Every Carlton (and Fremantle) supporter tuned in, watched and read with zealous every single word, picture and video of the amazingness of that Carlton win on the weekend, irrespective of whether they were thrilled or angry.
The debate has been epic regarding the validity of the initial down-the- ground, free-kick, the place and who took it. What the AFL will state, is that the umpires got it right with the free-kick, and the location, but will concede that the umpires got it wrong as to who should have taken it. Irrespective of what will be said, the goal stands. That’s it. The AFL will not, as some Fremantle supporters have asked for, to reverse the outcome. Legally, they cannot. For if they do, they open themselves up for a massive backlash in other games where dodgy decisions have resulted in the outcome of a game.
The entire lead up to that shot was one that will go down in the AFL records as being the most thrilling, nail-biting, mind-boggling time-line that we have seen for a long, long time. It is these moments that make footy so damn exciting. Justin Longmuir, Freo’s coach, has come out and said that he believes that Jack Newnes “milked it” with the umpire who made the call for him to take the shot. He then went on to say that every club would have done the same.
So, here’s a scenario. If the shoe was on the other foot and it was Freo taking that shot, would Freo supporters come out with such fury and anger? No! I understand that they are angry, but as their coach has stated, every club would take that opportunity every single time. So, while I understand their need to vent, nothing will take away from that incredible goal and that mind-blowing win and subsequent celebration not only on the ground but the hub hotel from the other Carlton players. This goal was not just about the goal, and how it transpired, but also the pile-on afterwards; the celebration in the hotel hub from the players and the massive number of videos from fans celebrating. After having watched the video more times than I can count, it still gives me tingles and chills and the need to scream with joy, and will probably not go away.
But I don’t want to talk continually about this aspect of the game, I also want to talk about those people who have derided other players who believe they should not be at the club or the team. Of how Jack Newnes is still not a great player for the club, and here I wouldn’t be so sure about that, and I’ll tell you why.
Luke Hodge said about a month ago that Jack Martin came from a club that did not value him in a way, but Carlton knew his capabilities. He has displayed snippets of this, and over time, he will show what he is capable of in every game. The belief that a club can have on a person’s ability grows or diminishes depending on how they are valued. He said that Hawthorn believed in him when others didn’t, and it took him three to four years to become the player that they knew he was. Players such as Jack Newnes, may not right now be a consistently great player, but he was never greatly valued at St Kilda. The same goes for Marc Pittonet and the same goes for other players who are in the same position.
Then there are the discussions surrounding our senior players such as Eddie Betts, Marc Murphy and Kade Simpson. One thing Kane Cornes has stated, and believe me, I’m not a fan of his at all, is that every club needs the balance of players between those who have yet to play one or many senior games, to those who have played triple-digit games. No club will be a success, long-term success if they are only top-heavy with players who have not played a lot of senior games.
These players bring not only experience but the ability to lead during the game. This aspect cannot be underestimated in any way, for the ability to calm the younger players down, to understand what is required during a tough game and how to overcome obstacles. To advise them, guide them and mould them during the game cannot be understated. Their role is not to only kick goals if they can, but every single club needs that maturity. Can these three go around again? Absolutely.
We are building into a team that is knocking at the door of being in the top eight this year. The foundations are being laid, where we are a team that others will worry about in the future. With a little bit more tinkering and what we have available from those sitting in the hotel hub, the goal from Newnes has ignited the fuse of what this club is going to be in the future, and it looks damn exciting.
How bloody exciting!
How was that celebration from Matt Cottrell! Loved it!
P.P.S. Just because I can’t help myself, the video of that goal, is below.