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Carlton and Collingwood are moving in opposite directions

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    With 22 pieces to manoeuvre, 18 in play at one time with almost unlimited rotations permissible, on a big board used far more strategically than it once was, the performances of AFL coaches have never been more influential.

    To be good, a modern coach must devise a game plan that maximises the output of the group of players at his disposal. To be great, he must be able to reconfigure that plan as his list, and general playing strategies, change.

    All of which means the business of coach-watching has never been more interesting. And the beauty of it is we can never be sure how much the coaches’ efforts are worth.

    We can count disposals, marks, hard-ball gets, metres gained, tackles, goals scored and so on in relation to players. With the coaches, though, it’s all down to the number of ‘W’ and ‘L’ entries that accumulate next to their club’s name over some arbitrary period.

    And even with a 70 per cent win record over an extended period, a coach can still succumb. All it takes is a couple of losses on certain dates in the month of September, over a couple of seasons, when the club chiefs believed only Ws were acceptable.

    As Ross Lyon pointed out this week, there’s just one AFL coach for every 1.4 million Australians. Those who do the job enter an exclusive domain which brings good money, significant privilege, and suffocating pressure. And definitely not in that order.

    Last weekend, I saw Collingwood and Carlton lose on the MCG in what were considered winnable games. As I drove home on Sunday night, I thought about the respective coaches.

    By 5pm Saturday, Nathan Buckley was the name on every talkback caller’s lips. Clearly, he’s in deep trouble. Brendon Bolton, meanwhile, is rightly regarded as doing a brilliant job of turning Carlton into a team that can no longer be taken for granted by opponents.

    Currently, Collingwood and Carlton are on five wins each. As I thought about their respective playing lists, it occurred to me there’s not much between them.

    I’d say Carlton have the better back six, marginally better marking targets in Levi Casboult and Charlie Curnow and a better ruckman in Matthew Kreuzer. Their three best midfielders – Mark Murphy, Patrick Cripps, and Bryce Gibbs – are at least comparable with Scott Pendlebury, Steele Sidebottom, and Adam Treloar.

    Perhaps the Magpies have better mid-field depth, although some Magpie supporters are debating that right now, and maybe Jamie Elliott’s brilliance gives Collingwood’s small forward brigade a slight edge.

    Brendon Bolton Carlton Blues AFL 2017

    (AAP Image/Julian Smith)

    Yet the judgements on the two coaches are currently at either end of the scale. There are two reasons for this that I can see: one, Bolton is pointing his team north, while Buckley’s Collingwood have been on a consistent southward course over almost six seasons. During this season, the two clubs’ pathways have intersected.

    The other reason is that Bolton’s Carlton side displays a very clear game-plan, while Collingwood’s method is less discernible.

    Bolton brought sniggers pre-season when he said Carlton weren’t currently defining themselves by wins and losses. But his words have since been validated. It’s possible Carlton will win fewer games this year than last and yet have improved.

    Last year there were eight heavy defeats. This year there have been three to date. The team is becoming more competitive, although it continues to lack scoring power. By next season, there will be reasonable expectation of the coach that a solution is emerging.

    You could probably say Buckley’s Collingwood are better to watch than Carlton, based on their game styles. Bolton has the Blues playing a highly disciplined, safety-first, possession game. Collingwood’s method appears less rigid, but the Pies reached late June without suffering a heavy defeat.

    Lately, though, the cracks have begun to show. Their three worst defeats of the year have come in the last three games.

    So it is that a young coach who has never played at the highest level is on the up, while another – with the most impeccable playing pedigree – is on the rack. In the end – even though Brendon Bolton is insulated from this harsh reality for the time being – wins and losses do define a coach.

    The question is, what happens from here? Time is always on the wing.

    Carlton’s skipper, Murphy, turns 30 next week. Fellow number one draft picks, Gibbs and Kreuzer, are now in their late-20s. Kade Simpson is 33, while ‘Daisy’ Thomas might manage one more season. In the team-building business, there is never time to waste.

    The Pies’ attempts to build a team in the Buckley era now appear to have come to nothing. Alas, for a great champion of the game, time has just about run out.

    Tim Lane
    Tim Lane

    Tim Lane is one of the most respected voices in Australian sport, having gained a strong following for his weekly AFL column in The Age. Tim has also called 32 AFL/VFL grand finals and was behind the microphone for Cathy Freeman's memorable gold medal at the Sydney Olympics. You can catch him on Twitter @TimLaneSport.

