Embracing Differences!

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This week has seen when differences make a mark not only in the sporting world but in the world generally, for both the good and bad.

The horrible events that took place in Christchurch have become mind-boggling unfathomable that such a peaceful country, has had the horrible, bias, racist and downright ugly aspect of the differences in people come to the fore in such a cowardly and ugly way.  But this actually highlights the ugly side of racism and well, ignorance.  I’m not going to delve into the aspects of this, for this is a “sportz blog”.  But it is the differences in our society that make our society so invigorating and exciting and these marginalised radicals and racists have no place in our society.

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On the weekend we saw what the differences in society that does have a place.  On Saturday afternoon at Whitten Oval, there was an AFLW match, but more importantly, it was a time of celebration and inclusion of our differences.  The game between the Western Bulldogs and Carlton was a game of inclusion where people from all walks of life, came to watch a battle in rather hot and humid conditions. Besides the match which had everything from blitzing scoring, to questionable umpire decisions. From a scary come-back to the final siren that signified that Carlton made it to the finals series and now play Fremantle on Saturday afternoon.

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The girls played their hearts out and they never gave up or gave in and the final siren culminated in not only the players celebrating but Carlton supporters.  But as I was watching the match, I was also watching loving couples stroll hand-in-hand around the ground and it was not the male/female ones, but those who for so long have been shut behind closed doors of unacceptability in society. Where their differences were shunned.  The Pride Game show-cased what acceptance of differences can achieve and how it makes society so much better.

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Congratulations Carlton’s AFLW for once being wooden spooners to now making it to the Preliminary Finals at home.  Hard fought and hard-won – epic!

#BOUNDBYBLUE!

 

(Photos courtesy of the Carlton FC).

We Did It Bluebaggers!

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This afternoon I received an email, which I am sure that all members received. It was headed as ‘You did it, Bluebaggers!’ I watched the video attached to the email (it is at the bottom of this article), and I have to say, I just wanted to go into the world wide web and with an almighty yell and a big, fat fist pump – scream YEAH! Why? The reason is that as I wrote about a few weeks ago about the AGM and those that want to shake the now stable apple-cart, and push their own agenda’s, the club must be doing something so damn right to reach this incredible milestone all on the back of finishing last year.

Since Bolts stepped into the role and together with the Board and Administration, we are now a club that has stability and a group of passionate and dedicated players, coaches and footy administrators whose main goal is to get this club back to where it belongs – on top and a powerhouse.

To reach that milestone is an amazing feat and one that all members should be so damn proud of and we are not done yet.  We are no longer the club that everyone talks about in negative ways, but where people sit up and take notice. Why? Because with our drafting and smart and thoughtful planning on the future, we have a group of players that will be part of the future successes of this club.  Sure, I’ve said it before, there still needs tweaking to be done but that is the same with any sporting club and code.

Last year and even at the AGM, there are those that see the club in the dirty, stained glasses that do not look at the future but only in the past. They cannot see that Cunningham, after being a middle-of-the-road player, has now become a significant player for the team. Where Weitering is now growing into not only his body but maturing his mind to become a stalwart in the back. Where we are seeing the development of young players grow with each and every game they play.

Sure, there will be setbacks and that is the nature of the beast called ‘sport’ but it is these setbacks that will make the playing group stronger, more determined and ready to take two steps forward when forced to take a step backwards.

Those that want to continually see the negative in the growth of the club, will never be satisfied until they are proven right. As the membership tally has shown, this will never happen. The men’s season has yet to really start and already we have reached a record in the number of members, it will only increase as the season progresses and these negative filled people will fade into the background of irrelevancy in the growth of this great club.

So proud to be a part of #BOUNDBYBLUE!

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When Class is just CLASS!

On Saturday afternoon the footy world saw what class and integrity really is and showed the true meaning of what the game was all about RESPECT!  Carlton’s AFLW game against Brisbane Lions was a great showcase of the growth of women’s footy.  For Carlton, it was how the players did not give up and put their bodies on the line when it counted.

