Blues must bust a move to keep building

Josh Elliott Editor

By Josh Elliott, Josh Elliott is a Roar Editor


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Popular article! 9,890 reads

    The Carlton Blues are on the right path, but they face an active off-season that may prove difficult to navigate. Nail it, and it will be another step forward on the road to relevance.

    AFL list management series
    18 – Brisbane Lions
    17 – Gold Coast Suns
    15 – North Melbourne Kangaroos
    14 – Fremantle Dockers
    13 – Collingwood Magpies
    12 – Hawthorn Hawks
    11 – St Kilda Saints
    10 – Western Bulldogs
    9 – Melbourne Demons
    8 – Essendon Bombers
    7 – Port Adelaide Power
    6 – West Coast Eagles
    5 – Sydney Swans
    4 – GWS Giants
    3 – Geelong Cats

    2017 in short

    Much like their 2016 season, Carlton were able to record a number of rousing wins in the first half of the year, before mounting injuries and the tiring of youth made it more difficult for them to be competitive in the latter half.

    They defeated three sides that ultimately qualified for finals – Essendon, Sydney and GWS – and capped off the year with a win over Hawthorn in Round 22, which broke a streak of eight losses and saw them avoid the wooden spoon.

    The year delivered both a sense of pride and progress, while also seeing Carlton finish low enough to feature early in the draft – all things considered a commendable success.

    Stirling Coates has written a more detailed review of Carlton’s 2017 if you’re keen on that.


    Brendon Bolton has been in the job two years now and fans are ecstatic with the results he has delivered.

    While the Blues have still finished in the lower part of the ladder in both years of his tenure, there’s been a change in culture and attitude led by him, and his youth-first policy has displayed some promising talents.

    The Blues under Bolton are a hard-to-play-against team with a focus on defence, conceding the fewest points of the bottom five teams this year. This has been good for morale as it prevents blowouts and gives Carlton a certain pride in the way they play.

    Bolton clearly has great buy-in and loyalty from his players, and has been able to create a team structure that gets the best out of a limited amount of talent.

    The challenge for him in years to come will be to eventually make the leap to more attacking footy, when the Blues have enough talent on the books that they are ready to play it.

    Given his extensive experience under Alastair Clarkson, it’s reasonable to have high hopes that he will do well in this regard.

    Brendon Bolton Carlton Blues AFL 2017

    (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)


    Marc Murphy has been the leader of the Blues for a number of years now and that looks likely to remain the case.

    He might not be heralded as one of the top captains in the AFL, but is clearly the best current choice as someone who is experienced and committed to the club.

    You would expect that perhaps in two or three years he will look to hand down the title to one of the younger generation, with Patrick Cripps perhaps the most likely candidate as he’ll be coming into his prime around then.

    List management

    Carlton’s list has the talented concentrated at two ends: a group of veterans who are the core of the team, a promising troupe of youth who will one day take the reins, and a vast wasteland of unremarkable players in between.

    Kade Simpson (33), Dale Thomas, Marc Murphy (both 30), Sam Rowe (29), Bryce Gibbs, Matthew Kreuzer (both 28), Ed Curnow, Matthew Wright and Levi Casboult (all 27) make up that experienced core.

    Yet Simpson, Thomas, Rowe, Kreuzer and Casboult are all without contracts for next year, and Gibbs may once again consider his trade options.


    (AAP Image/Tracey Nearmy)

    The worst-case scenario, seeing all of them depart, would leave Murphy, Curnow and Wright making up the entirety of Carlton’s experienced leaders. The club can’t allow this to happen – that veteran core provides leadership and stability that the youth is not ready to.

    Between this group and the youth coming through, there’s essentially no reliable talent to speak of between the ages of 24 and 26, with the only shining light in this group being – and I can’t believe I’m saying it – the reinvigorated Liam Jones.

    Tellingly, seven players out of ten in this age group have come to Carlton from other clubs, and the other three have played a combined 45 games, and only three games between them in 2017.

    It represents a period of poor recruiting during the late Brett Ratten and Mick Malthouse years, where little to no lasting talent was brought in, which prompting recruiters to fill this age group with players from other clubs with – no real success.

    However as we go further down the list we can see change for the good beginning to occur – Sam Docherty (23), Lachie Plowman, Patrick Cripps (both 22), Jarrod Pickett (21), Caleb Marchbank, Charlie Curnow, David Cunningham (all 20), Jacob Weitering, Jack Silvagni, Harry McKay, Sam Petrevski-Seton and Zac Fisher (all 19).

    Carlton’s longterm backline is already largely built, with Weitering, Marchbank, Plowman and Docherty projecting to be staples of their defence for years to come.

    However and Curnow in the midfield are the genuine superstars that the team will revolve around. They both fit the mould as tall midfielders with elite traits, Curnow in particular having a valuable ability to float forward and kick goals.

    It’s the forward line and ruck where the Blues are most in need of young talent, and they’ll want to continue adding midfield depth as well.

    When this group of emerging young stars mature and become the core of the team, we will see Carlton rise up the table.

