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.

leaders 2019

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!

CARLTON: MECHANISMS ARE IN PLACE!

 

At the end of the Draft for 2018, what Carlton gained and are aspiring to, is getting this club back to where it belongs – a force in the game and back on top.  They were adamant in what they wanted for the club and who they chose.

From the start of the actual trade period, Carlton’s aim was getting players who would be part of the future and part of the push to the top. With the securing of Mitch McGovern a seasoned forward, Alex Fasolo, another forward. These two, together with our youngsters who are emerging and growing, will give more depth in our forward line. Then we have Will Setterfield, a midfielder, and Nic Newman, a left-footed defender. What these guys bring is what is needed for a young group of players currently at Carlton – experience.  Sure we have our own experienced players, but we needed more and especially in our forward line, and we have that now.

Yet before the Draft started, what the club needed was more grunt and depth in an area that we were lacking during the season – our midfield, and we needed youngsters who possibly have the capacity to play in Round One.  Without a doubt, Sam Walsh is that type of player. If you watch the way he goes about his game, he plays with a concentration that belittles his actual age.

Then the ‘purists’ of this period, those that sat glued to their TV’s or watched online, following the trackers, saw SOS and his team pull off what is considered to be the trade of the draft period.  Carlton acquired Liam Stocker, a midfielder, with a historic live trade swap with Adelaide, where we will get their future 2019 first round pick and they will get ours.  A gamble, sure, but it is a testament to what Carlton believe will be season 2019. It is no longer a mere  ‘re-build’ but a blitzing belief and determination to become a great club again and to show this during the next season.

It is confidence in not only the talent that the club is developing and has been for the past few years, coupled with the experience of other players but also getting the right draftee’s no matter what the cost.  The cost being the gamble that Adelaide finish much higher and Carlton finish near the bottom.  The absolute faith that SOS, Bolts and the team have in what can be achieved next season is bloody exciting.  It was one of those “boom” moments that have the potential to become either an epic fail or an unbelievable coup that sees the making of the Carlton FC.  I believe in the latter and not as an epic fail.

After all that, Carlton then secured Finbar O’Dwyer, an upcoming forward and a damn agile player around the ground.  Then for its last pick, Carlton picked another Silvagni – Ben, a player that plays around the ground, either in the forward line or down back.

Carlton finalized its list with the Rookie Draft with the selection of Tomas Bugg and Hugh Goddard.  With that, Jed Lamb has not been offered another season at Carlton or any other AFL club. In this regard, some have questioned the legitimacy of getting both Bugg and Goddard, but while they both offer experience, they still have a lot to prove to the Carlton fans of their worthiness of being at the club.  For me in this respect, it is all about them falling into line with the new culture of the club, of being part of a team and of channeling all efforts into securing success.  Like Daisy Thomas, these two players have much prove to us, the supporters, more than the draftees.

Those that commentate in the media have given Carlton a mark of D in the whole draft period.  All in all, I think for Carlton, it was a very successful period in which we can see the direction the club is heading into.  It is exciting to see that for the first time in a long time, the Carlton FC is united in its determination to get back on top. That we, the supporters, can see what the future will hold for the club, it’s just a shame that there are those that still don’t see this. But then again the best remedy is to show them come 2019. Don’t fall into the trap of caring what others say about the club or the players, coaches etc. just care what the club will do from now on. Care that given what we have and what we have gained, we will start to rise up the ladder. It may not be as fast as we all want it to be, but it will happen. The mechanisms are in place, we just have to let it churn over and become a well-oiled machine. There will be a few glitches and it is these glitches that the mechanics of the club will tinker with and make the machine that is the Carlton FC powering at full speed once again.

As the new motto states, we may honor our past but we will definitely own our future – the mechanisms are in place.

#BOUNDBYBLUE! #BRINGON2019!

#EXCITINGTIMESBLUES!

