For some, it takes more time…

Photo courtesy Carlton FC

In the past week, we have seen Jacob Weitering win the very prestigious John Nicholls award at Carlton. One of the most humble and down-to-earth people that you could meet; this is highlighted in how he goes about not only his footy but off-field as well. His thankyou speech was one that just shows how much of a team-player and Carlton stalwart he is. Yet, he wasn’t always seen to be the player he has now become. After his first year, some said he should have been traded or is just no good. The similarities between his journey and Paddy Dow is the exact same thing, yet there are those who believe that what happens in another player is the same for all. Most do not really understand that people behave, grow and develop differently, and in this respect, in sport, what one player may take days or weeks to develop, another can take months or years.

Photo Courtesy Carlton FC


As I have stated before, Luke Hodge took four years to finally become the championship player that he is, no-one else said this; he did in an interview a few years ago. It took him that long to develop and to grow into his body. The John Hopkins Medical website has stated that teenage boys and when players are drafted to a club, they are still teenagers and are still going through the latent stages of puberty. This means that while their body size may increase, their feet, arms, legs and hands may grow faster than the rest of the body, making them feel clumsy. Having boys myself, I understand this completely.


These boys who are drafted straight from school, for they are still boys, progress at different rates. We cannot expect every player to be a Sam Walsh or even a Connor Rozee. We have to understand that each boy develops not at the pace we want but at their pace. Weiters has stated quite emphatically that he sympathises with Paddy Dow and his once dynamic abilities on the field, to his now decrease in those same abilities. Paddy Dow has shown that he can become a fantastic player for the club, but he must, like Weiters, be given the time to develop and mature into a man and not a boy. This will take time and will only happen if given that time and the opportunities to grow. He is starting to enter into the step from being a boy to a man, and I know that 2021 will see him show this to the Carlton world.


We have to give some boys time to develop and grow into players’ bodies and minds that will take Carlton to future successes. Not all are the same. Weiters has shown what patience and time can achieve; we need to give Dow the same time. I firmly believe that he will become a fantastic player for the club and the game, just as I firmly believed that Weiters when he was going through the same process, would be the amazing player he is now.


We cannot state that just because a handful of boys are the real deal from the get-go, all should be the same. No two bodies develop or grow alike, and no two players do the same. For some, it takes time, and while I know that we are impatient for continual success, we have endured the climb for a while now; with some setbacks, we just need to be a little more patient. The end result will be well worth it.

#GOBLUES!


https://www.carltonfc.com.au/news/866202/weitering-managing-the-expectation

RESPECT: being proactive, not reactive!

Photo courtesy of Carlton FC

In the past day, the AFL world heard that a report from the Collingwood FC is a damming take on their stance regarding racism. While it did not paint the club in a positive, significant way, the issue is not what the report states, but the way it has been handled in the media from the very man who has been at the helm of the club when most of the racism has purportedly taken place – Eddie McGuire. To state that he was proud of the club is a misuse of the meaning of that word. I am sure he is proud that the club initiated an independent review of its handling of racist accusations from an ex-player, but that is not the way it came across. He is being blasted on social media and the media generally. He has shown no remorse or contrition on how the club has handled racism issues, and he was their leader!


The report states, and yes I did read it, that the club was not proactive but rather latently reactive. This serves as a tremendous warning and opportunity for all clubs, and for this blog – Carlton. Racism is such a destructive and nasty element in our society and we, as fans, have a lot to do to eradicate it. We need to be proactive in calling out any racism towards not only players but supporters as well. There are those who either hide behind keyboards or at the games become so inebriated that it gives them cowardly courage to make racist taunts towards players and supporters.


We need to be proactive to ensure that Carlton FC has a rhetoric where players, admins and supporters know that they stand for equality and call out any form of racism. To some extent, they do this with their RESPECT initiative. While it is aimed at the insidiousness that is domestic violence, the message can also be used in this regard.

Their proud representation of Indigenous players and how they are treated and regarded in the club is something to be proud of. But the point is that it needs to go further, and the only way it can go further, if we, the supporters, embrace that word: RESPECT and stand against any form of violence, discrimination, including racism. We need to have our own rhetoric of ensuring that other supporters know what we stand for.