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    The Crowd Says (100)

    • July 13th 2017 @ 8:06am
      GJ said | July 13th 2017 @ 8:06am | ! Report

      Interesting sentence:

      “Bolton brought sniggers pre-season when he said Carlton weren’t currently defining themselves by wins and losses. But his words have since been validated. It’s possible Carlton will win fewer games this year than last and yet have improved.”

      I had a friend who liked to go on polar expeditions. On his only trip to the Arctic and the North Pole he walked there and dragged sled behind him. He mentioned that the question people often asked about that trip was “how did you do it?”.
      In short his reply was always “1 sultana at a time”. He used to start the day by counting out bags of sultanas, 100 in each. Every 10m he would eat a sultana. Often when times got hard, weather bad, he was in pain, all he would focus on was walking the next few metres for a sultana. Every kilometre he would stop for rest, and pull out a new bag of sultanas. He repeated this every day until he reached the pole.

      My guess is taking a young team and teaching them a new plan that along with it you would set small goals, possibly individualised for each player and also some team based goals. Take away the focus purely on the scoreboard win/loss, and focus on the small wins at reviews. Build on them over time. Players can stay motivated and as team maintain morale focussing on individual and group improvement based on small goals with a plan to achieve them set out.

      The statement by Bolton makes sense to me.

      • July 13th 2017 @ 6:05pm
        Footballer said | July 13th 2017 @ 6:05pm | ! Report

        Firstly, well written article Tim. You may well have a future in this journalism caper.

        Secondly with some more decent recruiting there is no reason why the Blues won’t play finals in 18 and within a few seasons rack up that elusive sweet 17th flag.

        Thirdly, Collingwood needs a clean out, starting at the board level right down to the supporter level. There is just too many bandwagon Pies fans in and around the traps. We need to get real devoted supporting. Eddie was too obsessed with numbers and size. Eddie needs to be banished, his return of success has been abysmal. The coach needs to be run off pure and simple. A lot of players should be traded also, they are not up to standard.

    • July 13th 2017 @ 8:41am
      Pumping Dougie said | July 13th 2017 @ 8:41am | ! Report

      Seems like this article is a kick in the guts to Collingwood from an avid Carlton supporter. It’s great the rivalry between two big clubs can draw so much passion and supporter provocation when each is sitting on only 5 wins.

      In my opinion, Carlton are on the right track with their rebuild but still have a long time to go before their young nursery start to consistently flourish. Whereas with Collingwood, I think they could become relevant again very quickly (even next year) – all they need is a good coach, a dashing rebounder and another mobile, agile, competitive marking forward (not Casboult, more someone in the mould of Zaine Cordy or Tom McDonald) to support Darcy Moore.

      • July 13th 2017 @ 10:30am
        bobburra said | July 13th 2017 @ 10:30am | ! Report

        I would think that in a “rebuild” Collingwodd could do worse than getting Casboult, after all he will be out of contract at seasons end as I understand. With Carlton having McKay, Kerr, and of course Curnow, there is a possibility Casboult could leave. On the coaching side it looks more probable that Buckley will go,how about a “smokey’ in the coaching candidates in Ratten. Now that would interesting.Carlton got Mathouse from Collingwood, how about a former Carlton coach going to Collingwood? He,Ratten, has apparently has been going well at Hawthorn. Just a couple of thoughts..

        • July 13th 2017 @ 12:53pm
          Pumping Dougie said | July 13th 2017 @ 12:53pm | ! Report

          I think that after the failures of Quinten Lynch, Patrick Karnezis and Jesse white, the Pies can’t afford reputationally to try another bloke who has been around for ages without ever really doing anything. Casboult might be a better fit for Melbourne or Richmond.

      • Roar Guru

        July 13th 2017 @ 11:18am
        Col from Brissie said | July 13th 2017 @ 11:18am | ! Report

        Dougie, I would think if the Blues had another competitive tall forward and a quality midfielder they could become relevant too.

        • July 13th 2017 @ 12:50pm
          Pumping Dougie said | July 13th 2017 @ 12:50pm | ! Report

          Yeah that would definitely help, Col. I just think a lot more of Collingwood’s players are more mature in their career development than Carlton. Carlton has plenty of talented 1st – 3rd year players (more than the Pies) and a few good older players (similar to the Pies) but that mid-20’s age bracket seems to lack talent at Carlton, due to historically poor drafting. Not that the Pies have heaps either, but I think they have more than the Blues.

