Football fans, this is how I would like to see Carlton line up for their season 2017 opening match against Richmond.
I would love to see some more youth later in the season but for Carlton’s best shot at a win first up, we’re looking at a more experienced line-up.
It should be noted that I would have had all three of Sam Petrevski-Seton, Ciaran Byrne, and Andrew Phillips in the team if they were fully fit.
FB: Dylan Buckley, Caleb Marchbank, Lachie Plowman
CHB: Sam Docherty, Jacob Weitering, Kade Simpson
C: Dale Thomas, Marc Murphy, Ed Curnow
CHF: Rhys Palmer, Levi Casboult, Jack Silvagni
FF: Mathew Wright, Harry McKay, Dennis Armfield
F: Mathew Kruezer, Patrick Cripps, Bryce Gibbs
IC: Charlie Curnow, Sam Rowe, Sam Kerridge, Billie Smedts
Emg: David Cuningham, Jarrod Pickett, Zach Fisher, Ciaran Sheehan.
I would love to see plenty of games given to Cuningham and Fisher as well as Petrevski-Seton this year. The older blokes recruited as temporary senior players like Palmer and Wright as well as the likes of Thomas will hopefully make way for them as the season progresses.
Now some notes in the questionable selections
Rowe – Kreuzer is going to need back up in the ruck. At 199cm and with Phillips out with a stress injury Rowe needs to help out here. He is also an experienced head and gives 100 per cent. Once Philips goes comes back Rowe goes out of the team.
McKay – Obviously you never want to rush the big guys but I think he is ready for a debut. It’s a wait and see what happens in the JLT series, but if he makes a good contest and clunks a few in the lead up to Round 1 gets the nod for me.
Buckley – Showed some exciting signs towards the end of last year and has trained the house down all pre-season. He has a penetrating kick and will provide lots of pressure around the ball and rebound in defence. He can play anywhere which is a big upside especially as we may need to find another avenue to score at times. Kicking efficiency is the only query here.
Thomas – I think he is on his last legs (ankle) and is lucky to start Round 1. At his best he is a dangerous outside runner. Will start the season but I can see him making way for some youth later in the season.
A word on the emergencies:
Pickett – He is an unproven performer but has so much upside that I think he is a chance to play round 1. Pace and agility to burn and can kick a goal. Can be an Eddie/Cyril type player given time. Wasn’t pick 4 at that size for nothing. May benefit from a bit of form in the VFL as he couldn’t get on the park last year.
Cuningham – Carlton will be desperate to see what he has to offer at AFL level after an injury interrupted debut season featuring only a few games. May need to wait for an injury to get his chance but a huge chance for round 1.
Fisher – If he turns it on in the JLT they may reward him with a start.
Sheehan – I think he will be elevated to the senior list this season and play quite a few games especially if he can stay on the park and find some good form in the lower grade.
Considering this is aimed at winning Round 1 rather than the best across the entire season, let me know your thoughts.