    Jacob Weitering Carlton Blues AFL 2017

    (AAP Image/Julian Smith)

    Carlton players by age
    Kade Simpson – 33yr 3mth
    Dennis Armfield – 30yr 8mth
    Dale Thomas – 30yr 2mth
    Marc Murphy – 30yr 1mth
    Alex Silvagni (R) – 29yr 11mth
    Sam Rowe – 29yr 9mth
    Simon White – 29yr 2mth
    Rhys Palmer – 28yr 6mth
    Bryce Gibbs – 28yr 5mth
    Matthew Kreuzer – 28yr 3mth
    Ed Curnow – 27yr 9mth
    Matthew Wright – 27yr 8mth
    Levi Casboult – 27yr 5mth
    Ciaran Sheehan (R) – 26yr 9mth
    Liam Jones – 26yr 6mth
    Andrew Phillips – 26yr 1mth
    Matthew Korchek (R) – 25yr 10mth
    Daniel Gorringe – 25yr 2mth
    Billie Smedts – 25yr 2mth
    Jed Lamb – 24yr 10mth
    Dylan Buckley – 24yr 5mth
    Sam Kerridge – 24yr 4mth
    Liam Sumner – 24yr
    Blaine Boekhorst – 23yr 11mth
    Sam Docherty – 23yr 10mth
    Andrew Gallucci (R) – 23yr 7mth
    Nick Graham – 23yr 2mth
    Lachie Plowman – 22yr 11mth
    Kristian Jaksch – 22yr 10mth
    Ciaran Byrne – 22yr 8mth
    Patrick Cripps – 22yr 5mth
    Jarrod Pickett – 21yr
    Caleb Marchbank – 20yr 8mth
    Jesse Glass-McCasker (R) – 20yr 7mth
    Charlie Curnow – 20yr 6mth
    David Cuningham – 20yr 4mth
    Jacob Weitering – 19yr 9mth
    Jack Silvagni – 19yr 8mth
    Harry McKay – 19yr 8mth
    Sam Petrevski-Seton – 19yr 6mth
    Cameron Polson – 19yr 5mth
    Harrison Macreadie – 19yr 4mth
    Kym LeBois (R) – 19yr 3mth
    Zac Fisher – 19yr 2mth
    Pat Kerr – 19yr
    Tom Williamson – 18yr 8mth

    Sam Petrevski-Seton AFL Carlton Blues 2017

    (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

    Carlton must start deciding which of this year’s out of contract players will make the cut for 2018, and which will not.

    Priority number one must be to re-sign David Cuningham, a first-round pick from the 2015 draft who has played 11 games and, while yet to establish himself, has certainly shown enough to keep around.

    After that, the Blues most lock down whom of their out-of-contract veterans will be staying. They can’t afford to let them all go, but may have to consider moving on some if there’s a good return on offer.

    Kade Simpson and Dale Thomas should both get new one-year deals, and perhaps Sam Rowe too if the club is confident he can recover from his ACL injury.

    Matthew Kreuzer, Levi Casboult and Bryce Gibbs (contracted until the end of 2019) will all have interested suitors. We’ll talk more about them soon.

    Sam Docherty, Marc Murphy and Jack Silvagni are the key players coming out of contract next year that the Blues should aim to re-sign sooner rather than later, but there’s no rush – one wouldn’t expect any of the three to be a serious flight risk, they all seem to be dyed-in-the-wool Carlton people.

    Jack Silvagni AFL Carlton Blues 2017

    (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media/Getty Images)

    Carlton players by contract status
    Sam Petrevski-Seton
    Jacob Weitering

    Zac Fisher
    Harrison Macreadie
    Tom Williamson

    Ciaran Byrne
    Patrick Cripps
    Charlie Curnow
    Ed Curnow
    Bryce Gibbs
    Liam Jones
    Harry McKay
    Andrew Phillips
    Jarrod Pickett

    Sam Docherty
    Pat Kerr
    Sam Kerridge
    Marc Murphy
    Rhys Palmer
    Cameron Polson
    Jack Silvagni
    Bille Smedts
    Matthew Wright

    Out of contract
    Dennis Armfield
    Blaine Boekhorst
    Dylan Buckley
    Levi Casboult
    David Cuningham
    Andrew Gallucci (R)
    Jesse Glass-McCasker (R)
    Nick Graham
    Kristian Jaksch
    Matt Korchek (R)
    Matthew Kreuzer
    Jed Lamb
    Kym Lebois (R)
    Sam Rowe
    Ciaran Sheehan (R)
    Alex Silvagni (R)
    Kade Simpson
    Liam Sumner
    Dale Thomas
    Simon White

    Daniel Gorringe
    Caleb Marchbank
    Lachie Plowman

    Sam Docherty Carlton Blues AFL 2017

    (AAP Image/Tracey Nearmy)

    Delistings and retirements

    Dennis Armfield is Carlton’s only confirmed departure.

    One would suspect however, that there will be some serious cutting to come, with Dylan Buckley, Kristian Jaksch, Liam Sumner and Simon White all surely on the chopping block, and likely a few others as well.

    Free agency

    Levi Casboult (unrestricted)
    Matthew Kreuzer (unrestricted)
    Kade Simpson (unrestricted)
    Simon White (unrestricted)

    Kade Simpson will likely re-sign with the Blues for another year, and in the event that he doesn’t it would presumably only be to retire. Simon White won’t likely get another opportunity, at Carlton or anywhere else.