So the trade period has ended and Carlton came out with four new players to add to the current list.  We know who they are and what they will bring to the team.  Yet for some, it seems that SOS and his team failed – miserably. That Carlton is the laughing stock of the AFL.  That SOS, Bolts and their team really don’t know what they are doing and that basically Carlton ‘panicked’ in the trade period.  That we have not picked up any marquee players as no-one wants to come to us.  While I understand that everyone has their opinion, view of the situation at Carlton and how that for some neither SOS or Bolts are the ones that have the ability to re-build this club.  My view, my opinion is – I don’t agree.

The talk that we didn’t get Hannerbery because he did not want to come to us because he saw a club that was, well ‘shit’, is wrong.  Has anyone ever thought that maybe Carlton did not want that type of player at the club, and so, did not even think about approaching him? What about McGovern? Is he just a mediocre player and not considered a ‘marquee’ player? He chose Carlton from the onset because he is not only the type of player the club needs but he because he can see what is happening at the club and the future.  Then there is Setterfield, Fasolo and Newman all chose to come to Carlton and they are at the club because these are the type of players that the club needs for more depth. If the club is a laughing stock of the AFL then why did Crippa re-sign? Why did one of the best endurance and fitness coaches,  Russell,  leave a successful club to come to Carlton?  Why is it that only now does the media see what Carlton have been endeavoring to achieve since Bolts and SOS were brought in, as being the makings of a solid foundation for the future? Sure we didn’t Sheil, but we didn’t want to give up our number one draft pick and Essendon are not at the same level as we are, and so given that, of course, Sheil will pick Essendon and look what they had to give up to get him. I would much rather get a player from the draft who we can mold and shape to become the player that Carlton needs than an older player such as Shiel.

Then there was someone who said that Carlton failed miserably because we didn’t do all we could to get Betts back! What they don’t realize is that at no point did he say he wanted out of Adelaide. He said that he has another two years on his contract and will fulfill it. Betts is an outstanding player and would be an asset to any club, but he is not the player that he once was back at Carlton. If he did want to come back to Victoria, then as an assistant coach, he would probably be welcomed back with open arms, in two years time!

There are some out there in the social media world who continually see the negativity of this re-build which has been stated all along since Bolts came. They believe that there are other coaches out there who would be much better. But the question needs to be asked, ‘are you sure they will be?” Are you sure that team, who back Bolts to the end, would respond better to another coach? Are you sure that bringing in a new coach would not disrupt the team and the club? Are you so sure that your way and your view is the best way to go? Don’t agree. I was one of those who said that Nathan Buckley was not the coach for Collingwood or a coach at all – I was wrong and would have to say, even though he is from Collingwood, I have a lot of respect for what he has achieved at the club, and I believe that you are wrong when it comes to Bolts.

I see in Bolts the ability to lead the club into success with the backing of a new crop of assistants both on the footy field, fitness and the culture at the club, and it is in this area that mediocre clubs – succeed.  GWS have a team of champions, but they are not a champion team because their culture is too self-absorbed.  They don’t play as a team or for each other, only for themselves and won’t win a Premiership this way. Sure they will get to finals, but to take that leap from being a team in the finals to a Finalist is something that requires team-manship, which they don’t have. No-one thought Collingwood would get to the Final, or Richmond last year, or the Bulldogs the year before.  Sure Collingwood didn’t win, but they got there through sheer determination and team-manship.  I’m not saying that Carlton is near that – yet, but they are putting into place the mechanisms to get there.

To suggest that the trade period for Carlton was a case of panic and saving face and that it will take years and years to achieve what the likes of Collingwood have this year is rather arrogant really. Because it suggests that Carlton does not know what it is doing and that others do. They cannot know what goes on behind closed doors, or decisions and discussion held and made. The culture at Carlton has changed, and current and future stars of the game want to stick around because they believe in what is happening at the club. They understand and support the process to get Carlton back to the top.

What we all need now is patience and positivism. Watch below.

