The Pre-Season Elbow: A Look at Carlton’s List for 2014 (Part III): Knee Deep in the Hoopla

In Part I, I introduced the premise of emotionally investing in only five players on Carlton’s list. In Part II, as part of a search for those who may complete this list, I looked at a further ten players.

In Part III, I extend that search to another 13 players, starting with Mitch Robinson, who probably warrants a thesis in his own right…

12. Mitch Robinson

Mitch Robinson is not the over-educated man’s footballer (ref: Last quarter, Elimination Final 2013), but he is wolfshit crazy courageous (ref: Last quarter, Elimination Final 2013). If it weren’t for his own fashion label (I would comment on this, but I’m almost certain I’m not his label’s demographic), he would be the anti-Bryce Gibbs.

I once described Mitch Robinson as someone you wouldn’t let house-sit, even if Grant Hackett was the only other available option. That’s hardly a ringing endorsement for an emotional investment.

13. Chris Yarran

Have you ever gone out with a girl who is stunningly-jaw-droppingly-throw-yourself-out-of-a-window-out-of-your-league beautiful, but also so emotionally up and down that you decide it’s not worth the effort and move on? No? Well, it’s kind of like watching Chris Yarran.

14. Brock McLean

I was one of the few to endorse sending pick #11 to Melbourne for Brock McLean in 2009. Melbourne used that pick on Jordan Gysberts, who was last year delisted – by North Melbourne. We on the other hand, are getting some very good football from Brock. I’m happy enough with getting that right (between 2010-12, that was up for debate).

15. Sam Docherty

On paper, effectively trading Hampson for Docherty is a good move. When the most said about Hampson’s absence is in regard to Megan Gale, then it is a fair sign he didn’t enjoy the greatest of careers at Carlton. I’ve not seen enough of Docherty to fully embrace him, but he did barrack for Carlton as a kid… but so did Brendan Goddard, and look how that ended up.

16. Patrick Cripps

Here’s my read on Cripps, courtesy of the PR from Carlton Football Club: Cripps played his junior football as a borderline circus midget, becoming a solid in-and-under footballer as a result. In the last 18-months, he has grown a foot-and-a-half and is now standing next to Matthew Kruezer in the team photograph.

Hyperbole aside, Cripps’ talent and the health of Daisy Thomas’ ankle is about all I’ve got from the pre-season so far. The kid is an undeniable talent and I’m on board.

Cripps is in, as is Menzel.

My ‘Five’ may require a further shake.

17. Sam Rowe

At 198cm, Sam Rowe is nearly as tall as Patrick Cripps. As good as the Sam Rowe story is – and it’s one of the genuinely good ones – he has spent most of the pre-season down back. And Lachie Henderson aside, if the last ten years has taught me anything it’s to not get too invested in our key position defenders.

18. Tom Temay, 19. Cameron Giles and 20. Nick Holman

I’d be happy to get a few senior games out of these three guys, so long as those three games are as a result of out-of-their-skin-form, as opposed to a result of our list being decimated by injury.

23. Lachie Henderson

How do you solve a problem like Fevola? Michael Voss, that’s how.

I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating. At the end of 2009, Lachie Henderson was traded to Carlton from Brisbane along with pick 12 for… Brendan Fevola.

While Brendan kicked 16 goals for New Norfolk in Tasmania’s Southern Football League last year, Lachie finished third in our Best & Fairest. We probably have the edge in that trade.

26. Andrew McInnes

Towards the end of 2012, Andrew McInnes played some great football as our third tall defender. Then, in only his eighth game, he did his knee. He’s slowly making his way back after returning last year, but would be a speculative emotional investment.

27. Dennis Armfield

There’s a lot to like about Dennis Armfield. One, his name is ‘Dennis’ and two, he was rocking a moustache before it was Northcote de rigueur. He’s a former Best Clubman winner and last year reached 100 games – which for a kid who grew up playing Rugby Union and was taken at 40-spomething in the draft, is a good result. He’s thereabouts, but not quite Top Five material.

28. Tom Bell

“Knee deep in the hoopla” — Starship

Tom Bell is almost at Majak-Daw-level hype without the borderline perverse Herald Sun fascination. I’ve liked what I’ve seen from Bell so far this year, but it falls well short of the hysteria. He’s doing some work with Chris Judd this season, which bodes well. Hopefully Judd will address the “one-Mississippi-two-Mississippi-three-Mississippi” thought process Tom has before disposing the ball.

About The People's Elbow

I'm just trying to make a difference in people's lives - get off my sack.


  1. “You only get one Michael Voss in your lifetime…”

  2. John Butler says:

    Even Grace Slick looks horrified about that song Litza.

    On the subject of new Koutas, someone showed me the old Kouta’s add for Souvlaki Hut recently. The one with the worst animated gorilla in history.

    No wonder ex footballers suffer depression.

  3. Given recent news, have you revised the Grant Hackett/Mitch Robinson child-minding draft list?
    (I have always had a soft spot for Dennis Armfield. He is on my ‘hard working footballer who gets every ounce out of himself’ list – like my recent fave Beau Waters. Armfield has always played well against the Eagles. Tad slow and disposal can let him down – but every team needs a few workers like him.)

  4. mickey randall says:

    We were in Fiji a few days after the 2009 AFL grand final and shared the resort with a group of Carlton players and officials. Dennis (surely the only person in Australia under 50 with this name) Armfield spent some time in the gym and seemed keen to impress the coterie. At that point he was moustache and tatt-free. I saw Bryce Gibbs’ last game for Glenelg in which he had about 35 touches and kicked five goals. Despite this Armfield is my favourite Blue. Agree that he is a worker bee.

  5. Armfield’s a tad slow?

    Watch the second q v West Coast last year (when Yarran kicked 3 over the top goals).

    In one, Armfield ran from behind the chasing Selwood and 15 meters further was shepherding Selwood away fom Yarran.

    If Armfield is a tad slow, Selwood is glacial.

  6. You’re right Kevin, Armfield is not slow, and the very incident you speak of is Exhibit A in the case for the defense.

    In fact, on watching that tape, the defense rests, Your Honour.

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