Ok Carlton, it’s time to be out with the Blues
Andrew Walker and Eddie Betts celebrate (Slattery Images)
Carlton’s enigmatic start to the season was shadowed by their mid-season lapse and lacklustre finish. You have to wonder who’s to blame for them not making the finals after a predicted top-four finish by the club.
Coach Brett Ratten is partially to blame and has paid the ultimate price, being fired by Carlton on Thursday.
Injuries have also been a major factor to Carlton’s failed season but you have to think maybe it’s the list.
Carlton have not been major players in past off-seasons, though this year could see a whole different approach to Princes Park. So who needs to go?
First cab off the rank is the exciting but disappointing ruckman Shaun Hampson, though he has been satisfying over the last two years at the Blues. Hampson’s spot in the Carlton side is under serious threat with Kreuzer holding the number one rucking spot, Casboult developing and Warnock extending his contract by three years.
Many Carlton supporters have already marked Levi Casboult as the next club star and Casboult is an already-built forward, which Hampson will not develop into. Hampson has served the Blues well but needs to go, as he is no longer needed by the club.
Hampson would definitely fit nicely in many teams, especially GWS to compliment Giles. A nice deal between GWS and Carlton could be arranged, like Hampson for a first round pick, or a 17 year old from the under 18 mini draft.
Next to go is Bret Thornton. The underrated utility has been linked to many clubs in trade weeks before but the deals just didn’t go through. Bret is now an unrestricted free agent and can leave whenever he wants. At 29 he still has a lot of football left to offer to AFL clubs.
Bret’s most likely fit will be either of the expansion sides, Port Adelaide or Fremantle as he would be a nice fit for retired Antoni Grover.
The player that many think should be in Carlton’s side is Jordan Russell. Over the last two years, Russell has struggled to recapture the form which saw him push for All-Australian selection in 2009. Russell has become somewhat of a Northern Blues regular, only playing seven matches this season.
Russell is also an unrestricted free agent, which can see him leave at any time. Russell would be linked to many clubs as he is not a dud, he just needs a fresh start.
Kane Lucas is another set to leave , drafted back in 2009 at Pick 12 in the national draft. Lucas has been starved of opportunities playing, 18 games in three seasons. Lucas looks certain to move, as he just isn’t needed in the high profile midfield at Carlton. Lucas is from Western Australia, could be a real chance to return home.
Paul Bower and David Ellard are in similar situations, neither are ‘stylish’ players and are known for their inconsistency and lack of opportunities. Both look certain delistings at season’s end.
Bower faced the knife last year but at the last minute was held onto – a decision Carlton would rather forget. Both would be suitable candidates as mature-aged rookies.
Of the rest Rohan Kerr, Rhys O’Keefe and Nick Heyne have been in the system long enough and will most likely all be thanked for their service and make way for new arrivals.
Who leaves your club?
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