Silvagni Talks Trade

#EXCITINGTIMESBLUES

 

The One (s) That No-one Saw Coming!

Up in the Gold Coast the sun was definitely not shining late on Sunday afternoon in Metricon Stadium.  For the outcome of a match that 98% of commentators, media people and the general public decided was that the Suns would beat, nay in some circles thrash Carlton. That the fact that last weekend when Carlton beat the Giants, was perhaps for some, a fluke. Oh how wrong were they!

The impact of targeting and harassing one Gary Ablett Jnr was, in the eyes of those watching and reporting, non-stop and persistent, to the point that during the match when said player was on the bench, he was angry and telling trainers this.  Well, it worked because he was kept to a paltry, for him, 25 possessions and no score.  This was all thanks to what can only be stated as the best game of this player’s career so far and a record breaker.

Yep, stand up and take a bow for an encore Mr Bryce Gibbs! I mean 43 possessions, 31 kicks, 8 marks, 10 tackles and to top it all off, 2 outstanding, game breaking goals. Whoever has said that Gibbsy will be heading back to Adelaide have absolutely no clue whatsoever; and to top it all off, how angry would Adelaide be right now for not doing all that they could to get him during the draft! Now they have no chance. In today’s Melbourne’s Age, Rohan Connolly Bryce Gibbs said quite determinedly, “I’ve had a couple of consistent years. I want to continue that at Carlton, keep developing the leadership side of my game…” Then finally saying that he would be one of those players that helped the club get to where we wanted to get, and that he played a significant role in that. No-one saw the maturing of a former number one draft pick become the stellar role model and outstanding player that he is becoming.

Two words, Liam Jones! Commentary around the wire was that Tom Lynch would dominate not only the game, but on the scoreboard as well, but no-one saw how much of an inspirational move that Carlton made to move Jones down the back last week, and to dominate this game.  He kept Lynch to just 10 disposals and 1 point!  He is fast becoming, together with ASOS a cult hero at Ikon Park and so he should be.  He is playing dynamic footy down back. It is not the number of disposals that matters here, but what he does to stop a player who is considered one of the top in the forward line.

What no-one saw coming was a team that truly believed in what they are capable of achieving. That with persistence, determination and a passion for playing for the guernsey, anything is possible. The team stood up from the very first bounce until the final siren.  The Curnow’s with that wonderful hug after Charlie sent the ball to brother Ed who kicked a beautiful goal. To the rise and rise of Jack Silvagni, scoring 2 goals and getting better and better with each and every match.  To the stalwart that is Kade Simpson, Sam Docherty who was well everywhere and who commentators are now saying that other teams better keep him in check, which they say every Carlton supporter knows.

The players that just kept on going, Crippa, Plowman, Lamb, Wright, Boekhorst, Sammo, Cunningham, Fisher, the big man Krooz, Marchbank, the inspirational Murph, Weiters, Williamson. Despite Casboult’s misses, his handy hands at getting the ball proved to be game changers.  Yet through all of these, I would have to say that Daisy Thomas stunned everyone. Two goal, 17 possessions, and that bump on Saad, was cringe worthy but shows that he is playing for the club with all heart. It seems that in the past year he has become settled, more content.

Carlton are now a team that other teams must sit up and take notice and that commentators and media people are starting to believe in the message that the club is now sending.  They are not the team that Kevin Bartlett said on SEN this morning that after Richmond’s loss for the past few matches, that they Richmond, can take comfort that they have Carlton this weekend implying an easy win.  They are not as Tony Jones said on the Sunday Footy Show, doing little to market their club.  They are not the team that everyone thinks well, we’re playing Carlton, easy win.

After the bye, the Carlton are now a team that other coaches will be planning on how to stop Jones from dominating their forwards. They will be working out how to stop Docherty from moving freely around the ground. They will be working out how to stop a young, dynamic, hungrier, grittier and more determined team that no-one saw coming, except the die-hard Carlton supporters, who knew, we just knew.

