Season Wrap: Carlton

 

Pretty much everything that could go wrong for Carlton did go wrong.

This season was one of heavy losses, walkouts and sackings. There is hope, however, for the future. A new coach in Brendan Bolton and a new star in Patrick Cripps provides a glint of light at the end of a bloody long tunnel. When Denis Pagan describes your club’s list as the worst he’s ever seen, you know you’re in the shtoom.

Brightsides:

Patrick Cripps: A star of the future, Cripps will take out this year’s Rising Star award and won’t stop there. Judging by this year’s form, multiple Brownlow’s should follow. Think Chris Judd, but bigger and with hair.

Matthew Kruezer: Better, bigger and finally fit, the former number 1 pick finally played a stretch of good footy without hurting himself. With his rise, however, marks the fall of another Carlton big man. Thanks for the memories, Robert Warnock.

Dylan Buckley: The speedy defender shows that there is life at half-back without Chris Yarran. He’s also displayed a few acts of brilliance in the forward pocket and looks to be a good candidate to replace Yarran’s rebound from the defensive 50.

New Coach: Brendan Bolton’s come from the top to the absolute bottom. Ironically, his appointment as coach is quite similar to the appointment of Alistair Clarkson. A coach completely new to the caper comes to a club with a very long way to go. Hopefully his experience at a successful club will help the stricken Blues in their rise.

Troy Menzel: Carlton never run out of small running players, won’t they. Take Betts, Garlett and now Yarran, but the Blues still have Buckley, Menzel, Walker and to a lesser extent, Clem Smith. This goalsneak looks to be a future star. His goal sense and kicking are perfect and he can take a mark as well. Hopefully the Blues can hold onto him.

Downsides:

Chris Judd’s Knee: Surely the champ deserved a better finish than that. Carlton needed at least another year from him, not to star in the midfield but to mentor his heir apparent in the guts, Patrick Cripps. A sad ending for such a brilliant player.

Walkouts: Lachie Henderson wanted to leave. Fair enough. But to walk away from the club when there is still games to be played is really poor form from the ex-Lion. Chris Yarran, who also seems to want out, was played in the VFL but didn’t just walk off. Disappointing.

Hawthorn Loss: Watching this game as a Tiger fan, I could compare the monumental loss to Geelong’s schellacking defeat of Richmond in 2007. The Blues lay down and died while Hawthorn ran amok, eventually losing by 138 points. Probably the worst moment in Carlton’s season, coupled with Mick Malthouse’s sacking a few weeks earlier.

Out:

Chris Judd and Andrew Carrazzo are both obvious ones as they’ve announced their retirements already. Yarran, Tom Bell, Lachie Henderson and possibly Matthew Kruezer and Troy Menzel are out the door to new homes, while Matthew Watson, Robbie Warnock, Dennis Armfield and Nick Holman are all players that may be delisted, along with rookies Fraser Russell and Tom Fields. 13 players out the door as the first year of an immense rebuild begins.

Trade/Draft Targets:

Presuming Carlton still have pick 2 in the draft, key forward Josh Schache is a likely selection, replacing Henderson at full forward. The Vic Country superstar broke the record for goals kicked in the Under 18 Championships (24) and will be welcomed with open arms by the Blues. Trade-wise, with the exits of Henderson and co will come a flurry of players and picks. If Carlton can steal classy Giant Adam Treloar from front-runners Collingwood and Richmond, they’ll be over the moon. Also possible targets include Brisbane’s Jack Redden, Essendon’s Jake Carlisle and departing Cats Steve Johnson, Andrew Stokes and James Kelly are possibilities.

Next Year: The Blues need an infusion of skilled young players this year as they enter a long and arduous rebuild. I expect them to finish 14th-18th next year, a statement that won’t change for years to come either.

Sums Up The Season: Playing the Western Bulldogs in round 14, Levi Casboult has the ball in the forward 50, with just teammate Cam Wood between him and the goals. He handballs to Wood, but the ruckman isn’t looking and it bounces off him. Wood gathers the ball, trots toward the sticks and then is run down from behind, holding the ball.

Next week it’s Brisbane’s turn.

 

Comments

  1. Ollie Grindlay says:

    Great Peice paddy!

  2. Hi Paddy. Where’s Troy Menzel going ?

    Glen!

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