Has sufficient modified at Carlton to make them contenders?

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As Carlton supporters put together to mud off their navy blues for an additional season, there’s one urgent query on their lips – can this 12 months lastly be the one the Blues make finals?

The Blues missed out on a finals berth by the pores and skin of a Sherrin final 12 months, however there are heightened expectations in coach Michael Voss’ second season in cost.

Now armed with the reigning Brownlow and Coleman medallist, the highlight is on the Blues to finish their 10-year finals drought.

These are among the key speaking factors for the Blues forward of their 2023 marketing campaign.


The place does the development come from this season for the Blues?

Voss mentioned this week that the Blues have been “nonetheless rising” and consistency and performing below strain could be keys to taking the following step within the membership’s ambition of “sustainably enjoying finals”.

“We’re nonetheless attempting to extend our capability in all areas, whether or not that’s operating, whether or not that’s contested ball, whether or not that’s enjoying offence, defence, we’re nonetheless attempting so as to add capability into our group,” Voss advised AFL 360.

“The primary factor for us final 12 months was our consistency. Any time we felt that we misplaced our approach was as a result of we simply didn’t stick with the roles we got and we simply didn’t stick with the system that we try to implement.

“There are a whole lot of causes for that, a few of it’s in our infancy in our first 12 months (collectively).

“What we’re about isn’t essentially altering something, what we have to do is make it stronger and we have now to do it underpressure.”

Carlton midfielder Matt Kennedy mentioned the Blues had the idea their finest was adequate, however their development would come from larger consistency.

“We’ve spoken so much about elevating our ground and simply being extra in line with our habits,” Kennedy mentioned this week.

“That’s daily with the way in which that we prepare {and professional} habits.

“So I believe that’s the place we’ll get a whole lot of development. We all know and we consider our greatest is nice sufficient, however it’s simply consistency at instances that bought us final 12 months.“

Carlton nice Mark Maclure was assured the Blues may crack the top-eight this season, saying they’d have been stung – and realized – from their late-season fall final 12 months.

“I watched them final 12 months and noticed some nice enchancment,” Maclure mentioned.

“The most important downside that they had was they only failed within the final two video games. They might be upset with (that).

“You’ve got to have some character and you have to face up and you have to do all these little issues that make a distinction and so they simply rushed every part as an alternative of … doing it correctly and all being on the identical web page.

“I’m positive that Vossy would have been in a position to give them a exercise in that.”


Final season, Carlton followers lastly bought a have a look at simply how good Charlie Curnow and his ahead partnership with Harry McKay might be.

After three injury-hit seasons, Curnow propelled himself to the highest of the objective kicking desk to assert the Coleman Medal along with his 64-goal season alongside McKay’s 45.

Given he had performed a mixed complete of 15 video games within the earlier three seasons, Curnow’s rise pushed him proper to the highest of Herald Solar chief soccer reporter Mark Robinson’s pre-season predictive high 50.

Maclure mentioned 26-year-old Curnow’s true expertise remained “untapped” and his partnership with McKay was each bit as sturdy because the Tom Hawkins and Jeremy Cameron double-act.

However he mentioned the following step for Curnow was backing it up.

“He has bought a lot expertise, you’ve got no concept … he’s untapped at this stage, nonetheless,” Maclure mentioned.

“He could be a nightmare to play. He’s fast, he’s tall, he jumps, I’ve seen him do some issues that I’ve by no means seen anybody do, kicking targets from the boundary on the flip and also you go ‘What? Can’t be accomplished’.

“So he has bought a extremely good spotlight reel however it’s about consistency and getting it accomplished on a regular basis.”

Voss mentioned humility could be the important thing to Curnow taking the following step in his recreation.

“For him to have the ability to do what he did final 12 months after the footy that he had missed, in some methods it was fairly extraordinary,” Voss mentioned.

“He’s an pleasure machine and he ignites the group. He’s clearly an important participant to us.

“For Charlie, the factor that may get him via this 12 months in some methods is simply humility, the truth is that it may be taken off you in a heartbeat. He ought to know that greater than anyone.

“If he stays with that humble method … and he is aware of that tomorrow ‘I can get overwhelmed’ he shall be a improbable footballer so long as he maintains that mindset.”


If there was ever any doubt over Carlton captain Patrick Cripps’ standing as top-of-the-line midfielders within the AFL, it was shattered when he claimed the league’s highest particular person honour final 12 months.

After one of the crucial dominant begins to a season seen in current reminiscence, Cripps additionally cemented his standing as the highest Blue along with his fourth membership best-and-fairest award.

Returning to his finest as a clearance animal, Cripps averaged an elite 7.7 clearances and 28 disposals a recreation.

However Maclure is assured 27-year-old Cripps can nonetheless elevate his recreation.

“I believe he’s getting higher,” Maclure mentioned.

“I simply suppose he has truly labored out learn how to play and learn how to do it correctly and that there’s an artwork in enjoying within the midfield and successful the ball.

“Don’t overlook he’s 6’5, he isn’t a small midfielder, he’s a monster.”


There may be set to be loads of dialogue surrounding the way forward for the off-contract Tom De Koning on the Blues this season.

The thrilling 23-year-old 201cm ruck-forward looms as a sought-after signature within the AFL market.

Marc Pittonet, 26, is anticipated to be the Blues’ beginning ruckman this season, however Maclure backed De Koning to take over his put up because the No. 1 ruck this 12 months.

“De Koning …. he’ll play within the ruck I reckon,” Maclure mentioned.

“I believe Pittonet is there for use, however he isn’t a dynamic drive. He tries his finest.

“Inform me who’s the best ruckman within the competitors? Max Gawn. So he will get kicks throughout the bottom and all that form of stuff.

“De Koning can try this, however he’s not fairly as much as that normal as but along with his age and dimension and weight.

“He might need grown once more and I’m positive he would have put some weight on this 12 months and I reckon within the subsequent couple of years you will notice a extremely good participant.

“If you happen to give him the highest spot, I don’t suppose he desires to go anyplace.”


The Blues added former Dockers wingman Blake Acres throughout final 12 months’s commerce interval and the affect he could make within the midfield shall be essential early on within the season with younger gun Sam Walsh (again) sidelined.

Maclure mentioned the early-season absence of Walsh was a “large” loss for the Blues, however mentioned the acquisition of the 193cm Acres was a optimistic.

“It is going to be a very good take a look at for another person to come back in and take a job,” Maclure mentioned.

“They’ve Blake Acres who will assist. Acres is an efficient pick-up, one other tall midfielder so that may assist.

“You could have a robust midfield if you’ll win a premiership.”

Carlton has wasted little time in bringing recent blood into the workforce, naming the membership’s first two picks in final 12 months’s draft – Ollie Hollands and Lachie Cowan – to make their debuts in spherical one in opposition to Richmond.

Kennedy mentioned the younger pair “positively deserve” their early call-up.

“Ollie will carry that operating recreation to us. He’s a particularly proficient runner and can also be robust when he must be so he’ll add so much to our wing shares,” Kennedy mentioned.

“Huge ‘Cow’ is a really aggressive man and he’s been one of the crucial constant performers out on the monitor.

“They know they only should play their position. They don’t must do something particular however they’re cog within the chain.”

Initially revealed as AFL 2023 Richmnd v Carlton reside rating spherical 1 groups, suggestions, odds

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