          But a good coach who sets a positive culture makes a big difference and you appear to have one. Bolton’s tactic of putting 8 or 9 players in the backline to limit the scoring capacity of other sides is a bit misleading though in terms of assessing how much more competitive Carlton has become.

      • July 13th 2017 @ 11:21am
        Peter the Scribe said | July 13th 2017 @ 11:21am | ! Report

        PD nice to have a reasoned comment in here from someone who’s automatic response is not just to pour hate on the Pies. Pies supporters found out after the 2010 flag just like you have found out this year with the Doggies….they would still clutch at straws to pour our hate…you are getting the old “Umpires gave you the flag” fairly pathetic response to your cup…in post 2010 we were told it was the “weakest football year in history”….I also believe our list is currently not playing anywhere near their best whereas Carlton are and that is why we are best placed to improve faster. Time will tell.

        • July 14th 2017 @ 7:32am
          Tricky said | July 14th 2017 @ 7:32am | ! Report

          “I also believe our list is currently not playing anywhere near their best whereas Carlton are and that is why we are best placed to improve faster. Time will tell.”

          Disagree; what you don’t seem to understand or refuse to acknowledge is that Nathan is a stubborn coach and is “my way or the highway” one way only type coach – google the sen interview with Ben Hart earlier in the year. It is also clear that for the most part of this season that the players are really busting a gut to execute his difficult to execute “vision”.

          The difference between a coach like Clarko, MM or Beveridge and Nathan as the successful ones use the strengths of the individuals for the teams advantage rather than demand to play a certain way. So yes we;re not playing to potential for seemingly obvious reasons

    • July 13th 2017 @ 9:04am
      Birdman said | July 13th 2017 @ 9:04am | ! Report

      it seems to me that 2016 win/loss ratios can’t be directly compared to those in 2017 given the inconsistency of teams across the league this season.

      Having said that, I’m not sure which of the two are a more valid indicator of future improvement/success.

      Purely on list I reckon the Blues just shade it but are miles in front in coaching nous.

      • July 13th 2017 @ 9:14am
        Darren said | July 13th 2017 @ 9:14am | ! Report

        Birdman – the mere fact you (and an increasingly larger group) say Blues list shades Pies speaks volumes for what the leadership changes have done at Carlton. No one was saying that at the start of the year.

    • Roar Guru

      July 13th 2017 @ 9:14am
      Paul D said | July 13th 2017 @ 9:14am | ! Report

      Even if Collingwood sack Bucks at the end of this season it’s going to take them a few years to unpick their list. Their drafting and trading has been pretty ordinary every year Bucks has been at the club. Real lack of elite talent and foot skills. Only chance I see them doing well is someone coming in with a more coalface based gameplan that doesn’t rely on being able to hit repeat targets by foot.

      Be interesting to see what the reaction is at Carlton if Bolton presides over a backwards season next year, say. I want to see them back in finals though, I never understood the visceral hatred for Carlton from all the Victorians on here but it does seem like no other club inspires hate like the Blues. So having them back in the pointy end can only be good for the game!

      • July 13th 2017 @ 11:31am
        Peter the Scribe said | July 13th 2017 @ 11:31am | ! Report

        Disagree entirely Paul D… The list doesn’t need to be unpicked. Our elite talent still have a number of years left – Pendlebury, Treloar, Sidebottom, Howe, Wells – if he can stay fit. I think if we can find a running half back (I know – don’t mention Heath Shaw) and a solid forward such as Sam Reid and the natural improvement that will come from Moore, De Goey, Maynard, Aish, Scharenberg, Smith, Phillips…Kirby, Brown and Daicos could make an impact next year even…there’s other upside too …they have Mayne for three more years too so if he can firstly make it in and secondly hold his place it will help, Keefe has potential…Cox? Not sure the big bloke will make it sadly as he is a straight kick and is a 7 foot giant..he is too slow and blows out too fast for the modern game but hopefully he proves me wrong too.