    Matthew Kreuzer has a clause for another year but is yet to activate it, despite having played the requisite number of games required. Likely this is because he and Carlton will be negotiating an alternative arrangement given his excellent season – presumably a multi-year deal with a greater financial offer than the extension clause would provide.

    If the Blues wanted to find a way of bringing in as much draft capital as possible, then letting Kreuzer test the market could be one way to do it.

    If signed by another team he would likely bring in at least a second-round draft pick, which would be handy, as the Blues have already traded this year’s second-rounder to Geelong.

    It is a similar case of affairs with Levi Casboult – a valuable enough player to have around, but one for whom the Blues might get a worthwhile return if he leaves.

    Levi Casboult Carlton Blues AFL 2017 tall

    (AAP Image/Julian Smith)

    As it stands, the Blues have only one pick in the top 30 and while both Kreuzer and Casboult would be good to retain, they simply must find a way to be more involved in the draft this year.

    However, I would be looking to re-sign both Kreuzer and Casboult and instead use a Bryce Gibbs trade to get back into the draft, while proactively hitting the free agency market to sign some veteran talent from elsewhere that can cover his loss.

    Tom Rockliff is the player to look at here. He wouldn’t likely be in a premiership side at Carlton, or perhaps not even a finals one, but he could be a core player for them for several years and wouldn’t cost any trade capital.

    Consider this: Rockliff could provide at least three-quarters of the production Gibbs does, and they would not have to give up anything to get him while they would pick up a first round pick minimum from letting Gibbs go.

    Carlton have been touted as a possible destination for Jarrad McVeigh should he not get a new contract from Sydney. This would be a great move – he’d be an affordable quality addition to the team and then, from 2019 onwards, the coaching panel.

    Trade period

    As suggested above, the best move for the Blues this off-season is to trade Gibbs to Adelaide.

    Bryce Gibbs Carlton Blues AFL 2017

    (AAP Image/Joe Castro)

    For a team that is trying to draft youth and rebuild the playing list, the Blues need to have more than just the third pick overall inside the top 30, and while they may not like it, that means letting someone go.

    Of the senior players who may leave, Gibbs is the one who will get them the biggest return, and his output can be at least somewhat replaced by hitting the free agency market with cash to spend.

    Casboult and Kreuzer would net Carlton only a minor return, are not as easily replaced, and would prevent Carlton from signing any free agents of their own (as that would have an impact on compensation picks).

    At this early vantage point, it looks like Adelaide will lose both Jake Lever and Charlie Cameron this off-season. That likely nets them pick ten from Melbourne and pick 19 from Brisbane at a minimum, in addition to having their own pick in the mid-to-late teens.

    If the two clubs sit down and get on the same page there’s no reason why they should not be able to work out a deal that benefits them both this time around.

    In terms of players who could be traded into the club, Carlton have once again been linked to some out-of-contract Greater Western Sydney Giants – Josh Kelly, Devon Smith, Jacob Hopper and Matthew Kennedy.

    Josh Kelly GWS Giants AFL 2017

    (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

    If the Blues believe they’re a legitimate chance to aquire Kelly, they should move heaven and Earth to do so. He’s the only player on the market this year that they should realistically consider involving pick 3 in a trade for.

    Smith, Hopper and Kennedy would all be fine additions, but the question mark over them is what needs to be given up to make it happen.

    Pick 3 shouldn’t be budged for any of them, but the Blues’ next pick in the draft is No.38, which will be laughingly rejected by the Giants.

    If Carlton do acquire some more picks in this year’s draft via the departure of Kreuzer, Casboult or Gibbs, this is where they might come to play.

    If not, then the Blues would likely need to either downgrade pick 3 or dip into their 2018 draft picks to facilitate a trade – both very unappealing scenarios.


    First three rounds: 3, 39.

    The deal to acquire Caleb Marchbank and Jarrod Pickett last year has left Carlton a little slim on 2017 draft picks, but they do again head to the draft with an early selection.

    The biggest need on their list for mine is a key forward to partner Harry McKay in their future forward line, and the only tall player they’d consider that early this year would be Jarrod Brander.

    Brander hasn’t really settled as either a forward or a defender just yet, so the Blues will likely instead opt for a midfielder and bid their time waiting for a key forward option to present itself in the future.

    Cam Rayner will certainly be gone by this point, but any of Luke Davies-Uniacke, Paddy Dow or Adam Cerra could be a chance to join the Blues.


    There are a lot of moving parts in the off-season this year for Carlton – players who could go out, players who could come in, and all the while the need to gather more draft picks.

    To summarise, my strategy if managing the Blues this year would be to re-sign Kreuzer and Casboult, and go after a mature midfielder via free agency, with Tom Rockliff being the most appealing on the market.

    Rockliff would replace most of the output of Bryce Gibbs, who would be traded to Adelaide in order to acquire more draft capital. This could see the Blues hold three picks in the first twenty without really reducing the competitiveness of the team any great amount.