We cannot and must not allow the simpletons of this world to think that racism and any form of discrimination is acceptable behaviour, either perpetrated behind keyboards or in person. Racism has as its basis one of the vilest emotion – hate. It is easier to hate but takes so much more effort to accept and respect others and their differences: it makes our world much richer.

So my rhetoric in this is: I stand for equality and respect. I stand for accepting a person because of who they are, not what they are. I will stand against those that do not take responsibility for words and actions that demean and put down others because of what they are, not who they are. Call out and point the finger at those who believe that making racist comments is a joke.


Stand by what Carlton promote RESPECT!

GO BLUES!

Carlton FC 2020 RESPECT Round

On the eve of footy!

Photo Courtesy of Carlton FC

On the eve of the ALFW competition, and with what has happened in our world this past year, I want to reflect a bit. With the lead up to the sounds of footy’s being bounced, sirens, yells, shouts, the many, many, many discussions surrounding the game that we love, I have become a bit more reflective of the game that I love so very much. Last year during the men’s season, we saw racial discrimination permeate on social media pages. We saw players leave the game for a while because of mental health issues. We have recently learned that Richmond legendary player Shane Tuck had one of the most horrific CTE brain trauma that researchers had ever seen. This brings me to what I want to say on the eve of the start of the AFLW season and the lead up to the beginning of the AFL season.


One of our very own players left the hubs last year to focus on his mental health issues. We cannot and must not belittle nor dismiss the issues our players across the board suffer from. At Hawthorn we have seen Tom Scully leave the game indefinitely for reasons we do not know nor should we, but whatever the reason is, we have to understand that for that person, the issues are very real and very personal. They feel that they cannot achieve their best on-field and off-field they are not up to their best.


There are those in the footy world who want to harper back to a game and a world where the term “suck it up” or “harden up” is rife. This is not the world we are in today and we cannot and must not go back to that world, for that world allows a player who gets knocked out, or suffers from concussion, to either continue playing or to play again at the next game. We have evolved in our knowledge of what players go through not only physically, but mentally as well. We cannot dismiss this and tell them to “suck it up” for the damage long-term is one where a person thinks that life is just not worth it anymore and we mourn not only their shorten lives, but we mourn who they were – our footy heroes.


Then there is the issue of racism that seems to be prolific in some fan’s circles. Those who believe that making a flippant or comment that to them and others seem to be a joke, but for the person/s who it is aimed at, it is hurtful and belittling. They don’t see nor understand how comments such as these can affect a person. We must not and cannot go back to a time when comments about a person’s race, religion or even sexuality becomes fodder for a “joke” or a “jibe” and that a person gets offended because someone else is, well offended. We have to be better than that.


We cannot go back in time when the game seemed to be more than what it is today. That it was accepting of racial taunting, name-calling and allowing players to be playing when they shouldn’t. We cannot allow players, young players to walk away from a game they loved and strived to play for many years. While I understand that the AFL changes the rules far too often sometimes, we have to allow the game to evolve in such a way that allows players to feel not only secure in their minds, but in their bodies as well.
As a society, we have to teach our young players that some behaviors are not acceptable on and off the field. As a society, we have to understand that discrimination of any kind is just not – well, sport! As a society, we have to accept that the way the players, all players, play the game, that sometimes their well-being is far more important than winning a game.

I want to see my club, Carlton, become the successful club that I know and can see it can become, but not if it means watching a talented player walk away because they are being taunted because of their race, color, creed, or even their sexuality. I want to see the best players out there playing because they are proud to wear the Navy Blue, but I also want to make sure that they know, that we as a code, a club, care about their mental and physical well-being.


As we start the AFLW season and head into the AFL season, I truly believe that Carlton will start their rise up and we will achieve this because we have respect for the players and who they are and what they do to ensure that we as a club, can achieve greatness.
GO BLUES!

https://womens.afl/video/56867/2021-nab-aflw-season-launch

Season 2020…reflections!

Every year, without a doubt, I look forward to the start of footy. The distant smell of fresh grass, sounds of Sherrin’s manufactured permeate my imagination and the call of the siren that signifies the beginning of a game rings pleasantly in my ears. This anticipation as with every new day, the date comes closer and closer.


Every year, I plan my year based on games and their location. I book accommodation and flights if they are not in Victoria. My social calendar reflects the dates of games. For part of the year, I know where I will be and who I will be with at this time.