        • July 13th 2017 @ 11:47am
          Macca said | July 13th 2017 @ 11:47am | ! Report

          Peter – you keep talking up “Moore, De Goey, Maynard”

          If we Compare De Goey to Cunginham who was drafted a year later;
          De Goey – 45 games ave 18.2 disposals, 4.3 marks, 1 goal, 3 tackles
          Cuningham 9 games ave 14 disposals, 3.8 marks, 0.8 goals, 4.8 tackles

          If we compare Moore to Curnow who again was drafted a year later
          Moore – 40 games 9.9 disposals, 5.8 marks, 1.4 goals 1.9 tackles
          Curnow – 20 gmaes 13.6 disposals, 5.8 marks, 0.7 goals, 2.6 tackles

          If we compare Maynard to Williamson who was drafted 2 years later
          Maynard 44 games 17.4 disposals, 4.8 marks, 0.3 goals, 3.1 tackles
          Williamson 10 games 12.6 disposals, 3.3 marks, 0.1 goals 2.5 tackles

          I am not really sure why you thinks that these players are quality young players who will naturally improve but the blues players are unproven young talent.

          • July 13th 2017 @ 12:14pm
            Peter the Scribe said | July 13th 2017 @ 12:14pm | ! Report

            Macca, you quoting possession stats say more about the ultra defensive – let’s not get blown away style that Bolton has introduced than anything else…they mean nothing in this debate….you must stop looking at your team through rose coloured champion data glasses and look more holistically at the players.

            • Roar Guru

              July 13th 2017 @ 12:19pm
              Cat said | July 13th 2017 @ 12:19pm | ! Report

              Considering Collingwood are ranked #1 in average disposals per game in 2017 (406.2) and Carlton is ranked #15 (367.9) one would logically deduce Collingwood players should have higher disposal numbers on average.

            • July 13th 2017 @ 12:26pm
              Birdman said | July 13th 2017 @ 12:26pm | ! Report

              if there’s anyone with the rose coloured glasses on when assessing lists, it’s you PtS.

              But go on and keep the faith, it’s your club and no-one outside it cares if the Pies continue on at the current trajectory.

            • July 13th 2017 @ 1:04pm
              Macca said | July 13th 2017 @ 1:04pm | ! Report

              “you quoting possession stats say more about the ultra defensive – let’s not get blown away style that Bolton has introduced than anything else”

              Along with Cat’s observation above it is worth noting that Collingwood rank number 1 for uncontested possessions with 263.8 per game where the blues rank 16th with 224.1 per game.

              It is also worth noting that 2 of the 3 players out rank their Collingwood comparison in tackles.

        • Roar Guru

          July 13th 2017 @ 12:01pm
          Paul D said | July 13th 2017 @ 12:01pm | ! Report

          Lots of ifs buts and maybes Peter.

          Treloar needs to sheath his ego. Sidebottom will never be better than A-. Howe only just worked out he can be an elite player, huge question as to whether or not he can sustain it for a few seasons. Wells will do a hammy walking down to pick up his pay cheque.

          Moore is exhibit A in terms of players who don’t like Buckley. I remember seeing him angrily rolling his eyes and walking away from him after Bucks was trying to chat to him post-game about something in the rooms last year. He may well do better once he goes. Aish will always be soft. Mayne isn’t going to get any better.

          Hugely optimistic to think the other names you’ve mentioned are going to be a force. They could be but don’t bank on it.

          • July 14th 2017 @ 7:39am
            Tricky said | July 14th 2017 @ 7:39am | ! Report

            “Moore is exhibit A in terms of players who don’t like Buckley. I remember seeing him angrily rolling his eyes and walking away from him after Bucks was trying to chat to him post-game about something in the rooms last year”

            Yeah he could leave but I’d rather another coach he can flourish under

        • July 13th 2017 @ 12:07pm
          Darren said | July 13th 2017 @ 12:07pm | ! Report

          Welcome Peter the Scribe. Looks like you will be the Collingwood torchbearer The Roar has been lacking. Don’t we all just portray preferable futures for our own teams?
          I think what’s happened this year is general consensus has shifted from Collingwood to Carlton having the brightest future. Doesn’t mean it’s right. But given the base both teams have come from in recent years as a Pies supporter I’d be asking how did this happen (as I think many are)?

          • Roar Guru

            July 13th 2017 @ 12:12pm
            Paul D said | July 13th 2017 @ 12:12pm | ! Report

            Now we just need someone to find a Saints fan and a Melbourne fan that isn’t a fake aristocratic toff

          • July 13th 2017 @ 12:23pm
            Peter the Scribe said | July 13th 2017 @ 12:23pm | ! Report

            Darren I think Carlton are on the right track believe it or not. I just object to Carlton supporters prematurely feasting on the Eddie/Buckley/Pert/Mayne/Wells carcass and thinking the future will be dictated by your number of Rising Star noms? When your own team is sitting 5 and 10…it’s a tad early to be bring back the ghosts of arrogant Carlton when they were last a force, some 18 years ago or to be quoting stats when your team is playing a hold the footy and don’t get smashed brand. I also think all supporters of lower teams tend to think just because you have a good bunch of youngsters everything will be rosy….The Suns have proven that isn;t the case since their inception.

