This week, two events occurred for Carlton. On Monday night at the AGM, we saw that there are those supporters who see nothing but the blurry-eyed monster of “no hope” happening at the club. Then we saw on Wednesday a display of footy that was quite opposite – it was full of hope.
The AGM gave a voice to those who believed that the club is in a dire financial state, even if the club did make a profit. Now they are entitled to their view, but you see, at the member’s forum last year they said nothing that was in anyway positive towards the club, except that they were positive that their views were right. Now I have actually sat near these people in the past, a long time ago, and I would have to say that they are the most negative supporters I have ever witnessed. Yet what gets me is that back then, we were in the doldrums, but now, there is a renewed sense of what we and I are sure they, want to achieve, back to being great again. I can’t understand those that see the glass continually half empty, when it is should be half-full, and we saw this on Wednesday night.
Sure, the game is only a practice match, but there is no doubt that every supporter wants to see their team win, even if it is just a practice match. But for Carlton, it was vital to show the faith that a lot of supporters have had in the re-build, that 2018 will be the start of the re-climb back to the top. Without a shadow of a doubt, they did just that.
We saw so many of the seasoned players just step up that little bit more, Kreuzer, was sensational. Simmo, was just, well Simmo. Murph led and played and slotted in where he needed to be. Even Casboult looked fitter, faster and grittier, and he kicked a goal. We saw Crippa, bloody Crippa, move from the forward line to the midfield and make a mark on the game in such a significant way. Liam-bloody-Jones! There are no other words that I could even come remotely close to my view of this guy.
I love it when someone who refuses to give up on their goal to become elite in their chosen field but have just never found their “mojo” and then against all odds, against all rational, logical viewpoints, that person does a 360 and become a major player in an area that no-one foresaw. That is Liam Jones.
With Dochers out for the season, with Gibbs leaving, everyone wondered who or what was going to be the club’s new backline. No-one needed to wonder anymore. I have always said that any team, no matter what the sport, needs to have depth in their playing group. That if one is out, and that one is a major one, then there needs to be those who just step in and step up. We saw that with Marchbank. I love the way this guy plays, head down, legs running and just grabbing the ball or player and putting his body on the line.
Yet for me, the player of the game was someone who I thought needed more time – Paddy Dow. We saw a player who looked like he had been playing at an AFL level for years, instead of this one game. He didn’t allow the opposition to rattle him and his speed around the ball was brilliant to watch. His ability to kick a few goals was mouth-watering, and his attitude at losing part of a tooth, only shows that this kid plays with his heart. He loves being at the club and playing the game and you could see this at this game.
Carlton is right now, even though it was only a practice match, showing the footy world that for the past few years, this is what Bolts and the club have been refining in terms of the team. Some of the refinement was forced on them (Gibbs) and some made by calculated decisions to ensure that the club becomes great again.
I like what I saw on Wednesday and for me, the glass is more than half full, it is being slowly topped up and will become overflowing when the club shows the footy world, that Carlton is on the rise. It started on Wednesday and even though there will be setbacks, the club showed that they have known what they have been doing for the past few years and know what yet still to come. As for those that still see the club in a half-empty way, nothing is achieved by negativity. Nothing.