If you haven’t seen the amazing Tayla Harris blitz Kate Lutkins early in the third quarter, do yourself a favour and watch it.  It was the epitome of how far the women’s game has come in three short years and the skills these players are gaining.  Prespakis with 27-disposals; Walker with two quick goals and youngster Abbie McKay developing into a gun of a player.  But for me, it was the clash between BL Kate McCarthy and Carlton’s Jess Hosking that was the real cherry on the icing.

During the third quarter, McCarthy was forced off the field as she was trying to tackle Jess Hosking, who did get free from her, but it ended up with McCarthy suffering a broken nose.  Yet Jess, after the play stopped a little bit, turned around and went up to McCarthy, shaking her hand.  She did not have to do that, she could have just turned away and continued to set up her position, she didn’t.

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Then we turn to the men ‘s team. I’m not talking about the JLT game, I’m talking about a player who had an opportunity to seek success at another club yet chose to stay with a club that has been his life since getting drafted.  Marc Murphy stepped down from being the Captain to allow both Docher’s and Crippa to step in, while all along being a staunch, experienced senior player in the Leadership Group.  His integrity and respect not only for the club but for the playing group is incredible.

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What this club is now becoming in terms of the culture it is growing at the club on all levels, is something that is all class.  The way both teams are going about their way of development is something that had been missing at the club years ago, before Bolts.  Sure, there are areas that need tweaking, but nothing is achieved over-night.

Both Jess Hosking and Marc Murphy are prime examples of RESPECT and integrity, but more than that they are the epitome of class! With that underlying culture at the club, the only way now is the steady climb back to the top – on all levels.

#BOUNDBYBLUE!

 

Only a JLT Series match, but there are great signs!

I know it was only the JLT Series, but what I saw at Ikon Park on Thursday night was exciting to say the least. It was a rather balmy, hot night and the fans were there to see not only the seasoned players, but the ones picked in the 2018 Draft and of course, Walsh.

Watching the Draft and Walsh’s package, you could see that he had an old footy head on a young body, and Thursday’s match proved just that.  His strength, agility, the way he moved around the ground and the foresight to see what was ahead in the game, shows how much of a footy star this player will be, and he’s only 18! For his first real taste of senior-level footy, he achieved 28 disposals, 5 less than the legend that is Crippa! That alone is pretty impressive! His ability to read the play, and even when things just didn’t go right, he followed through and tried again. This is something that at his age and inexperience, cannot be taught in such a short time of training, and with even senior level game time on the big field that is the AFL season, will only develop more and he will become a real scary force on the field – for the opposition.

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The other newbies at the club didn’t disappoint, such as Newman with 20 and Setterfield with 19. But the most surprising one was Gibbons who though only had 9 disposals, kicked 3 goals, alongside 2018 fledgling player Cunningham, who had 15 disposals and 3 goals.  It was Cunningham and two other seasoned players of Carlton, that really impressed me the most: Cunningham being one and both Weitering and Silvagni the other.

Weitering in 2018 was floundering in the back-line, but this year, he is much more dynamic around the ground and willing to take on the game. Even though he had 15 possessions, his presence in the game was felt and all for good reasons.  Then there was Jack Silvagni.  He has been a bit underwhelming of late, but over the break, he was not afraid to go after the tackle and the ball. I re-watched the game and his effort is heaps better than it was last year. I know some may say, still not good enough. I disagree. I personally think he will be a late-bloomer player and given his subsequent development over the summer, under the guidance of Andrews and the other coaching staff, I do feel he will progress and get better and better and become the player he wants to be and the one we hope he can be.

The team look and feel different this year and it showed on the ground. Even though it’s the JLT Series and it really means nothing compared to the actual AFL season, it gives the new players a chance to show the coaching staff and the fans who they are as players. This game showed how seasoned players who in the past just did not show their full potential or any potential are actually becoming not only better players, but seem to be more confident in their abilities and skill. The signs are there for a club that was at the bottom of the heap in 2018 to now be building the blocks to rise up.

