We Need The Experience of These Players!

Photo courtesy of Carlton FC

The game against Gold Coast was while a winning one, not very pretty at all. But then again, the humidity, the heat and having been to Darwin, I know that this can make a person feel the pressure of that humidity and temperature. It will affect the handling of a football and the way it comes off the boot, but this is not the topic of this piece.

Matthew Lloyd on the Sunday Footy Show has come out and stated that he believes Eddie Betts is in trouble for next year, with regards to the re-signing of another year’s contract.

Queries and questions have been raised, regarding the value of Marc Murphy to continue to play moving forward in the side. There have been questions as to Kade Simpson and his ability to continue to play moving forward in the team. For all three of these players, the questions and statements, I say, they are all wrong.

Photo courtesy of Carlton FC

Any team, no matter what sport it is, needs a mixture of players that are just starting their sporting career and those that have been at it for a while. On Friday night, it was those players that have experienced being at Carlton for some time, that settled the team and played in a way that shaped the not-so-pretty win.

Marc Murphy was instrumental in moving the ball around and allowing the younger mid-fielders to push it down forward. His value on the field is immense as his calmness gives the more inexperienced players an example of what to do under pressure.

Eddie Betts is prolific on the field, no matter if he scores or not. It is not about the scoring that is vital for Carlton, but what he directs and gives to the younger players cannot be quantified in a simple statement that if he doesn’t kick goals, he’s not worth another contract. That is pure rubbish. If you watch the game, any game this year, it is what he brings as a leader on the field, to the team that is imperative for success. His footy intelligence, his way of playing the game is pure inspiration and one that every young player wants to aspire to be. Do not underestimate in a team that is pushing for finals contention what this type of player will bring.

Photo taken from Fremantle game.

Then there is Kade Simpson. It makes no difference what his age, as is if you watched his game last week and this week, his consistent presence down the backline and his ability to move around the ground to enable to get the ball moving forward, is without question a sight to behold. His sheer presence around the field is a foundation for the players, for they know that if they get the ball into his hands, will calm any calamity and disarray on the ground, and allow others to move into positions and move the ball into Carlton’s forward line.

All three players should, and I believe they will be re-signed for another year. We need their experience and their ability to guide the less experienced players. One of the most incredible series I’ve watched this year is The Last Dance documentary on Michael Jordan. He states categorically, that, ‘talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships.’ You cannot walk onto a footy field and expect that every young player has the intelligence needed to win games when things don’t work out the way you want. You need the experience of those older players as they have gained and learned footy intelligence and what they can bring to a side is immeasurable.

I don’t believe that these three players will not be at Carlton in 2021 for they have shown time and time again their valuable and prolific footy intelligence on the field as well as off-field. But it is their experience during a game when the game doesn’t pan out, the way it should be, where they can make the difference. It is not up to them to ensure a win, but they give the team a solid foundation and leadership ability to teach the younger players what is required. Take that away, and the team will flounder and lose. Any team will.

So, in my view, they will be re-signed for another year—all three of them.