    (AAP Image/Joe Castro)

    Some of these picks might be spun off in trades with GWS, with Josh Kelly being the top priority but Devon Smith, Jacob Hopper and Matthew Kennedy all on the radar – otherwise, they are taken to the draft.

    This is a strategy that would allow the Blues to make the maximum possible investment into talented youth, without reducing too much that veteran core that is vital for providing stability and leadership.

    In a longer term sense, if Carlton continue down the path of consistently investing in youth and are able to develop and keep together their talent in a way that Brendon Bolton’s tenure so far suggests they can, it will eventually pay dividends.

    It won’t happen overnight though. All going swimmingly, I would project them to be in the mix for a return to finals after the turn of the decade, with the mid-2020s likely to be their soonest possible window for premiership contention.

    Josh Elliott
    Josh Elliott

    Josh Elliott may be The Roar's Weekend Editor, but at heart he's just a rusted-on North Melbourne tragic with a penchant for pun headlines - and also abnormal alliteration, assuredly; assuming achievability. He once finished third in a hot chilli pie eating contest. You can follow him on Twitter @JoshElliott_29 and listen to him on The Roar's AFL Podcast.

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    The Crowd Says (124)

    • Roar Guru

      August 30th 2017 @ 10:06am
      Paul Dawson said | August 30th 2017 @ 10:06am | ! Report

      There’s that much about Carlton through the season courtesy of the regular drones on this place, having another article on their list is like receiving yet another Kmart catalogue in your mailbox.

      It’s the same old collection of reasonably priced bric a brac that holds up well enough but is very much a budget offering. Hardly anything to get excited about.

      • August 30th 2017 @ 10:13am
        Liam said | August 30th 2017 @ 10:13am | ! Report

        Where as reading about the Lions is more like getting a Dimmy’s catalogue; is there even a store nearby? Thought they went out of business…

        • Roar Guru

          August 30th 2017 @ 10:26am
          Paul Dawson said | August 30th 2017 @ 10:26am | ! Report

          They didn’t, but thanks for joining the long list of absolute dullards who couldn’t look beyond my avatar as they drooled and punched out a reply with their thumbs

          • August 30th 2017 @ 11:20am
            Liam said | August 30th 2017 @ 11:20am | ! Report

            More along the lines of returning in kind, but then I’ve seen how you ‘discuss’ with people you disagree with.

            Not sure why you’d even comment on a Carlton article if you’re sick of them.

            • Roar Guru

              August 30th 2017 @ 11:28am
              Paul Dawson said | August 30th 2017 @ 11:28am | ! Report

              Because I’m a student of George Mallory’s famous aphorism

              Also, because Dalgety suggested everyone crap all over the Carlton article yesterday, given Macca the blowfly lays his droppings all over other clubs discussions. Thought I’d get in early. I’m partial to a bit of tr0lling.

              • August 30th 2017 @ 11:32am
                Macca said | August 30th 2017 @ 11:32am | ! Report

                But Dalgety suggested you discuss clubs other than Carlton, so you failed to even Tr0ll correctly.

              • Roar Guru

                August 30th 2017 @ 11:34am
                Paul Dawson said | August 30th 2017 @ 11:34am | ! Report

                Sorry, who are you again?

              • August 30th 2017 @ 11:39am
                Macca said | August 30th 2017 @ 11:39am | ! Report

                Clearly someone you care deeply about given you just admitted you are here solely for my benefit!

              • August 30th 2017 @ 11:43am
                GJ said | August 30th 2017 @ 11:43am | ! Report

                Mmmmm .. very good, looks like this thread is taking on a “Lord of the Flies” theme

              • August 30th 2017 @ 11:47am
                Macca said | August 30th 2017 @ 11:47am | ! Report

                I have the conch.

              • Roar Guru

                August 30th 2017 @ 11:52am
                Paul Dawson said | August 30th 2017 @ 11:52am | ! Report

                Anon can be Piggy, where’s my boulder

              • August 30th 2017 @ 11:52am
                GJ said | August 30th 2017 @ 11:52am | ! Report

                Are you already going for the moral high ground?

              • August 30th 2017 @ 11:53am
                GJ said | August 30th 2017 @ 11:53am | ! Report

                And then fall off a cliff? Sacrifice for the sake of the group?

              • Roar Guru

                August 30th 2017 @ 11:55am
                AdelaideDocker said | August 30th 2017 @ 11:55am | ! Report

                Ah, Lord of the Flies. The book I wrote a year 12 essay on … despite never actually reading the book.

              • Roar Guru

                August 30th 2017 @ 11:58am
                Paul Dawson said | August 30th 2017 @ 11:58am | ! Report

                Haha, no chance. I’m definitely Roger.

                AdelaideDocker is your Ralph. Fair haired, eternally optimistic, eagle-scout credentials. Born into a well-bred political family.

                I can think of no better candidate for a blue eyed child of the establishment.

              • Roar Guru

                August 30th 2017 @ 12:01pm
                Paul Dawson said | August 30th 2017 @ 12:01pm | ! Report

                Mattyb/Travis can be Sam & Eric – they are twins after all

              • August 30th 2017 @ 12:03pm
                GJ said | August 30th 2017 @ 12:03pm | ! Report

                Yes, a good comparison for AD

              • Roar Guru

                August 30th 2017 @ 12:04pm
                AdelaideDocker said | August 30th 2017 @ 12:04pm | ! Report

                Thanks …. I guess?