This process gets me through a season that I am not particularly fond of; I’m not too fond of summer, but it becomes a bridge that I have to cross to get to where I want to be – the start of the footy season.


Now I am a positive-outlook type of person. I see things half-glass full. I take every negative experience and see the positive. I look at the mistakes as a lesson and a chance to change it into successes, but I am realistic and understand that circumstances and situations can alter a course. Yet all through this, I always had the knowledge that every week from the start of the footy season, I would be able to see my team play and be with those who I consider family. It became a cathartic experience that would make all the ills of the world and anything that was not great in a week, disappear; this changed in 2020.

From the onset, when the AFLW season was halted and stopped. When we knew that we could be at the opening match of the AFL season that eventually led into us, Victorian’s not able to attend any game. There was no planning, no excitement of going to matches, no flights booked, no meeting up with friends from interstate that has become a part of my life. It was gone, taken away by the most unfathomable situation – a bloody virus, a damn pandemic.


I would not be able to see friends, or experience that extraordinary euphoria and disappointment that comes with going to a game. I felt left out, separate from a game that made me feel the exact opposite other times.
The games on the whole were, and I am not referring to just Carlton games, but the AFL on the whole, was, well, boring. Those games that got me on the edge of my seat (at home), were few and far between, yet I felt disjointed as if I was watching a game, but one that seemed unreal. The canned noise, while was good, made the games feel staged at times.

Without a doubt, some fantastic, epic, mind-blowing games resulted in spectacular marks, unbelievable close games, and who can ever really forget that goal at the end of the match between Carlton and Fremantle. It still blows my mind, but the little bubbles of sadness peak through because I could not be there.


The footy for me is an avenue of getting away from everyday life. It is a way to get together with people who share the same passion as me about the game and the team that I love. It is that excitement that starts after summer when you know that there is not long to go before that smell of fresh-cut grass fills the air, the knowledge that the Sherrin factory is getting ready and that in the distance the echoes of a siren flitters through.


As summer approaches, there is that disjointed feeling that the start of the footy will be a long, long, long, long way away when all I want is it to come, well, now. As Victorian’s, we had to watch our beloved game being played everywhere else, except here. I am in no way taking away the impressive feat that the other states have achieved in continuing our 2020 season and how our interstate supporters were able to cheer on their team. Still, for me, as a Victorian, it is bitter-sweet.


As we head into December and the end of what has been, well, a year that really upset the cart, the hope that in 2021 we in Victoria will be able to get to games looms large and loud in our heads.


Season 2020 is fading away and season 2021 looms. I hope that I can plan some sort of normality in my footy calendar and look forward to leaving behind the trials and tribulations of a week and as I scan in my membership, leave that outside of the stadiums. The many experiences I have had over the years being at the footy, the good and the bad, far outweigh anything else. I want that back.


Here’s to 2021 having some sort of normality and here’s to hopefully, attending games. I want that sore throat at the end of the match. I want to feel that euphoria and sometimes disappointment that comes at the end of the game. I want to chant, sing, swear and yell, hug friends and banter with strangers and fellow supporters. I missed that in 2020.

#ALLOFUS!

#GOBLUES!

Reflections! Hope! Excitement!

When the new year started, I for one was excited and hopeful of what this year would bring. The AFLW team was going great, and I was looking forward to attending the last games of their season and hopefully a Grand Final’s berth. I was super excited to see what the new season was going to bring for the AFL team. I could not wait for the first bounce of season 2020, even if it did mean watching a Premiership team unfurl their winning flag.

The atmosphere would be electric, and I was going to be a part of that. I had made a vow, this season I would attend every single game, no matter where it was; last year I missed two games. The one against Freemantle and the Western Bulldogs game as I was in Byron Bay. Not this season, I was going to be at every single game.

In the group chats I was in; we could not wait to start the season: season 2020. But little did we know that something would happen that shook us all to our very core. That we could not see out the final games of the AFLW season and that we, Victorian’s, would not attend one single AFL match.
Media and social media were full of this thing called COVID19. We did not understand what was happening or what this COVID19 thing was.

Theories floated around the world about this thing, this virus, this very deadly virus. The more we learned, the more we realized that this was a serious, a severe and fatal virus. Thrown into a pandemic, one where the world had not seen since 1918, we asked ourselves, how on earth were we to deal with this? We could predict, and it did happen bushfires. We could predict flooding around the world, even a war that could plunge the world into the depths of catastrophic despair was always in the backs of our minds, but this! A virus! How could anyone have seen this coming? (Conspiracy theorists please no diatribe!)