It may not mean that Carlton are now “the team to beat” just yet, but we can see the fruits of the past since Bolts took control, finally taking hold, and it looks good. There can be no doubt now as to the direction the coaching and footy department are taking in ensuring to get Carlton back on the winning board and up the ladder. We saw this on Thursday and even though it is only the JLT Series, the signs are there. Oh, and by the way – we beat Essendon!

#BOUNDBYBLUE!

Carlton’s AGM – BOUND BY BLUE!

On Monday evening, the Carlton FC held its AGM.  Having been to a few, I knew what would be happening and it had nothing to do with the reports or the elections for the club. It had to do with a faction within the supporter base that is hell-bent on pushing their own agenda under the guise of them stating that they are speaking on behalf of the members!

So here is a brief run-down on what transpired with regards to the actual reporting of the past year at the club. Firstly, President, Mark Loguidice stated that this is not the forum to discuss anything other than the financial reports and the reports required by the regulations of an AGM.  He thanked the members for their continued support of the club and its direction and the fact that the club has a historical record number of members being over 50,000.  This is an increase of 10,000 members for the same time last year.

He understood that the team had a challenging year on the field and that the Board and the club understand what is ahead and thanked the members for believing in the vision that they all hold for the club.  He stated they are committed to the future goals of the club being growth and success.  He reiterated the 5-year continual partnership with Virgin, Hyundai and La Trobe University and named a few other organizations that were going to be part of the future of the club. This includes a continual investment in relevant technology to move the club forward in an era of advancement in technical and digital equipment.

He talked about the Governments financial input in the re-development of Ikon Park to the tune of $35million ($15million from the Federal Government and $20million from the State Government).  He stated that the Board is committed to sustainable growth for the club and understands that with a very young, but talented group and there will be challenges ahead. He thanked Kate Jenkins for her time on the Board. Thanked past players in both AFL and AFLW teams and then opened the AGM for questions from those that attended.  Here is where it really got off the rails, not a bit, but a lot!

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Some of the questions were actually quite valid (even if they came from those who want to disrupt the solid and continual growth of the way the club is now). One of the questions was with regards to the poker machines.  This got quite heated as Loguidice and Liddle were not really given a chance to answer as they were being continually harassed as they replied. My feeling is that those who want to disrupt how the club is finally becoming solidified and is building for the future, and would not allow any rational answer; and there was a rational answer, must learn respect. It was stated that the club could not just cut-off the revenue from the poker machines without being completely in debt. But they are working on ensuring that hopefully in 5 years’ time, the value of the revenue from poker machines diminishes to the point that it is not a major factor in their financial statements. That in the future they can cut ties to the reliance on poker machines.

Being in business, I understand that you cannot just cut-off a huge part of your revenue just with a click, but it takes time to re-organize, re-structure and re-develop revenue to ensure that the fallout from this cut, has no major ripple effects.  For those that only see the club’s glass not half empty, but breaking, this was not enough.

The question was raised about the deal with Marvel Stadium and Ikon Park. That the club is kowtowing to the needs of the AFL and are in fact, cowards.  This was met with incredulous gasps as to the actual naivety of what it takes to run a club in the modern era.  Loguidice and Liddle tried to answer this and was again met with callouts of lying and being cowards. They were asked why games can’t be played during the AFL season at Ikon Park.  Even though an answer was given, for some, it was just not acceptable.

I’m going to answer this in a way that I wanted to answer at the AGM, but there is a time and a place, and this was definitely not the place.  The ground holds about 18,000 people. With the redevelopment of the ground, it will still hold that number of people. The ground is in the inner city of Melbourne with limited parking and only trams as public transport.  It cannot hold even small games at the ground as the facilities around it are simply not adequate enough.  The ground is near a university, hospital, parks that host other sports during the weekend. It is near the city and it is simply not viable.  It won’t happen. Gone are the days when the competition was VFL and it could hold the supporters. Now it is totally different, and these people must understand this and come out of a past that while glorious, has gone.  It is time to concentrate on the future of the club and the team that is being built up from the ground to ensure future success.

