Firstly let me say, I too am guttered, disappointed, angry, frustrated and any other platitude regarding the players’ performance on Saturday night against North Melbourne. Secondly, I knew that there would be those “blinkered” people on social media who call for the “heads” of the coach, the assistant coaches, players, board members and so forth. Thirdly, I for one don’t really understand why these people on social media think they have any clue about the reality of the team and the club and where it stands right now and where, for the past three years, it has stood. Who don’t really understand what it takes to build a team into one that is strong, dynamic and a winning one.
I read an article that was discussing the rise of the NBA team – the Philadelphia 76ers. Here’s what is basically said. The last time they had won an NBA final was in 1983, it was their third. They made it to the playoffs in 2001, but subsequently got knocked out. Their Head Coach in 2008 was fired and another, took over where he took the team to the playoffs but got knocked out. In 2009 another head coach took over, then he was fired in 2010. In 2012-2013, he was fired, the then current CEO stepped down and another coach was brought in. During that time, the majority of their senior list left the team, with only 6 original players left. They began rebuilding the club and the team from the inside out and in 2014 they had the third worst playing record of all time, even though later in the season, they did win more games than predicted, but they started off losing their first three games.
They traded, moulded, re-jigged and knew that to get them to where they wanted to be they needed consistency in their administration and the development of younger players. It has taken them five years to get to where they are today, considered to be one of the strongest clubs and teams in the NBA league. Carlton is no different; none whatsoever.
Carlton was a team that was shown the rubbish pile during the “salary cap” era. Then in a knee-jerk reaction, Brett Rattan was shown the door midway through the season. Then in another knee-jerk reaction, Mick Malthouse was hired to take over and he basically decimated the club both inside and out. We have some success, but the not the pinnacle that we wanted to attain.
Then when Bolts was brought in, he stated categorically, together with the now new administration, that it will take time to rebuild this once great club. He is now in his third year of Head Coach of the club and is doing exactly what he said we would be doing, together with SOS. We are in no different position as the Philadelphia 76ers was back in 2014, four years ago, yet we are expecting instant success. There are some that are so focussed on the past that they don’t really understand the present or the possibilities of the future.
So let me ask you all this: If, as some say, we sack the coach and bring in, as some have said Paul Roos (and that alone is ridiculous), we then have to re-start this whole re-build stage, bring in a coach who people believe he could do better and step many paces backwards and have to start all over again. How is that even logical?
Paul Roos on On The Couch stated that he would be doing exactly what Bolts is doing now and that he is the best person to coach this team and that results will be seen either later this year or next. He said that his year might be a difficult one for supporters, but in the long term, what is being done at Carlton, is the best thing for the club.
We have had too many “knee-jerk” reactions to the club on the whole which has sent the club spiraling downwards. The only and I mean the only way to get the club back in a position of success is CONSISTENCY in its coaches, administration and in the format that will teach the younger players a successful game plan. THIS TAKES TIME.
If you don’t have the ability to wait it out, to defend your club when they are, well, right now, terrible, then support another club or tear up your membership. But if you do, then you will have no right to celebrate with those that believe in what is happening at the club which will lead to eventual success.
It was terrible on Saturday night and we have every right to be angry, frustrated and disappointed, but we must support the club during this time. We cannot keep calling for “knee-jerk” reactions every time. It sends the club backward and achieves nothing except negativity and despair. We are not in a good position right now, but same as the Philadelphia 76ers, if we stick together, have belief in the processes, know that Bolts and his team are the right ones for the job in rebuilding this club, then we can continue to rebuild, regrow and regenerate a club that has had its fair share of knee-jerk reactions. No more!
Give the process time. Give the young players time. It took Philadelphia 76ers four years to get to where they are today, we are no different.
As a side note, Damian Hardwick became Head Coach in 2009 and it took him eight years to get Richmond to a Premiership.