We all had our own opinions on whether the footy season should start and how was this going to affect the season and the AFLW season. After much deliberation by the AFL, the AFLW season stopped, no definite winner would be pronounced. But the AFL season would start with Round One, with no fans at the game.


Watching a game that would have been a sold-out blockbuster with no-one at the MCG was heartbreaking, to be honest. I, along with others, was grateful to see the season start but devastated that we were not there. Then the season stopped, and we were all placed into lockdowns, for the speed of the virus in our world grew, and people were getting sicker and sicker and dying.


Finally, the season would start up again, and it would start up in places that would make Victorians’ barred from attending – hubs. Without a doubt, the states that had these hubs saved the AFL season, albeit, a shorter one. But we, Victorian’s would not be able to plan trips to the footy. We had the doors firmly shut on our season, and we could only support from the comfort of our living rooms, which may be warm and cosy, we would have given anything to be at the games, through the cold and rain. But alas, we could not.


The debates heated as to whether the winner of this season should have an asterisk beside their name. No matter which side of the fence you sat, in the end, the team that won, deserve the win. In the end, for Carlton, it was a season that had so much excitement and some disappointments that made it, for me, a season that showed glimpses of the immense possibilities for the future.


The devastating final siren loss to Port Adelaide, but the thrilling, nay bloody memorable win against Fremantle after the siren. All the time wishing I was there, for both games. The revelation that showed the type of player Sam Walsh was becoming. The extraordinary prowess of our young ruckman, TDK and how after only a few games, he is proving to be that missing factor that we have been without with Kreuz being unable to play. It has seen the bloody fantastic chest punching euphoria of when Cottrell kicks a goal and the electric possibilities of what Hazza would become, to name a few.

We were not able to be there to send off two players who deserve all the accolades that one can give, Kreuz and Simmo as they retire from the game. We had seen how the team won when no-one thought they could or would. We have seen how the team is growing and developing. We have had the incredible lows and the enthralling and exhilarating highs, and we Victorian’s were not there.

Season 2020 has been one that we have lived through all the time not quite believing that it happened. We have come out from this just a little bit more fragile at the tenuous state of our world and our game. I have to hope that season 2021 will be one where I can go to watch the games, no matter where and no matter if it is the AFLW or AFL. I am hopeful that I will be able to see in person another epic finish similar to what I consider the highlight of the year – Jack Newnes goal after the siren. For it was not only the goal that epitomized the result but the way the celebration at the ground, in the living rooms around the country and the hotel hub for the club. For it showed that despite what was being thrown at us, we the footy loving world would never give up on the game we love so much.


For most of us, we could not attend a season where there was much hope for the future of this great club and we thank those that cheered the boys on and made them feel the support that we Victorian’s could not give in person. We are all hoping that we can be there for season 2021, to see the club rise further up and I cannot wait for the season to start. It’s going to be an extra long period until it starts.


In a year filled with events that were out of our control, making us all retreat into our homes, it will be nice to get out and stand behind four white posts, all the while we get decked out in navy blue chanting with full voices “Carlton! Carlton!” It’s exciting, and the anticipation is palpable. GO BLUES!

#ALLOFUS!

Sorry SOS…Disagree!

Disclaimer: This article comes with a warning. The warning is that there will be those that disagree with me, and they have that right, but I will not tolerate those that disagree by name-calling or that I have no idea. Come at me with rational arguments, not diatribe of irrelevant musings that are based on emotion and not rationale.


Social media and the media, in general, have gone ablaze with the interview on SEN with Stephen Silvagni, ex-list manager of Carlton. I listened with interest, that turned to anger. I was not angry at the Club but SOS himself, and the more I thought about it, I got angrier and angrier.


SOS’s statements regarding how the club treated him is pure and merely sour grapes and all about him. He stated that Mark Loguidice told him that he had tried to fight for him to keep his position. He said that Cain Liddle, who has brought in more memberships this year than in our history, that Cain was scared that he would sabotage the club as a List Manager. The hosts of the show never had the “balls” to delve in deeper to those statements. So, let’s go through it.