              • August 30th 2017 @ 12:05pm
                Mattyb said | August 30th 2017 @ 12:05pm | ! Report

                Is Eric good or bad?

              • Roar Guru

                August 30th 2017 @ 12:06pm
                Paul Dawson said | August 30th 2017 @ 12:06pm | ! Report

                Eric & Sam are at heart good kids, but easily influenced and led.

              • August 30th 2017 @ 12:13pm
                Mattyb said | August 30th 2017 @ 12:13pm | ! Report

                Ok then,im happy enough to be Eric. I’ll google them and let you know if I object but it should be ok.

              • Roar Guru

                August 30th 2017 @ 12:27pm
                Paul Dawson said | August 30th 2017 @ 12:27pm | ! Report

                I’m not quite sure what you expect me to do if it isn’t

              • August 30th 2017 @ 12:43pm
                Mattyb said | August 30th 2017 @ 12:43pm | ! Report

                It’s ok Paul,I’ve checked it out and am happy to go with samneric.

              • Roar Guru

                August 30th 2017 @ 12:52pm
                Paul Dawson said | August 30th 2017 @ 12:52pm | ! Report

                Ryan Buckland can be Simon. Writes in solitude, confronts the big existential issues from a long perspective, and is eventually beaten to the death by the group because they can’t handle the weighty revelations he wishes to share with them.

              • August 30th 2017 @ 12:57pm
                Macca said | August 30th 2017 @ 12:57pm | ! Report

                Mattyb – you do realise they aren’t casting a play – who you “are” doesn’t impact you life at all.

              • Roar Guru

                August 30th 2017 @ 12:59pm
                AdelaideDocker said | August 30th 2017 @ 12:59pm | ! Report

                Okay so…

                Ryan – Simon
                AD – Ralph
                Paul – Roger
                Matty – Eric/Sam

                Good little cast we’ve got here

              • August 30th 2017 @ 1:16pm
                Macca said | August 30th 2017 @ 1:16pm | ! Report

                Great AD – only need to fill another 29 spots and you can perform at Don’s BBQ, hopefully he will provide a pig on a spit.

              • August 30th 2017 @ 1:47pm
                Mattyb said | August 30th 2017 @ 1:47pm | ! Report

                Macca,I take casting and imagination very seriously. Like humour, people should use imagination under extremely strict guidelines.
                Would you like to live in a world where people just imagine whatever they want? Even if it doesn’t reflect them at all?

              • August 30th 2017 @ 1:48pm
                Mattyb said | August 30th 2017 @ 1:48pm | ! Report

                AD,you’ve forgotten to include Anon as piggy.

              • Roar Guru

                August 30th 2017 @ 1:56pm
                AdelaideDocker said | August 30th 2017 @ 1:56pm | ! Report

                Matty – this is what I wrote in 2015 during an essay of this very book:

                “Lord of the Flies also offer yet another symbol that is employed by Golding during the text: Piggy’s spectacles. The glasses are a representation of the intelligentsia of society, maturity, enlightenment and scientific endeavour. ”

                That doesn’t sound like Anon to me 😉

              • August 30th 2017 @ 2:05pm
                Macca said | August 30th 2017 @ 2:05pm | ! Report

                Mattyb – “use imagination under extremely strict guidelines.” And yet you live in a world of almost pure fantasy where the evil “born to rule” blues are constantly out to get you – I am starting to realise why Travis honestly thought he wasn’t you.

              • August 30th 2017 @ 2:11pm
                Mattyb said | August 30th 2017 @ 2:11pm | ! Report

                AD,I have no issues with Anons interlect,I just think he provides alternate views that often people don’t agree with,he’s actually proven correct on a fair few occasions. He also likes to sometimes quote himself when he’s right and advertise his interlect.
                He’s also not liked by the group and ridiculed. It would mean a lot to my imagination if anon was cast as piggy like Paul first suggested.

              • August 30th 2017 @ 2:13pm
                Macca said | August 30th 2017 @ 2:13pm | ! Report

                Mattyb – “It would mean a lot to my imagination” so your imagination is a separate entity with it’s own feelings? More worrying signs.

              • Roar Guru

                August 30th 2017 @ 2:18pm
                Paul Dawson said | August 30th 2017 @ 2:18pm | ! Report

                Best description I can think of for Anon is the one levelled at Mustrum Ridcully in Pratchett’s discworld novels – he had a mind like a steam engine, quite powerful but it ran on rails.

                Anon likes to root his feet and make black and white statements, with a lot of bluster and not a great deal of nuance. It’s very trumplike in the sense that it hits you initially, but break it down and it quickly loses its impact and is shown to be quite simplistic. But it’s effective because the vast majority of people just move on and don’t bother to analyse things in great depth.

