his height is something that is amazing to watch. Cunningham back in the squad showed how much of a valuable player he is and how much he is needed in the team. I don’t think that we give enough credit to the player known as Daisy and he shows week after week how much he is part of the team and how he gives to the young playing group. Jones shows up every week and gives the backline a very much needed grunt in his capability of stopping the ball and the opposing forward. But we all know how Hawthorn have been touted as being the ‘come-back’ kings of the game, along with Geelong and they came back in the third quarter and from then on, things went a bit pear-shaped and with four players down, the boys tried and ultimately failed in the last few minutes of the match.
Bolts stated in his press conference that he was going to lose sleep over this loss. While I understand his statement, I don’t think he has any reason to lose sleep. Now, this is my view and opinion, but I can categorically state that for me, the game was lost because of two things. One is the loss of major players in our structure – Simmo and Kreuz. By having them sit on the bench, the structure of the rest of the players had to be altered to counter-act their loss and this was proven during the second half of the game and together with the second factor, inexperience, we could not get our groove back.
We must understand that for the many of the players while they have been playing for a few years, they are still developing into major, leading senior players. They just didn’t have the experience in how to stop Hawthorn in the final stages of the match with two of our most senior and experienced players watching on the bench. I give full credit and respect for the group that in the end we only lost by 5 points. I don’t subscribe to the ‘what if’s’ as we can learn from the mistakes, but we should never harbour on them.
With each and every game, these youngsters are only going to gain more by playing together as a group and learn from mistakes. We did not get thrashed as we would have in the past. We did not give up and let the game pass us by as we would have in the past. We didn’t stop as we would have in the past. We tried and tried and, in the end, the sheer weight of having no ability to swap players from the inter-change bench got the better of us. I am saddened and really hoped that the siren would have gone just a few seconds more after Harry’s mark, but it was not to be. But I have the utmost respect and admiration of the group for all that they gave during the game and they should not in any way hang their heads down.
I am proud of the direction the club is taking and the growth of the playing group and with that, we are on the right road to success and continual success. We must not let this loss over-shadow what this group is capable of achieving and will achieve. I see it on the ground and know that with just a little bit of time, maintaining success will come.
So, Carlton Football Club, I am proud to put on the Navy Blue for every match, travel around the country and know that with just a little bit more time and just a little bit more experience, the devastating loss that you all feel right now will fade into a memory where we will look back on this time and say, wow, look at what we have achieved.
Heads up boys, we are sniffing the smell of continual success that is still being baked in the oven of experience and elevated skills. In a scene from the movie Hook, Peter Pan looks at his children and they say to him, ‘I believe in you’; and I do.
Yours in Navy Blue