In the interview, he had told the club that he was thinking of leaving either at the end of his contract or this year. He stated that he was told that his contract would not be renewed because it was “complex.”

Statement of fact here – no person, no matter who they think they are, will ever be subjective when it comes to their offspring in an organization, never. People in the medical profession don’t treat family as their objectivity can be clouded by emotion; same scenario here.


SOS stated that he wanted to clear the record straight and tell us, the supporters what the club wasn’t willing to say. Here I say, what a hypocrite. When interviewed on Footy Classified in the past, SOS brushed aside questions that didn’t suit him; same scenario here except that he made a statement that worked for him. Herein lies the issue. The comments are HIS perspective and his alone, and there is an underlying agenda attached to them.


So, let’s take this a bit further. The SEN hosts had the chance to ask relevant questions about this notion of Cain Liddle’s view that SOS could sabotage the club. I agree, and here is why. If SOS was still around and given the fact that we have reduced list sizes, would he have delisted Ben? Would he have been able to let him go? Given how he carried himself today, he probably wouldn’t answer that. Would he have kept an untried and rather lazy player over another player who may be untried, but puts their heart and soul into a game? He cannot be objective in this matter, because it would mean that the Coach has wanted this player gone, but the list manager, being who he is, would disagree.


That is sabotage because he is putting the personal connection above the needs and the requirements of the club, and what a position to be in, when you are a prominent person at a club, and you have to justify keeping a player, your son, when in any other club or circumstance, he would have been let go.


Then there is Jack. If SOS tries to convince Jack to leave because of the way SOS has been treated, then this again shows the hand of sabotaging the club.


He must be brave enough to distance himself from the club in all facets and allow his son to make his own decision without the looming presence of his father and accept that decision. If not, then he is sabotaging not only his son’s career but the club as well.


I would have had more respect for a great player of this club, if he had just answered the questions about his leaving the club, in the same way he did when grilled on Footy Classified. I have no respect for him now. He is putting his own agenda above that of his professed love for the club. He is putting his needs above that of his son still at the club, Jack.


For some fans, they have said that it was time someone put some clarity on SOS’s dismissal. Why? Because of his surname? Because of who he is? Why now? SOS has not said anything previously, otherwise, why would he not of said it before? There is a hidden agenda here for SOS, he is pushing his own agenda, putting his own son in danger. I just hope Jack has the strength to push that aside and look at his needs, for I believe he has the ability to be a great player and one that is not under the constant shadow of his father.


Sorry SOS, but this interview was for you and you alone, showing how you harbor bitterness and sour grapes instead of letting it go and look at what is going to be best for your sons, not you. Respect gone!

#ALLOFUS!

https://www.sen.com.au/news/2020/10/20/stephen-silvagni-slams-blues-ceo-cain-liddle-over-club-departure/

This time of the year!

Photo courtesy of Carlton FC

First of all: Congratulations Mr Sam Walsh! Another achievement for a future leader of the club!

Now. The season hasn’t ended entirely yet, and still, trades are going on around us, or are they? We have heard from Carlton about who is not going to get another contract moving forward.

So the club says goodbye to Darcy Lang, Hugh Goddard, Finbar O’Dwyer and Ben Silvagni, and because of the last name to be delisted, the “shit” hit the fan literally.


On social media, people went “off their face” about Ben’s delisting and then took the word of a journalist who said that Jack Silvagni was next. The vitriol aimed at the club was and still, is not warranted and completely unjustified.


The romance behind the name that is Silvagni is just that: a romance. To have a player, two players whose surnames is Silvagni in a club where their father and grandfather were stars, is outstanding, for sure, but we cannot expect them to have a carte blanche path staying at the club because of their surname. They have to be able to perform at a senior level.


The fact that some are still levelling hate regarding the dismissal of Stephen Silvagni is not logical. I loved what SOS did for the club and will always, however, to have two of your children at the club and not be objective is narrow-minded. He finished his contract last year, and the club decided not to renew it. It wasn’t one person’s decision, as some are alluding to with regards to Cain Liddle. The foul names that he and even the entire Board are getting called is downright disrespectful and not warranted. If you disagree, disagree, but come at it with a rational point. Name-calling proves nothing, achieves nothing.