            • July 13th 2017 @ 12:48pm
              Kane said | July 13th 2017 @ 12:48pm | ! Report

              And just what brand of footy does Collingwood play Peter? All that club’s are doing now when they play ur mob are sitting back and waiting for the inevitable turnovers from what u call elite midfielders then take it down the other end for a goal. Pretty good brand of footy that

            • Roar Guru

              July 13th 2017 @ 12:50pm
              Cat said | July 13th 2017 @ 12:50pm | ! Report

              supporters of lower teams tend to think just because you have a good bunch of youngsters everything will be rosy

              Isn’t that exactly what you are doing with your low ranked side?

              • July 13th 2017 @ 1:27pm
                Peter the Scribe said | July 13th 2017 @ 1:27pm | ! Report

                No cat the title of this article suggest Carlton going up and Collingwood going down. AKA different directions. For a start there is 7 games to go, secondly how can you claim Carlton going up when they currently sit 16th and with a lousy %? they finished 14th last year with 7 wins and a shocking % of 79.3. They are currently 16th with not much better a %, an indication, at face value that not much has improved. My point to this article is everyone seems to acknowledge Bolton is getting the best out of your list whereas I don;t believe Collingwood is playing even close to their potential with their current list. Our % backs that up to a certain extent as a ladder based purely on % (most coaches acknowledge this tells you more about your team) has us 11th and a game out of the 8. The same % ladder has Carlton, Fremantle and Brisbane as the three worst teams this year which is a fairly accurate reflection IMHO.

              • Roar Guru

                July 13th 2017 @ 2:02pm
                Cat said | July 13th 2017 @ 2:02pm | ! Report

                2015 Carlton: 4–18 64.8%
                2016 Carlton: 7–15 79.3%
                That is a very clear upwards trajectory for Carlton

                2015 Collingwood: 10–12 106.3%
                2016 Collingwood: 9–13 95.6%
                That is a very clear downwards trajectory for Collingwood.

                At your request I will leave 2017 out because ‘there is 7 games to go’.

            • July 13th 2017 @ 12:52pm
              ken oath said | July 13th 2017 @ 12:52pm | ! Report

              I’ve had a go at you before Peter regarding other posts, but Ill give you a “like” for what you have just written.

              Like you, we defend our club, sometimes blindly.

              • July 13th 2017 @ 1:32pm
                Peter the Scribe said | July 13th 2017 @ 1:32pm | ! Report

                Ken Oath…I’ve said it before I look forward to a time when our teams play each other deep into September…it’d be spectacular. Doesn’t mean I like the Blues. I think the Malthouse years were a disaster for the Blues and I can see how everything looks rosy after that but all I’m saying to guys like Macca is wait until you’ve actually done something before sinking the fangs into the carcass of Collingwood circa 2010-2011. You can’t start your chant yet when you are 16th and a pretty lousy %.

              • July 13th 2017 @ 1:35pm
                Macca said | July 13th 2017 @ 1:35pm | ! Report

                “guys like Macca is wait until you’ve actually done something before sinking the fangs into the carcass of Collingwood” Where have I sank the fangs into Collingwood?

            • July 13th 2017 @ 12:59pm
              Pumping Dougie said | July 13th 2017 @ 12:59pm | ! Report

              Nice counter-punch PtS

            • July 13th 2017 @ 1:06pm
              Macca said | July 13th 2017 @ 1:06pm | ! Report

              “when your team is playing a hold the footy and don’t get smashed brand” and yet we rank very low for both total possessions and uncontested possessions.

            • July 13th 2017 @ 2:42pm
              Darren said | July 13th 2017 @ 2:42pm | ! Report

              I agree we (as supporters of lower teams) tend to think young kids mean our future is rosy. As Cat has stated – that applies to Collingwood too as you are a lower team.
              I can say that under Malthouse – particularly last 2 years as I admit I was deluded in the 1st year into giving him a go – I did not think that way. I thought we were a mess with not much future.