The club is not kowtowing to the AFL, they are ensuring the future of a club that has now over 50,000 members and if half attend a match, plus the opposition, there is no way that the club can play at a ground that only holds 18,000.  The redevelopment of the ground and the facilities will become a major sporting inner-city precinct for both men and women’s teams.  It will become a hub for the club and an educational setting for the partnership that the club has set up with La Trobe University.

One person even yelled out that the club is going to move to Bundoora where La Trobe is located.  That was laughable and Loguidice stated that the club has a 45-year lease with the Melbourne City Council and are in talks to extend that even more. This was, of course, not acceptable to some.

This is when it got really heated because the small faction started yelling and called for the sacking of all Board members and Loguidice who they state was corrupt and cowards.  They stated that they were speaking up on behalf of all members. I could not help it, but I did yell out, not for me you’re not and so did others.

These people and they do the same each year, do have the right to voice their views, but they don’t have the right to be disrespectful, which they were or assume they have all the answers when they had a chance to stand for election to the Board, but did not.

It is easy to be critical and pass judgments from the sidelines without knowing or understanding what it takes to make a once-floundering club, but to where it is starting to grow.  If the club is so wrong in the way it is going, why did Crippa, Dow, Curnow, Fisher etc. etc. re-sign to the club? Why has membership risen to record levels? Why is there a rise in positivity around the club and a culture that has been lacking for a long time? If it was up to these few, then we should be going back to the days of the ’80s which we cannot.  We must embrace the present and commit to ensuring the future will be all that we, as supporters, want it to be. We must be BOUNDBYBLUE. I am and damn proud to be.

#BOUNDBYBLUE!

P.S FYI if these people who want to bring the club down run for election, I can guarantee you that I will put my name down and fight them!

Why AFLX will never be like the NBA All-Star Weekend!

On SEN this morning Patrick Dangerfield spoke with Gerard Healy about the AFLX.  He spoke about the new “twist” on the coin toss, to determine which side the teams will kick to, now being paper-scissors-rock.  He spoke about the vitriol on social media behind the AFLX. He said that if people don’t want to go or watch, then don’t.  He then compared it to the NBA All-Star Weekend and how family friendly that this is. He obviously doesn’t know the facts behind the All-Star Weekend.

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Players in the All-Star match do get paid for their appearance, but monies raised in merchandise, tickets, etc etc is put back into the community and goes to charity. The NBA then donate on behalf of the teams, to charity which is determined by the teams and different amounts are donated depending on whether the team wins or loses.  They advocate during the weekend what the players are giving back to their communities and where the money is going.

All that the general public is seeing in the AFLX is the Players Association’s trying to revenue raise, for themselves. The public see this as nothing more than that and an attempt to copy a format that is USA-based with no other aspect other than lining the pockets of the players and the AFL.  If the AFLX were to follow the format of the NBA and make all monies to go directly to charities and the community, I can guarantee that the general public will warm to it in the same way that the American public warm to the NBA All-Star Weekend.

We, the supporters will see that the AFL and the AFL Players Association are not just trying to bolster their well-filled coffers but are participating in this “event” as a means to give back to the community that they rely on.  I know I would watch and probably go to the AFLX games if this was the case as I’m sure a lot would, for a good cause and not just to fill pockets of ones already full.

Not the End of the World!

fasoloSo far Carlton has had its share of injured players.  My rationale is that I would rather players have injuries now rather than during the season.  This may not the best run-up to the start of the season, but except for Docherty, the injuries are not ones that will put a great big hole in our depth at the club.