Let’s get one thing clear here: list sizes of ALL clubs have been cut, due to COVID-19. Players that could have had more time to develop or grow, may have to be delisted because of smaller squad size. So, a player on the fringe, and out of contract, could be delisted. Ben Silvagni is one of those players. Just because he bears a surname linked to the club, does not mean that he should stay if he is just not up to it. Will he get picked to another club? I doubt it.


Then there was talk that some media person stated that Jack Silvagni is asking for a trade and will be leaving. Now that sent social media into a frenzy. Jack is a contracted player until 2021 and was injured for most of this year after suffering from a severe bout of gastro. He is not going, nor is he going to be traded. However, put that aside, and ask yourself: Do you want a player that is there because of his surname, or do you want a player who is there because he is and has the potential to be a great player?


I do believe that Jack can be a top player. He needs a bit more time to develop, and also needs to shake off the stigma of his surname, and this is why I believe that the decision not to renew SOS’s contract was the right one. Hopefully, he will have a great pre-season and come back better than ever.


The trade period will see media spouting something to fill the air, and write conclusions on a team or player based on their determinations; this does not mean that it is true. Before posts are made about the likelihood of player coming or going, check the source, review the information and then wait and see what the club and the player will state. Don’t fall down the trap of assuming that what you read or hear from sources that are not credible, are credible.


Also, the fact that others have said that Carlton’s year has been a failure are just saying this for clickbait. I said at the beginning of the year that I would love to see Carlton sit at the top of the bottom 8. Most media put them finishing between 13th and 16th, nothing higher. We finished 11th! How is that a failure? Because we couldn’t get into the top 8? We were not ready this year, and this season has taught us what we can be capable of and what we need to work on and strive for next year. This is not a failure, by any means.


We all want to see Carlton great again. It will happen, and I will say this now – Carlton will be in the top 8 in 2021. That is my view and opinion, and if you disagree, then that is your right. I won’t call you names, promise!

#ALLOFUS!

Mr Kade Simpson…

As the news travels on social media, and the media in general, Carlton fans are stunned at the retirement of one of it’s greatest players and most loved player. Our world reverberated with the announcement from Kade Simpson of his retiring and that the game against Brisbane Lions this week on Saturday night, would be his last.


I was on Blue Abroad this week, and when asked the question about who was my favourite player, I said that for me, the player who gives the game his all, who lays it all on the line for every game, and who may not be a forward or the star of the game, but that player who never gives up or gives in. Who is dynamic around the ground. Who, no matter what is in front of them, whether it be the conditions or the state of the game, they play with heart and soul. That is an apt description of Kade Simpson – Simmo.


For the past seasons, we have seen how this stalwart of a player, wearing the long sleeve jumper, and the number 6 on his back, came out in every game to play his heart out. He plays as if his life depends on it. That ball to the face a few weeks ago epitomizes the type of person and player he is. He got whacked, shook his head, got up and played on. That is the type player that I love and the person that is Simmo.


I always felt that his attitude to the game could affect not only his health but his well-being. The hit to the head by a ball, made me ponder that maybe his time should be up as a player. We have seen him battle his way through no matter what, and given the current status of head injuries and injuries, in general, that could affect a player as they age, I don’t want to see Simmo become a player who left on terms that were not made by himself. I did not want him to retire because he was injured; I wanted him to retire because he felt it was time.


I would have loved him to be a part of a team that raised that 17th Cup, but I don’t think his body could take much more. His heart could; his mind could, but not his body.


Kade Simpson will always be that player that I love in this game. That player who puts on the guernsey and plays for the pride of wearing it. Who still plays his heart out and with the satisfaction of playing for Carlton.


Simmo will always be that player that every upcoming player should try to emulate. He may not have the star quality skills or showmanship, but he has heart, and that heart was for the Carlton FC. He retires with his head, a little bruised, but held high. He goes out with the immense love and respect of all supporters, players, coaches and administrators who know that this quiet, little man gave it his all for the Carlton FC.


I hope Simmo that you achieve so much in your life after retiring from the game. You are one of a kind and for me, the type of player that I love.


From ALL OF US…we thank you, and we will miss you.

#ALLOFUS

See the growth…

Great image of great sportsmanship!

The game against the bottom team is one where, well, we should have won, or should we? Expectations directed towards Carlton and even Adelaide for that matter showed that the outcome was, well for the most, a given. Carlton would win and keep their finals hopes alive. But let’s be a bit honest here, it was a goal that was just a tad out of reach in this season. All pieces of a complicated puzzle, had to be in place for us to make it to the top 8, and well for season 2020, it was not going to happen.