              My point is not so much about what I or you think but general consensus. It seems to have swung and right now most pundits would see Carlton’s future as brighter than Collingwood’s.

            • July 14th 2017 @ 7:41am
              Tricky said | July 14th 2017 @ 7:41am | ! Report

              “Darren I think Carlton are on the right track believe it or not.” Yep and we are not, we are full of mids a young raw forward that has no support and a revolving door back 6 and coach too stubborn to change his ways

        • July 13th 2017 @ 8:08pm
          Mark said | July 13th 2017 @ 8:08pm | ! Report

          Wells has 2 years left and will be lucky to play 20 more games. No doubt elite but he’ll be well and truly retired when Collingwood play finals again.

      • July 13th 2017 @ 4:01pm
        Horrie said | July 13th 2017 @ 4:01pm | ! Report

        Re enmity towards Carlton, there are many reasons. As a South supporter, I have no fondness. Pratt bought over a thousand SM Memberships to stack against the keep south at south crew. His price fixing fraud and other unsavory behaviour exposed by the Age was in line with the history of shady white collar types at the Blues.

        Salary Cap rorts were not unexpected.

        From a bloods viewpoint, the loss of Bedford, Rhys -Jones, Bernie Evans and Diesel still rankle.

        • Roar Guru

          July 13th 2017 @ 5:36pm
          Pumping Dougie said | July 13th 2017 @ 5:36pm | ! Report

          … those b..stards!

        • July 13th 2017 @ 6:42pm
          Darren said | July 13th 2017 @ 6:42pm | ! Report

          Anyone mention the Bloodbath?

    • July 13th 2017 @ 9:26am
      Darren said | July 13th 2017 @ 9:26am | ! Report

      Definitely big challenges ahead for Bolton and Carlton as expectations grow. 5-7 wins won’t cut it next year. So that current upward improvement trajectory needs to continue or pressure will start to come on Bolton. Buckley has carried those expectations and hasn’t delivered. I think Tim has it about right. Even with a change in coach you’d think the Pies would need to go backwards to go forwards.

    • July 13th 2017 @ 9:29am
      Tony said | July 13th 2017 @ 9:29am | ! Report

      Load of rubbish, both teams are on 5 wins only and Collingwoods list is younger. Go away Tim!!

      • July 13th 2017 @ 10:56am
        Darren said | July 13th 2017 @ 10:56am | ! Report

        Actually Tony Afl stats I can access show
        Coll: 23 yrs 319 days
        Car: 23 yrs 299 days

        Carlton is very focused on recruiting players in the right age bracket which will likely bring this avg age down next year. Pies avg age has been increasing based on list mgt past two years.

        Tony your request for Tim sounds a bit like you are trying to convince yourself it can’t be true.

        • July 13th 2017 @ 11:05am
          Macca said | July 13th 2017 @ 11:05am | ! Report

          Darren – Without checking I think if you looked at the number players below 23 for the blues it would be higher than the Pies as well.

        • July 13th 2017 @ 11:58am
          Tony said | July 13th 2017 @ 11:58am | ! Report

          Sorry I will give myself an uppercut I was wrong by 20 days !

          • July 13th 2017 @ 11:59am
            Macca said | July 13th 2017 @ 11:59am | ! Report

            Did you check the number of players under 23 Tony?

            • July 13th 2017 @ 12:22pm
              George said | July 13th 2017 @ 12:22pm | ! Report

              Players on senior list under 23:
              Blues – 17
              Pies – 13

              Lions – 23
              Suns – 18

              • July 13th 2017 @ 1:04pm
                Pumping Dougie said | July 13th 2017 @ 1:04pm | ! Report

                … and Bulldogs 23. (You’re a long way behind, boys.)

              • July 13th 2017 @ 1:07pm
                Peter the Scribe said | July 13th 2017 @ 1:07pm | ! Report

                Well George, following Carlton Macca’s formula for success it seems it will be a Brisbane v Gold Coast 2018 grand final? Wonder what Sportsbet would give me for those odds…will sell the house and get on.

              • July 13th 2017 @ 1:30pm
                Macca said | July 13th 2017 @ 1:30pm | ! Report

                ” following Carlton Macca’s formula for success” What formula is that?

                On formula’s I am still waiting to for you to explain yours as to how you are coming up with Collingwoods young players being potential elite and the blues being just young players.

