Tonight is the first night that the footy world takes it's fast-tracked, run to the eventual finish line in October. Tonight, Cheer Squads around the country will be starting to go through their paces and assemble the banners for the kick-off of the AFLW. Last year due to ankle surgery, I was not able to attend any of the lead-up nor the matches. This year is different – I will be attending.
But this is not the reason behind this article, the reason is that tonight Carlton fans have an opportunity here to do something that has not been done wholeheartedly for quite some time – support the club completely and feel positive that 2018 will be the year that will surprise those that just don’t see the bigger picture.
The Captaincy and the Leadership team has been announced in the men’s team. Marc Murphy is again the captain and has been for the past six years. As Vice-Captains, we have Sam Docherty and Patrick Cripps. Cannot stress this enough, but those out there who want to look at this in a “half-glass empty” mentality have no idea the process. Murph was selected by HIS PEERS. That is, those in the playing group who believe that he has the ability to lead what is shaping up to be a rather dynamic, young team. Those who believed that Simmo should be in the leadership group must understand one thing. Simmo is a truly magnificent and amazing player who in his mid-thirties, can and could still offer more to the club this year and hopefully next year. He does not need to be in the leadership group to have an effect and lead the younger players both on and off the field. His mere presence and his simple ability to go about his role in the team is leadership itself. He is seeing the reality that he would have more impact by just being in the team and on the field. He is one of those players that doesn’t need the title to make this impact.
Then if you look at the Vice-Captains, being Dochers and Crippa, with the backup of Ed Curnow, The Big Krooz, ASOS, and Plowman, there is experience, passion, and knowledge in the mixture of the leaders of the group.
With the new players we have onboard and the experienced players, the incredible dynamism of this club that was, only a few years ago down in slumps, is growing practically, slowly and a resurgence in the power of the club will eventually take the AFL ladder by storm. But we, the supporters have to understand, that 2018 will be another year of steady growth, not a fast one, but a steady, meticulous growth to a team that will once again don the pages of the news world for all the right reasons.
There are those in the “social media” world who profess their undying love and support for the club but do so under the guise of supporting another one in one section of the footy world, and Carlton in the other. Who say that they are “blue-though-and-through” but then at any opportunity deride, criticise and stomp on not only the club and its administration but the players and supporters. If we want to become a great club with huge membership, then we have to support the entire club at all levels and in all sections, not just a selection.
Let the start of the AFLW season become the start of a change in Carlton supporters, let’s bloody support THE CARLTON FOOTBALL CLUB! Let’s not become the joke of the AFL when they see how divided the supporters are. Let’s cheer, yell, clap, scream and respect the club – the whole club, and that includes the men’s leadership group, the women’s team, the administration, the staff and the Cheer Squad. It will never be perfect, but it is our club and it deserves our support, because only then can we really say we were part of the journey that saw a down-trodden club rise to become a bloody magnificent one!
#BOUND BY BLUE – in EVERY SENSE!