Now I know Carlton’s 2017 AFL campaign is over and I know that players will be delisted, trades will go on and so on. I know also that rumours, trade whispers, those that know the neighbour of the father of the best friend of the aunt of the butcher who happens to be related to the brother of a player know what is going to happen with a player are being discussed on social media and the media in general. I don’t like to speculate either way because what this does is, well, create a discussion that in reality is well, not real. I don’t like speculating on things that I really don’t know anything about. If I have an opinion, it is just that, an opinion. So, given that, here is my opinion.
On SEN this morning Ted Richards, ex-Sydney player commented on how Sydney turned their game around from an abysmal start to the season, to where they are now. He said that Sydney has a depth of players that has kept them in the hunt for a Premiership and a top 8 standing since 2005. Yet even though they have only won one Premiership in that time, they have consistently been in the top 8. He said that the culture both on and off the field is what is making Sydney such a competitive side for so long. It has also got to do with stability of both on field and off field.
Carlton has not had this stability or consistency for quite some time and it is that which is letting the club and team down insofar as top 8 influence. There are far too many supporters that want the “quick fix” given the tumultuous time the club has had in the past five years. This “quick fix” will not make Carlton a team that has the capacity to be a dominant force in the top 8 as we want them to be. This may mean that players leave and ones that are committed to not only playing for Carlton but to be part of a culture that inscribes “winners’ mentality” in their being.
This leads on to the issue of Bryce Gibbs, is he or isn’t he leaving. Carlton will not give up Gibbs unless Adelaide gives Carlton more than what they were seeking last year. He has had a breakout season this year and I personally see him as only doing better next year. Adelaide will have to really dig deep into their player coffers to get him and I don’t think, personally that they will and so he will stay for the next two years of his contract. He will not be traded to get Josh Kelly who is leaning to re-signing with GWS more than not.
Then there is the talk of Marc Murphy as captain. Trent Cotchin a few years ago was in jeopardy of losing his captaincy. He was touted as being useless and ineffectual in his role, just as Murph is being. He was seen not as captain material and so by the fans and even by the media, he was not given much kudos. This year it has all changed. Everything started falling into place at Richmond from the coaches, to the players and the captain. He is now seen as one of the major players who is a role model not only for the side but for the game itself. He is seen as a leader in a team that is defying all odds. Murph is exactly the same. The future of this role does lie in the hands of either Dochers or Crippa but they are just not ready yet. Both of these players will make great captains but they need just a little more time to get there.
Carlton will trade vigorously this trade period to achieve their goal of being a force in the competition and in season 2018, they will be making in-roads in that respect. We need, as supporters to understand that if we want to be a “Sydney” or a “Richmond” we need to ensure stability, consistency and a respect for all this entails and this takes time.
For in 2018, watch the Mighty Blues climb upwards on the ladder and we will see more of what is in this picture from this coach!