For years we have seen this team get it wrong. So horribly wrong that not less than two years ago they declared a full club reset and re- build.
From one of the proudest and most successful clubs to the bottom of the ladder with one of the worst playing lists ever assembled.
Dumped from primetime, dumped from relevance. Now two years later, 64 players have come and gone and Carlton’s well documented reset and journey is about to enter pre -season number three.
Following the release of the 2018 AFL fixture there has been uproar from members of the media condemning the AFL’s decision to grant Carlton four primetime Friday night games. A bold call – and as the league has admitted it is a risky call – but it can come with such a cost if results don’t fall their way.
Carlton has won 13 games in their past two seasons under Brendon Bolton. These are baby steps from the four wins that was season 2015 which saw the Blues feature on Friday night seven times and fail miserably by an average of 65 points each of those games.
They had only one appearance on primetime in 2017 and that resulted in a 90-point mauling at the hands of Port Adelaide at Adelaide Oval. Some argue that the Blues are not worthy of Friday night fixtures and there are more deserving teams. However, for Carlton to continue working their way back to relevance and to keep rebuilding, the Friday night games could be seen as a show of faith from the AFL that they are indeed looking after their big four.
Or is it the AFL putting the Blues on trial? Is this the AFL’s way of testing us?
Carlton fans would expect that. After drafting a plethora of young talent and developing the list and learning the new game plan, this team’s trajectory is on the up.
It will give them a chance to silence the bulk of the media and naysayers for good. It’s a big year for the Blues in more ways than just their fixtures.
The Blues have gone through another summer of fixture changes. Trading away Bryce Gibbs was probably the right call in the end but will leave a whole in the middle of the ground that the Blues would be desperate for Mathew Kennedy to come in and fill.
Armed with picks three and ten in this national draft to join the likes of Patrick Cripps, Charlie Curnow, Jacob Weitering, Sam Petrevski, Harry McKay and Jack Silvagni – the list goes on and on.
There’s young talent galore – but the club needs to develop them into the stars we know they can be.
Bolton knows the heat will be on if the performances don’t come. As does the president and the incoming CEO.
The players themselves would know that they are coming to the time where they need to take the next step in their reset.
The AFL has placed them on a platform to showcase the development and strides they are making. If it pays off and they’re ultra-competitive and maybe jag a few wins, it’s a win for the entire footy community.
It doesn’t, well, they AFL admits it was their blue and the media get ready to do what they do best.