              • July 13th 2017 @ 1:57pm
                George said | July 13th 2017 @ 1:57pm | ! Report

                I got 22 for Bulldogs according to footywire, still very impressive 🙂 How come Bulldogs don’t have any rookies just senior list of 45?

              • Roar Guru

                July 13th 2017 @ 3:52pm
                Pumping Dougie said | July 13th 2017 @ 3:52pm | ! Report

                You’re right George, it’s 22 under the age of 23 at the Doggies, but 23 if you include Rookie Tristan Tweedie.

                Plus another 8 blokes who are 23 or 24.

              • July 13th 2017 @ 4:01pm
                Macca said | July 13th 2017 @ 4:01pm | ! Report

                PD – “Plus another 8 blokes who are 23 or 24.” Only one of them is 23 though.

                I think you may be also be counting Roarke Smith, Mullenger-McHugh and Bradley Lynch which would make it 19 to 17

                If we go to 23 or Under it is 20 for the dogs and 21 for the blues. if we went to under 21 it is 13 for the blues and 9 for the dogs.

              • Roar Guru

                July 13th 2017 @ 4:25pm
                Pumping Dougie said | July 13th 2017 @ 4:25pm | ! Report

                I’ll take your word for it Macca. Let’s stick with U23 then. ?

              • Roar Guru

                July 14th 2017 @ 12:41am
                Dalgety Carrington said | July 14th 2017 @ 12:41am | ! Report

                Mind you, Freo’s team on the weekend had an average age of 23.18 years, while Carlton’s was a year older at 24.22 years. Freo played 12 players 23 years and under, while Carlton had 10 (or u23’s = Freo 10 to Blooz 9). 😉

              • July 14th 2017 @ 8:08am
                Macca said | July 14th 2017 @ 8:08am | ! Report

                Dalgety – the difference is Freo were young because of injuries while the blues were older because of injuries

              • Roar Guru

                July 14th 2017 @ 8:42am
                Dalgety Carrington said | July 14th 2017 @ 8:42am | ! Report

                And Freo won. 😀

              • July 14th 2017 @ 8:59am
                Macca said | July 14th 2017 @ 8:59am | ! Report

                Yep – Dalgety, the dockers scraped past the 17th placed team while the blues just lost to the 5th placed team after losing two players (including one of their best mids) before half time – definitely something to brag about.

                Also 7 of the blues 10 23 or under were 20 or under (the oldest being Curnow at 20 and 5 months), how many dockers players fitted this category?

              • Roar Guru

                July 14th 2017 @ 11:21am
                Dalgety Carrington said | July 14th 2017 @ 11:21am | ! Report

                Just stating another difference is all Macca. It’s all about age after all and Freo won against the older team (24.91 yrs), while Carlton against a younger team (Demons 23.95 yrs). 😉

                Freo had 5 players in the 19-20 yrs category, although if we’re talking future prospects you’d think this was the most volatile group in terms of longer term contributions and would have the highest attrition rate into future years.

              • July 14th 2017 @ 11:31am
                Macca said | July 14th 2017 @ 11:31am | ! Report

                “you’d think this was the most volatile group in terms of longer term contributions” – Not particularly – I don’t think you need to see much more from the Likes of Weitering, Curnow, Cuningham, Silvagni, SPS or Fisher (or Darcy for that matter) to know they are going to be very good players.

                ” It’s all about age after all and Freo won against the older team (24.91 yrs),” but age in context – the blues had more players with fewer pre-seasons, the difference between a 18, 19 20 year old and a 22- 23 year old is significantly greater than between a 22-23 year old and a 28 year old.

                Anyway I am glad Freo are back into “re-build” mode this week, hopefully it last a while before you slip back into “top 4 team” mode and then going back into “rebuild” mode, the longer you keep playing the youth the better.

          • July 13th 2017 @ 2:38pm
            Darren said | July 13th 2017 @ 2:38pm | ! Report

            I think the stat is pretty meaningless for the bulk of clubs (11) with an avg list age 23 yrs something, 6 are 24 something and one is 22 (Brisbane). West Coast (pretty much 25) and Brisbane 22 and a half is a big difference.
            You were just saying that is the difference between the two clubs – I was just pointing out you were incorrect.
            My other point is the trajectory – I think Carlton has one more year of getting younger before starting to increase avg age. Collingwood has been getting older for past 3 years (I think but can’t 100% confirm that as the tables I looked at aren’t as clear for previous 2 years) but performance is going backwards. That is a problem.