Then the news broke that Alex Fasolo broke his elbow and is out for up to 6- 8 weeks and that this happened during a ‘wrestling’ match with friends on a Saturday night. The vitriol that has been on social media and the media’s response is quite astounding really.  Yes, we are all upset that Fasolo went down the path that he did and for some, it seems we can’t catch a break. I disagree.

Let’s put this into a bit of perspective. Alex Fasolo was not going to be the knight in shining armor that would take the team out of the doldrums of last place and propel them into the top 8 in 2019.  He was for all intense and purposes what I would call a ‘stop-gap’ for the younger players to grow and develop under a seasoned player.  He has come out and stated that he is embarrassed and will now do all that he can to regain the trust not only of the players and coaches but of the supporters.  What more do some want from him?  He made an error that has not sent the game nor the club into disrepute, he has made an error that could be the making of him.

He was given the opportunity to become a player that the younger players could learn from. He was given the role of being a senior player with game time under his belt so the younger players could learn from.  He has for sure let himself down and the faith the club put in him. But his absence from the game for Carlton should not be something that should make any supporter throw their arms up in disgust or anger. The reason is that in 2019 the club has better depth in their playing field. Sure, he will be missed at the beginning of the season; but would he have made such a huge impact all at once, I don’t think so.

He has more to prove now than ever and maybe his time on sidelines will put things into more of a perspective for him.  Maybe this will give him more impetus to show the faith the club has had in him and he could be a key factor on the field.  Sometimes taking a few steps backward ensures that any steps forward will be marked with a more determined and focused effort if given the chance.

Fasolo out of the team, for now, will put a small dent in the playing group at Carlton but is not a major bump. It is but a dent in the how the club is starting to shape its future.  The nasty and downright idiotic comments about Fasolo and the club must be ignored, and a bit of perspective put on what has happened. Don’t make it out more than it is.

 

#BOUNDBYBLUE

 

 

The AFL Season starts with AFLW and AFL – not AFLX!

17RiFr15JW_0625In the last few days, Patrick Dangerfield has come out to say that the AFL season is too long. He is involved and has thrown his support around the AFLX.  I have a huge issue with him and his statements about a game that seems to be bordering on becoming ‘Americanised’.

 

The AFL is pushing the AFLX. The release of the ‘comic-like’ guernseys. The announcement of the teams and which stars are in them.  I for one have no interest whatsoever in this stream of footy. It is far too American-centric; far too commercially laden and everything that I detest in sport – a spectacle and not a game. I won’t be watching – at all. The AFL has brought out ‘dolls’ with only four clubs being rolled out.  The AFL seems to be pushing the commercialization of the game before the actual fan experience of the game.  They seem to be moving towards what rakes in the money the most rather than determining what will ensure the successful longevity of the actual game.  In doing so they have pushed aside the strides they made in the AFLW competition.

They are now looking at making some games start with what was happening many years ago – a game opener of either a VFL match. Why this was ever taken away is beyond me. In these matches, you got to see a team’s future stars and got to know them as players. When they then, if they did, play in the senior team, you as a supporter, knew the player, how they played and what they would bring to a game. It made you want to get to the ground earlier and spend a day watching a game you loved.

Dangerfield has stated that the AFL season is too long. He is so out of touch with what the fans want and is only interested in pushing his agenda. The season is not too long, it is just right. His push to make the season shorter is coupled with his push to make the AFLX successful. Why? I believe it is to do with financial gain more than anything. I am pretty sure that those players involved in the AFLX will be paid a substantial amount of money for a game that in reality, not many will go and watch.

It seems that the AFL and Dangerfield are hell-bent on copying the American version of sports and don’t, therefore, understand the Australian sporting community – the fans. We don’t want to be continually copying America for if we do we are going to lose what is so great about footy. It’s our game, our sport in our environment. To make it anything else means that those in power believe that this is the way to make it better and have more of a fan base. It is not.