                Take yesterday – he said Geelong should be forced to pay their first round pick for Ablett because radio stations still rate him as a top 5 player. So apparently 3AW’s opinion should be used to compel the AFL to breach their own rules on trading and impose sanctions on Geelong. It’s just laughable, and he rarely acknowledges fault or counter-arguments, just keeps repeating his original point or stops replying to you. He’s an effective debater against certain opposition but by and large he can be safely disregarded as a one pump chump

              • August 30th 2017 @ 2:23pm
                Macca said | August 30th 2017 @ 2:23pm | ! Report

                “likes to root his feet and make black and white statements, with a lot of bluster and not a great deal of nuance. It’s very trumplike in the sense that it hits you initially, but break it down and it quickly loses its impact and is shown to be quite simplistic.” Its why Mattyb likes him – he reminds him of himself.

              • Roar Guru

                August 30th 2017 @ 2:25pm
                Paul Dawson said | August 30th 2017 @ 2:25pm | ! Report

                I stopped listening to Matty on carlton ages ago, even if he makes good points they get lost amidst the mindless intoning of the buzzwords sad tragic born to rule etc, it’s just high farce now. Impossible to take seriously

              • August 30th 2017 @ 2:36pm
                Mattyb said | August 30th 2017 @ 2:36pm | ! Report

                Paul,you’ll be happy to know I used no buzzwords today and just stuck to three points I felt important. Maybe I took some of your advise on board.

              • Roar Guru

                August 30th 2017 @ 2:37pm
                Paul Dawson said | August 30th 2017 @ 2:37pm | ! Report

                Was that “when you’re not talking Carlton you’re very readable”?

              • August 30th 2017 @ 2:49pm
                Mattyb said | August 30th 2017 @ 2:49pm | ! Report

                No,not that part,more like what you just said now.
                It’s mostly in fun,but enough can become enough. The Carlton people sure can’t ignore it though which is funny.
                Still think my points,minus the colour havnt been far off,and as the article points out their still a long way off. They won’t just walk into finals before the list is tidied up quite a lot.

              • Roar Guru

                August 30th 2017 @ 2:55pm
                Paul Dawson said | August 30th 2017 @ 2:55pm | ! Report

                Macca is one person I have tried to avoid talking to just because it’s so frustrating – he keeps wobbling back into the ring and he always wins because he actually has a finger on all sorts of stats and data. Even if it’s not that relevant he just suffocates you with knowledge of all things Carlton.

                I don’t have any great love or loathing for Carlton but I do think success is a lot further off than they think, and they will get impatient if their rebuild starts heading the way of St Kilda. Like the Lions, they are better than they were a few years ago but they’re still garbage.

              • August 31st 2017 @ 3:24pm
                Kaniel Outis said | August 31st 2017 @ 3:24pm | ! Report

                We all know Macca works for Champion Data. Their mantra is “without stats you are just another flog with an opinion”.

                As Big Four Sticks pointed out, we also know Mattyb is actually a Carlton fan. He even admitted he loved Carlton as they were a VFL power house. He wants to see Carlton climb the ladder, if he hated them he would love them being bottom. Their lack of success cuts him to the bone.

              • August 30th 2017 @ 3:02pm
                Macca said | August 30th 2017 @ 3:02pm | ! Report

                Yeah talking to someone who is informed sure is frustrating, it stops you from just believing you are right because it’s what you think.

                As for being further away or closer – until we see what the list looks like in a couple of months who can tell – the blues could land Martin and Kelly (highly unlikely but right now still a possibility) or the could lose Gibbs and Casboult for peanuts.

              • August 30th 2017 @ 3:08pm
                Mattyb said | August 30th 2017 @ 3:08pm | ! Report

                Yeah,I think your last lines sums it up. To be honest I imagine them finishing near the bottom again next year,not neccasarily on the bottom though, and might improve slowly the next. Getting to mid table isn’t that hard but pushing on from there is a different story,as we see with Melbourne and StKilda.
                As the article points out,the older talent and younger talent has a big age difference,with not much in the middle. I’d be surprised if they all overlap for contention. As I said earlier in the year,moving Casboult would be good long term and they really should consider Gibbs.
                Again being honest,it’s way to early to make a call on SOS or Bolton but some of the hype is overkill and a concern when you consider the impatient aspect.

              • August 30th 2017 @ 3:10pm
                GJ said | August 30th 2017 @ 3:10pm | ! Report

                Dear Macca & CFC

                On behalf of Adelaide, I would like to take you up on that offer. And we want it on the record now, a very generous full bag (smallish paper bag – but fresh) of peanuts for Bryce Gibbs it is.

                Thank you, its been a pleasure doing business.

              • Roar Guru

                August 30th 2017 @ 3:10pm
                Paul Dawson said | August 30th 2017 @ 3:10pm | ! Report

                Oh come on Macca, you’re just Don Freo with a blues logo instead of a boat anchor

              • August 30th 2017 @ 3:12pm
                Macca said | August 30th 2017 @ 3:12pm | ! Report

                GJ – you’ll have to at least make it one of those bag of hot roasted peanuts where the bag ended up almost clear – none of this raw in the shell business.

              • August 30th 2017 @ 3:14pm
                Macca said | August 30th 2017 @ 3:14pm | ! Report

                PaulD – when did I last predict the blues would make finals let alone finish top 4?

