AFL 8 months ago

They know we're coming

They know we're coming.  The infamous slogan of 2009 came off the back of 13-wins and our first finals appearance in 8 years. Brett Ratten had pulled, or rather dragged, the Blues back into relevance and gave the fans something to get excited about.  In the most part we were excited until 2012 when Ratten was sacked. That year we missed the finals.

I don't need to go over what happened after Ratten's sacking, most Carlton fans don't want to be reminded. But if we hadn't gone through the Malthouse 'experience' then we wouldn't have learnt from our mistakes.  In decades past, the club's success was largely based on its cheque book. Malthouse's tenure revealed a man whose agenda seemed to be more about settling a personal grudge with Collingwood than creating success at Carlton.

After Malthouse - even as John Barker took up as interim coach in late-2015 - Carlton has gone about rebuilding. Not just the playing list but rebuilding the culture and character of a successful, sustainable and united club.  This is something it had never done before in the modern era. It became an introspective club, one that looked at its failings, took responsibility for them and set about repairing them, building, nurturing and planning. From the outset of Bolton's appointment in 2016 we knew the next period was going to be one of change, development and most of all, patience.  And boy, have we had that all in spades!

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When Bolts’ took over, he was under no illusions of the challenges that lay before him. He knew the Blues' journey back to on-field respectability will be a long one full of "twists and turns and some bumps", but he was relishing the opportunity to "ride the rollercoaster from the front seat."


"It wasn't like I was going to take over a top-of-the-ladder team here. It was about a challenge to build something sustainable from the ground up." [1]

As a former teacher, Bolts has implemented a clear plan on creating a learning environment. He wanted everyone in Carlton’s football department to work together; he has forged strong relationships between the football department, the club’s administration staff and fans and members.

And while it’s hard to see some former Bluebaggers running out in opposition colours (and doing so well!) the pain will hopefully be short-lived. The ‘green shoots’ are beginning to blossom into something beautiful and the two pre-season wins have shown just how beautiful those blooms can become. However, it’s hard to ‘keep the lid on’ because as any diehard fan knows, the cold, harsh realities of a long home-and-away season, can quickly burst the bubble of any pre-season positivity.

Bolton and his team have set on the path to make the club whole again, to be united and achieve sustained success – on field and off. Since 2016 our slogan has been Bound by Blue. This has never more been more true heading into 2018.

Go Blues!

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