Maybe the AFL and Dangerfield are scared that in grass-roots sports, more children are playing soccer than footy.  Maybe they feel that by making the game more Americanised it will bring children back to the game. It won’t. In fact, it will do the opposite – it will turn children away.  What will bring back more involvement of children to the game is to support the game itself and not make it something that it is not – an Americanized version of the game.  To ensure that the integrity of the game is not compromised. To ensure that for a family, taking their kids to a game will not put a gigantic hole in their pockets in terms of admission fees and food. To put back into the community game – grassroots – and not into the pushing of the game that for the majority of fans, no-one is interested in.

The AFL and Dangerfield are so out of touch with what fans want if they believe that the AFLX or shortening the length of the season will do anything positive for the actual game itself. Dangerfield needs to understand that without the fans, he does not have a career.  Both the AFL and Dangerfield must start looking at what the fans want and not what they want. They have to start to understand that every time they infuse some commercially-based Amercian-based concept, they will lose fans.

Footy is a community game, forged by a community, instigated by a community and supported by one. The AFL has a great opportunity to encourage more participants in grass-roots footy with the AFLW but pushes more time and investment into the AFLX.  What a waste! The game is not some bastardized American sideshow.  I love footy and I cannot wait for season 2019 – both ALF and AFLW – to start, but not the AFLX.

#BOUNDBYBLUE!

When a great player and person falls…

When a great player who is also a great person, and was sidelined for season 2018 due to an injury and that same person re-injures themselves in the same spot, every supporters heart just dropped.  When Sam Docherty, who was looking forward to playing after being sidelined in 2018, re-injured his ACL, we can only imagine the depths of disappointment and despair that he and the club must be feeling.  Not only that but the same depths that every supporter must be feeling.  The support from both the club and the fans that Dochers will get must be something that is really heart-warming to him and the club.  After being named co-captain with Crippa, he must now push that disappointment to one side, focus on his recovery, in the same manner as he did when he first injured his ACL and continue to be a leader off-field.

There is speculation going around as to who will step in the shoes of Dochers. My question is does there need to be when you look at the leadership group?  Does there need to be a replacement? I say no.  In the leadership group, you have an ex-captain, and two magnificent stalwarts of the Carlton FC – Simmo and Ed Curnow.  There is no need for someone to take the reins off Dochers and give them to someone else, not with who is in the leadership group. Also because Dochers being the person he is will not be far from the game, the on-field game. Because as he has done this year, he will lead from the boundary. His leadership may not be on the field, but it will be present and for a leader, that is what you need- presence.

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As for those speculating that Carlton will once again finish down the bottom, I disagree. No team and Dochers will probably agree, is just one player.  The club this year in the Draft and Trade did the one thing that the club needed – it got depth. The depth in the playing group means that if one is down, there is another that can step in.  It means that there are those that need to step it up a notch and fill that gap.  We have the depth to do that now and with one more space to fill in our list and also the prospect of placing Dochers on the long-term injury list, means we can enlist the services of a senior player to fill that role, maybe not in the same way, but it can be filled.

There is no question that Dochers will be exceedingly and sorely missed. He is a great player and a great leader of the game and the club. But after the disappointment has evaporated, I know that he will do what he has done in his career, lead by example and become a leader and mentor off-field while recovering. He will once again step in and lead on the sidelines while all the time ensuring that he is there as a captain off-field. He is all class!

The club while supporting him in every way possible are in a position to fill the void that Dochers has left. It will be filled, maybe not in the same capacity or way that Dochers would have brought.  Depth in a club is a paramount part of forming a team, a successful team. For no matter how much a great player is if that player goes down, it is the depth of the playing group that will define the success of that club.  No one player wins games, it is a group of players led by strong and fierce leaders – whether they be on the field or off.

Dochers will be back stronger and better and his leadership and his approach to playing the game while will be missed on the field, off-field, he will not be far from the action.  Get better soon Dochers.

#BOUNDBYBLUE!