            • Roar Guru

              July 13th 2017 @ 2:48pm
              Cat said | July 13th 2017 @ 2:48pm | ! Report

              I agree the average age of total list is largely meaningless. Average age of players actually getting games would more useful. Doesn’t really matter how young or old players who can’t get games are. Every club has players they hope don’t get called on. Every club has ‘project players’ they they have no intention of playing at AFL level at the present time. Including these players in average age skews it.
              I’d say a best 22 average age would be good, but we’d never have consensus on who actually is and isn’t in any clubs best 22.

              • July 14th 2017 @ 12:19pm
                Tricky said | July 14th 2017 @ 12:19pm | ! Report

                Age stat might not mean much, but interestingly Collingwood is equal 6th most experienced on 64 games avg with port and dogs and Carlton 2nd least on 53 games avg.

                So yeah Collingwood what’s your excuse for being so abhorrent? Oh that’s right a combination of things which looks likely to be addressed at seasons end. One day at a time my beloved Pies – every day we’re 1 day closer to turning it around!

        • Roar Guru

          July 13th 2017 @ 12:11pm
          Cat said | July 13th 2017 @ 12:11pm | ! Report

          I’m curious about these ‘average age’ comparisons. What are they actually based one, the full 40 man list? The 40 man list plus rookies? Players who have played at least one AFL game for the club this year?
          Can you link me where these numbers are coming from please. Thank you.

          Average age based on team that played in Round 16 (source: footywire)
          Collingwood: 25yr 4mth
          Carlton: 24yr 8mth

          • July 13th 2017 @ 12:30pm
            Peter the Scribe said | July 13th 2017 @ 12:30pm | ! Report

            Cat!!! Praise the heavens a sensible contribution in a Collingwood article where you don’t quote Bucks 6 year record! Someone must have cleaned up your litter tray? I agree these average age quotes can be manipulated to suit any argument including your own Cat when spouting about the youngest premiership team in history with 2010 Pies. What was this based on the 22? and if so, by how many days? Does being the youngest premiership team in history even count if say your average age is 23 and 235 days and yet the 20th youngest average age is 23 and 578 days? I doubt it as players mature at different ages regardless and two or three oldies changes the average.

            • Roar Guru

              July 13th 2017 @ 12:44pm
              Cat said | July 13th 2017 @ 12:44pm | ! Report

              Funny how stats that don’t agree with your opinion, Peter, are wrong, but the ones that do are ‘correct’.
              I will agree on your point regarding age, to a degree. On its own (like every other stat) it doesn’t say much. Age really needs to be paired with games played. A 21 year old with 40 games under his belt is probably closer to being consistent than a 26 year old with 5 games played. However, that 26 year old may have a mature body and his contribution will depend on if he was a mature aged recruit who played a large number of games in a 2nd tier comp, such as the VFL, WAFL or SANFL or a kid who was drafted at 18 but has languished on a clubs list and hasn’t played much because of form or fitness issues.

          • July 13th 2017 @ 1:54pm
            Darren said | July 13th 2017 @ 1:54pm | ! Report

            Tony said age of list so that is what I quoted. Stat is from here:

            • July 13th 2017 @ 1:59pm
              Macca said | July 13th 2017 @ 1:59pm | ! Report

              Interesting Darren the blues are equal first for teenagers (11) and equal 4th last for players over 30 (2).

              Collingwood have 8 and 1

              The Bulldogs 8 and 5

              • Roar Guru

                July 13th 2017 @ 2:13pm
                Cat said | July 13th 2017 @ 2:13pm | ! Report

                Interesting list.

                Geelong 9 and 3

                Not bad for a ‘too old and window closing’ list

              • July 15th 2017 @ 9:39am
                Don Freo said | July 15th 2017 @ 9:39am | ! Report

                Collingwood has only one? That’s a young side!

            • Roar Guru

              July 13th 2017 @ 2:08pm
              Cat said | July 13th 2017 @ 2:08pm | ! Report

              Thank you Darren for the link. Just for clarification, I wasn’t having a go at your stats, just wanted some clarity of what they meant, there are so many ways to compiled ‘average age’.

              • July 13th 2017 @ 2:14pm
                Macca said | July 13th 2017 @ 2:14pm | ! Report

                CAt from the various age related comments on here it seems while on average the blues are just younger than the pies, the blues young players are younger, they have roughly the same number of players above 30 and the blues are actually playing a younger side.

                The blues average age is also declining not sure which direction the pies is going.

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