Social media has taken a few “nuffy” pills given the comments made leveled against not only the coach but players and even supporters. To state the coach should be sacked, is well, showing a level of understanding and footy knowledge lacks any credibility or validity. The comments made against Murphy and Simmo in carrying off a person who is one of their closest friends, after that player, who played his heart out for Carlton, Bryce Gibbs, announced his retirement, is well downright the opposite of what their actions were – a show of great sportsmanship.


The somewhat idiotic blasting of how terrible Carlton is and to some on social media always will be, shows once again how they don’t seem to get it. Let’s take off those rose-colored glasses and understand the season for Carlton this year.


Carlton was going to be the team that finished near the bottom of the ladder, according to most, and it was either last or second last. We had no hope of rising slightly. So, what did we do this year? Well, we climbed. From being a team that finished 16th in 2019, we are likely to finish either 11th or 12th. That signifies that the team in 2020 has not gone back to what it was in previous years but has grown, maybe not the speed that some believe we should have, but they have grown.


Without a doubt, there were some players on the weekend that didn’t step up, and there is no point naming them because I’ll leave that to others, as this is not my focus in this blog. The focus is to look at the team and the club as a whole. To discuss how, after years of mishandling, we need to see growth in the players under a coach who understand what it will take to make the club successful again. He has done it as a player and will do it as a coach. Because this year, we have seen growth in the team.


We are all “long-suffering” supporters of a great club that has been through really, well shit times, but for the first time in a while, I can see growth in the team and the club. Indeed, there are gaps in our playing group that need to be “plugged”, and through the draft, we will get players that can seal those gaps.

We need to “calm-the-farm” down! We need to look at the bigger picture. We need not feel despair because we did not finish in the top 8 this year when there was always going to be too many factors conspiring against us to do that.


We have achieved more than most thought this year, and in season 2021, we will achieve more again. I believe this wholeheartedly because if you watch the games and watch how some players are growing and developing, we have the talent to get us there.

We will get there, but this constant barrage of disparaging the coaches and the players achieves nothing and gets nothing. Understand the progress, understand the growth and then you can understand where we are at in terms of setting us up for season 2021 and more.

#ALLOFUS

P.S. Some have also come out and made comments about Gibbs and his decision to leave Carlton. No matter his reasons, to lay blame when you don’t have the real truth, is tantamount to bullying. No matter what decision a player makes for their lives, their family, it is theirs and theirs alone. Gibbs loved Carlton and still does. Enjoy your next journey sir!

Dear Mr Kreuzer…

Dear Mr Matthew Kruezer


The heart and soul of any organisation, no matter if it is a business, school or a sporting team, is what one person can bring to the organisation. In footy, especially Carlton, there has always been those players that step through the doors at Ikon Park, bringing with them heart and a determination to play the best way possible with quiet grit and love for the club. That is what you have delivered at Carlton.

As a supporter, watching you go about your role on the field and seeing you in the ruck, seeing you around the ground and kicking a goal, every single supporter at the game, yelled out the words ‘Kreuzz’.


You wanted no limelight, no front-page headlines; you just wanted to play footy and play it for one club only – Carlton. Your loyalty towards the club, the players, the fans was what defined you as a person.


I had the privilege of sitting at your table during a breakfast function and what you see on the ground, is what you get in person. Your demeanor is one of respect. That’s it. You have respect for the supporters, the club and game that is footy.


The issues you have had with your health and injuries, must have been frustrating not only for you but for supporters as well, because all we wanted to see was the big man – Kreuz, run out on the field and we knew that the ruck was in good, no, great hands. Despite the issues you faced, you carried yourself with dignity and humility, and that is what makes you such a beloved person, not only at Carlton but in the AFL as a whole.


I want to thank you for being you; for being that heart and soul of our club and for giving us all that you could provide. I, together with every single AFL fan, wish you nothing but success for whatever it is you will be doing after your time in the AFL as a player has ended.

You are what every player should aspire to be. You are one of a kind. The chant of ‘Kreuz’ will lie dormant now, but our memories of you playing will not.


Lots of success and enjoy your time as a non-player.


Love you Kreuz! And ALL OF US, love you.
Debby

#ALLOFUS!