Members Forum 2018

The night started off with an introduction from Mark LoGuidice which included a statement that this was not the AGM and so topics relating to that such as the financial state of the club would not be discussed.  He then went through the club’s 2018 season, the changes in the club and the introduction of the panel which included Brad Lloyd, Cain Liddle, Nicole Graves, Thomas Crookes, and Daniel Giese.  He made the point that Carlton’s membership this year exceeded all previous years which is quite a feat considering that we only won two games.  He said that this was due to changes made at the club where a new era of positivism, growth and a culture in the club that encompasses the best things about footy – inclusion, respect, and integrity.

He then introduced Bolts and Docherty. Bolts made mention of Murph who approached him after the season’s end and says, we need to own the future and that means a change in leadership. This was met with thunderous applause for we know that Murph stood up during the tough times within the club.  Bolts then introduced the new players for the club and what they will bring to the team.  Both he and Docherty fielded questions from those that attended.

Then Daniel Harford and Brianna Davey, Head Coach and Captain of our women’s team, were brought out and introduced the new players.  They also fielded questions from the crowd. A side note, there are some real ‘guns’ coming into the team.

Then came the general question time from those that attended.  Here it got very heated and well predictable.  There is a faction in the membership who basically read a statement that they had read last year. They said that the Board is basically corrupt with LoGuidice at the helm and that they need to step down and resign, together with Mathison and Pratt. That they have led Carlton to where they are now, with two wooden spoons and not even close to being in Premiership contention. They were met with a lot of boos and angry feedback. To his credit, LoGuidice did not flinch and answered with poise and dignity.

There was another guy, Joe, who was in essence quite rude and confronting and is part of this ‘faction’ in believing that the Board is corrupt.  The funny thing was that he had more to say even though he was told that there were others who wanted to ask a question. He ignored that and refused to sit down until he was allowed to ask another question, which he finally did and was met again with more boos.

What was really interesting is that others stood up and applauded the club for the way they were going about getting this club back to where it belongs, on top by making some great comments and great questions.  Those in the ‘faction’ said that they spoke on behalf of the members. I don’t remember giving them permission to speak on my behalf or on others for that matter.

Honor The Past. Own The Future

What I don’t think they are understanding is that we are finally in a position of getting this club back to become successful and there are those who just don’t see that as they have their own agenda.  They are too steeped in the successes of the past that have long gone.  The new motto for the club is ‘honor the past and own the future’. They are not doing either. For they are not honoring the past, they are treating it as if the past should and must define us.  They are not owning the future because to own the future means to understand the modern game, the environment and adapt and change and to put your footprint on it.

They don’t’ understand that we as a club and supporters must and do to honor the past and those that made the club a great one. We must regard those that made the club great with respect, but it must not define us now.  Much water, and a lot of it, very muggy, dirty water, has gone under the bridge in the history of this great club and we must now let it go and look and concentrate on the future and what it will hold.

The club has the capacity, the personnel, the players and the coaches to get this club back to the top. One of the best questions asked was given the horrendous decisions made in the past with our coaches, and that the club used to ‘flick’ coaches aside with such ease, will the same thing apply to Bolts, who for this member, is the person to get this club back to the top.  This was met with huge applause and cheers (not from those in the faction).  The reply was each person, including those sitting on the panel and the Board’s role is based on performance and that alone will determine any decisions.  That they knew that the road to the top will be a long one and that no-one is going to be ‘flicked’ out so casually as it was in the past.

The times have changed from the club that was before Bolts and SOS to what it is now.  Before we were a fractionalized, disunified club, now we are a unified club in solidarity of what its purpose will be – winning games, winning a Premiership.  But more than that, to create a culture both on and off-field that ensures that this purpose comes to fruition.

We don’t need those in the ‘faction’ who just want to push their own agenda and not look at what is in the best interests of the club as a whole.  We shall always honor the past, but to own the future, we need to be where are today – a club that is on the right track to becoming a top one again. One that keeps looking to the possibilities of what is ahead, not looking over their shoulders of what was. The past is something where we must honor it, respect it, but it mustn’t define what is happening now at the club.

#BOUNDBYBLUE!