#BOUNDBYBLUE

The One (s) That No-one Saw Coming!

Up in the Gold Coast the sun was definitely not shining late on Sunday afternoon in Metricon Stadium.  For the outcome of a match that 98% of commentators, media people and the general public decided was that the Suns would beat, nay in some circles thrash Carlton. That the fact that last weekend when Carlton beat the Giants, was perhaps for some, a fluke. Oh how wrong were they!

The impact of targeting and harassing one Gary Ablett Jnr was, in the eyes of those watching and reporting, non-stop and persistent, to the point that during the match when said player was on the bench, he was angry and telling trainers this.  Well, it worked because he was kept to a paltry, for him, 25 possessions and no score.  This was all thanks to what can only be stated as the best game of this player’s career so far and a record breaker.

Yep, stand up and take a bow for an encore Mr Bryce Gibbs! I mean 43 possessions, 31 kicks, 8 marks, 10 tackles and to top it all off, 2 outstanding, game breaking goals. Whoever has said that Gibbsy will be heading back to Adelaide have absolutely no clue whatsoever; and to top it all off, how angry would Adelaide be right now for not doing all that they could to get him during the draft! Now they have no chance. In today’s Melbourne’s Age, Rohan Connolly Bryce Gibbs said quite determinedly, “I’ve had a couple of consistent years. I want to continue that at Carlton, keep developing the leadership side of my game…” Then finally saying that he would be one of those players that helped the club get to where we wanted to get, and that he played a significant role in that. No-one saw the maturing of a former number one draft pick become the stellar role model and outstanding player that he is becoming.

Two words, Liam Jones! Commentary around the wire was that Tom Lynch would dominate not only the game, but on the scoreboard as well, but no-one saw how much of an inspirational move that Carlton made to move Jones down the back last week, and to dominate this game.  He kept Lynch to just 10 disposals and 1 point!  He is fast becoming, together with ASOS a cult hero at Ikon Park and so he should be.  He is playing dynamic footy down back. It is not the number of disposals that matters here, but what he does to stop a player who is considered one of the top in the forward line.

What no-one saw coming was a team that truly believed in what they are capable of achieving. That with persistence, determination and a passion for playing for the guernsey, anything is possible. The team stood up from the very first bounce until the final siren.  The Curnow’s with that wonderful hug after Charlie sent the ball to brother Ed who kicked a beautiful goal. To the rise and rise of Jack Silvagni, scoring 2 goals and getting better and better with each and every match.  To the stalwart that is Kade Simpson, Sam Docherty who was well everywhere and who commentators are now saying that other teams better keep him in check, which they say every Carlton supporter knows.

The players that just kept on going, Crippa, Plowman, Lamb, Wright, Boekhorst, Sammo, Cunningham, Fisher, the big man Krooz, Marchbank, the inspirational Murph, Weiters, Williamson. Despite Casboult’s misses, his handy hands at getting the ball proved to be game changers.  Yet through all of these, I would have to say that Daisy Thomas stunned everyone. Two goal, 17 possessions, and that bump on Saad, was cringe worthy but shows that he is playing for the club with all heart. It seems that in the past year he has become settled, more content.

Carlton are now a team that other teams must sit up and take notice and that commentators and media people are starting to believe in the message that the club is now sending.  They are not the team that Kevin Bartlett said on SEN this morning that after Richmond’s loss for the past few matches, that they Richmond, can take comfort that they have Carlton this weekend implying an easy win.  They are not as Tony Jones said on the Sunday Footy Show, doing little to market their club.  They are not the team that everyone thinks well, we’re playing Carlton, easy win.  After the bye, the Carlton are now a team that other coaches will be planning on how to stop Jones from dominating their forwards. They will be working out how to stop Docherty from moving freely around the ground. They will be working out how to stop a young, dynamic, hungrier, grittier and more determined team that no-one saw coming, except the die-hard Carlton supporters, who knew, we just knew.

#BOUNDBYBLUE