Photo courtesy of AFL

The sheer disappointment we are all feeling today runs deep into our veins. We can handle most things, but losing to Collingwood (and Essendon for that matter), cuts deeper. It’s a rivalry that began in the late 19th Century and is one that still permeates the very soul of every supporter today, and after listening and reading the comments, the views from both commentators, and supporters here is my take.

I’m not going to comment on the performance of individual players, or what should have happened and didn’t. I said at the start of this year that I do not expect Carlton to be in the top 8. Not this year.  Not when you have a coach that for all intense and purpose, has only been a senior coach for this year. We cannot include last year’s as it was not a team that he has molded.  This year is the start of the team that we want Carlton to be and we cannot demand that they be in the top 8 for 2020, not yet anyway.  

I wanted to see growth, more rational decision making on the field. I wanted to see players play their hearts out, and for the most part, this year, we have. Those in the media hyped Carlton up as being contenders for the top 8, I never believed that they were and didn’t think that they should be, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t have to try every single time they step onto the field.  The match on the weekend showed that they are just not ready yet. 

2020 was always going to be the start of the club becoming a finals contender, and it was never going to be one where we had to make it to the top 8 or else.  There are signs that the club is heading in the direction of becoming that, a finals contender.  What we need now for the last games, is a complete reversal of that game on the weekend.

We need to play for all four quarters and not just some.  We have been a club that does this sometimes and then falls back on to past behaviour other times.  It takes time to develop that mentality and that confidence.  We are no-where near that level that Collingwood is, we are getting there, just not yet. 

2020 will be a great stepping stone into the possibilities of what the future holds for the club. David Teague said in an article in The Age that he disliked all other clubs when he was playing, and this dislike fueled the way he played during the game.  That same dislike has to be one that saturates deep into our player’s mindset, and this takes time.  If you have ever watched a video of Teague during training, you will see how he is going about teaching the players what they need to do to be successful, for all four quarters, all the time, every game. 

He wasn’t out-coached; the players were out-matched.  But we know that we have the talent in our playing group, and with a few more tweaks, they will have that deep-seated “dislike” for all other teams and will have the stamina and mindset of playing every single minute of every game. 

I never wanted the club to be in the top 8 this year. I wanted them to fight for it for sure, and to learn from the mistakes that they make, and this has been the season so far for Carlton.  Season 2021 will be and must be different.  It will be a year when we will make it to the top 8.

The match against Collingwood was gut-wrenchingly disappointing because we all hate losing to them, but it is not doom and gloom at the club, not by a long-shot, no matter what others may say.

I’m still a bit upset that we lost to them, after all, it’s Collingwood, and we all hate Collingwood!