                And Don hates stats – they interfere with his “opinions”

              • August 30th 2017 @ 3:27pm
                GJ said | August 30th 2017 @ 3:27pm | ! Report

                What about some lovely roasted nuts with a chilli lime seasoning? Trust me they are sensational, and a very fair trade

              • August 30th 2017 @ 3:32pm
                Macca said | August 30th 2017 @ 3:32pm | ! Report

                Hmmm GJ – They sound a bit Liam Jonesish – they have all the right components but not sure they all work together and I really don’t want to be told in a couple of years I have to shove them down back for them to work!

              • August 30th 2017 @ 4:39pm
                GJ said | August 30th 2017 @ 4:39pm | ! Report

                You won’t have to shove them back down, probably give you a mild burn on the way through though ..

              • August 30th 2017 @ 4:43pm
                Macca said | August 30th 2017 @ 4:43pm | ! Report

                Don’t like the sound of that so I’m sorry but I’ll have to play hard ball – hot roasted or he can stay!

              • August 30th 2017 @ 5:43pm
                GJ said | August 30th 2017 @ 5:43pm | ! Report

                Hot roasted it is ..!

              • August 30th 2017 @ 9:54pm
                Liam said | August 30th 2017 @ 9:54pm | ! Report

                Fair enough then, troll away my good man!

              • September 6th 2017 @ 3:00pm
                The Original Buzz said | September 6th 2017 @ 3:00pm | ! Report

                “people should use imagination under extremely strict guidelines.
                Would you like to live in a world where people just imagine whatever they want?”
                That is THE funniest comment I have ever seen on the Roar.

                Just some questions I would like answered.
                Who is going to stop me imagining anything I want?
                What are the guidelines for imagination – do amazon have a book on the guidelines?

      • August 30th 2017 @ 10:38am
        Macca said | August 30th 2017 @ 10:38am | ! Report

        Why did you read it then?

      • August 30th 2017 @ 10:21pm
        Carltonian said | August 30th 2017 @ 10:21pm | ! Report

        Brisbane supporter: not sure why you bothered commenting.

        Don’t forget the Lions got lucky at the Gabba this season against Carlton. They got the jump on the Blues, that is all.

        • Roar Guru

          August 31st 2017 @ 3:38pm
          Paul Dawson said | August 31st 2017 @ 3:38pm | ! Report

          Same as every other year you lot have come up to the Gabba. Only Mitch Robinson could become a better player at Brisbane after leaving Carlton, you all said he was junk. Carry on with your five year plan and we’ll see who climbs the greasy pole first

          • August 31st 2017 @ 3:51pm
            Macca said | August 31st 2017 @ 3:51pm | ! Report

            Carlton supporters loved Robinson just knew he didn’t have a brain in his head – who would have thought a dullard in Victoria would be considered a genius in queensland! 😉

            • Roar Guru

              August 31st 2017 @ 3:55pm
              Paul Dawson said | August 31st 2017 @ 3:55pm | ! Report

              No-one for a moment is saying he’s smart. He’s just found commitment.

              Honestly though I think him having a kid has done far more for him than any club change.

              • August 31st 2017 @ 4:42pm
                Macca said | August 31st 2017 @ 4:42pm | ! Report

                My thinking on it is that he lost the plot when Betts left (Betts seemed to be a steadying influence on Robinson and Garlett) and then when he realised how close he came to losing his career he pulled his finger out – having a child would definitely help crystalise what is important as well.

              • Roar Guru

                August 31st 2017 @ 4:43pm
                Paul Dawson said | August 31st 2017 @ 4:43pm | ! Report

                As opposed to Yarran who crystallised his career and then found Jesus

              • August 31st 2017 @ 4:50pm
                Macca said | August 31st 2017 @ 4:50pm | ! Report

                Very good!

    • Roar Guru

      August 30th 2017 @ 10:28am
      Pumping Dougie said | August 30th 2017 @ 10:28am | ! Report

      Good article Josh. Great idea focusing on the future.
      I’m not sure Carlton supporters will like your last paragraph, but the rest of your article is pretty positive and encouraging for them. I didn’t realise Kreuzer was a potential unrestricted free agent if he chooses not to activate his contract extension – he would be a great target for the Doggies to fill the ruck position while Tim English develops.

      • Editor

        August 30th 2017 @ 7:29pm
        Josh Elliott said | August 30th 2017 @ 7:29pm | ! Report

        Cheers PD. I think if anyone would be likely to bring Kreuzer in it would be the Dogs – could really use a ruckman and surely have some salary cap space to burn. English should be ready to take over just as Kreuzer is on the way out. I’d certainly ask the question.

    • Roar Guru

      August 30th 2017 @ 10:28am
      TomC said | August 30th 2017 @ 10:28am | ! Report

      I think there might be some history between Rockliff and Docherty. Josh’s logic is totally sound but I’d be surprised if Rockliff was wearing navy blue next year.

      Gibbs clearly has no problem continuing to play good footy at the Blues. One way or the other I think they should continue to hang onto him. He’s worth more than a late first rounder.

      I maintain that Carlton have been very smart in targeting former GWS players, and the signs from Marchbank and Pickett are that they’ll justify what they’ve invested in them.

      • August 30th 2017 @ 10:39am
        Macca said | August 30th 2017 @ 10:39am | ! Report

        The way Pickett developed this season has me very excited about what he could do with a full pre-season under his belt.

      • Editor

        August 30th 2017 @ 7:30pm
        Josh Elliott said | August 30th 2017 @ 7:30pm | ! Report

        Hadn’t thought of it from that angle, but you may be right Tom. If they can mature past it it would be a good fit, but inviting headaches like that into your club isn’t a good move so Carlton would want to be very confident.

    • August 30th 2017 @ 10:29am
      adammitchell said | August 30th 2017 @ 10:29am | ! Report

      I agree with all above – Bryce G’s output, whilst important for us, has been workman-like. Our line breakers, in Samo P_S, Fisher, Pickett etc… will take time to mature (despite showing amazing promise this year).

      The window mid 2020’s is off though – by then our 22 Yo’s will be 29! lol

      More likely – 2020-2022.

      Good luck SOS!

      • Editor

        August 30th 2017 @ 7:33pm
        Josh Elliott said | August 30th 2017 @ 7:33pm | ! Report

        Yep, that’s exactly why I have said as such – given there’s no middle-age talent really to speak of, to be a real flag chance the Blues will have to wait until this group of players become the experienced vets, and will need to have secured good generations of talent both in what will then be the middle and youth portions of the list. I believe that, more often that not, teams need to have a spread of talent across the length and breadth of the list that they won’t have until that occurs. Obviously there are exceptions to the rule on occasion.

    • August 30th 2017 @ 10:36am
      Dave said | August 30th 2017 @ 10:36am | ! Report

      Why would Carlton rob their forward line of a potential superstar by re-developing C.Curnow into a full time midfielder? It will just set the club back even further! With Charlie, Mckay, Silvagni & Pickett they have a good core of young forwards.. The midfield is the most pressing issue, they will use pick 3 and draft the best available mid, same again next year plus look to trade in the likes Hopper, Balic etc then target free agents from 2018 on wards.

      The blues lead eight games in the last quarter which they lost plus were ultra competitive with all the teams from 7th to 18th! A return to finals is a possibilty from 2019, can be a legitimate contender from 2020 if they continue on the current path. You should stick to writing about topics in which you have greater knowledge.

      • August 30th 2017 @ 7:26pm
        Brinnx said | August 30th 2017 @ 7:26pm | ! Report

        I agree Dave, they keep banging on about Charlie being the next Kouta – once his tank fully develops I think he can style his game around Nick Reiwolt. More value to the forward fifty than in the middle IMO.

      • Editor

        August 30th 2017 @ 7:37pm
        Josh Elliott said | August 30th 2017 @ 7:37pm | ! Report

        With Curnow’s endurance and height he’d be wasted playing solely as a forward – he mostly played as a high-half-forward this year, which is bordering on midfield as it is. I suspect he’ll spend his career splitting his time between the two.

        If the Blues progress as quickly as you suggest I’ll gladly repent my sins, but I don’t think I’m going to have to. There’s nothing wrong with the patient build.

        • August 31st 2017 @ 8:53am
          Macca said | August 31st 2017 @ 8:53am | ! Report

          I’m with Brinnx – when every day has considerably more mid fielders than key forwards why would you push a genuine key forward into the middle? Let him use his big tank to work over opponents like Nick Riewoldt used to.

          That said I can see Curnow pinch hitting in the middle which would allow Cripps to rest forward.

          • September 2nd 2017 @ 10:25am
            Zed16 said | September 2nd 2017 @ 10:25am | ! Report

            i think the wildcard we need to consider in the forward line is Patrick Kerr.

            if he develops into a genuine key forward then that would provide options for Curnow if the midfield is still struggling.

            Min you this is a projection out for 2-3 years.

    • August 30th 2017 @ 10:36am
      GJ said | August 30th 2017 @ 10:36am | ! Report

      Not sure why Adelaide wouldn’t target Rockliff and leave Gibbs where he is? The trade scenario you propose makes no sense unless Carlton are prepared to pay Rockliff a bucket load of money.

      Rockliff isn’t some metro-sexual Melbourne run home mummy’s boy, he’s a country lad with a bit grit. He could just as easily go straight to Adelaide and play a role in a team that you’d expect to continue to be involved in finals footy for the rest of his career at least. Far more appealing than moving somewhere cold and wet to finish up playing in a team that will likely occupy the same space on the ladder as the team you’re currently playing for.

      Seems like just moving for the sake of moving. And Adelaide wouldn’t have deal with Carlton at all, or give them valuable draft picks they don’t deserve.

      • Editor

        August 30th 2017 @ 7:40pm
        Josh Elliott said | August 30th 2017 @ 7:40pm | ! Report

        I suspect the key reason would be that Adelaide would much rather have Bryce Gibbs than Tom Rockliff, as any club would, but in Carlton’s case Bryce Gibbs or Tom Rockliff and two top 20 picks is another question.

        Rockliff would be moving for the financial offer, yes. Fairly certain that Brisbane are lowballing him and the Blues would not have to break the bank to make him an offer he’d accept.