Round 5 of the 2016 AFL season will be seen as a turning point for two clubs who played each other on a Sunday afternoon in WA. Fremantle vs Carlton was deemed to be a match of pivotal importance for both sides as neither had won a match so far. It was pivotal because for one team as it would be the start maybe of their meteoric rise from the being the minor-premierships of season 2015 to now winless, and for the other a kick-start for the resurgence of a club that had had a rather disruptive few years.
It was not, by no means a pretty game, but what it was, was exciting, frustrating, angry and a confusing few hours. Each team made mistakes, silly mistakes. Each team had set shots at goal and missed. Each team had the chance to change their fortunes around for the season. Only one team hung in there and showed how far they had come.
I was impressed with Carlton’s “never give up” attitude on the field, for in each quarter, they never did. Sure they made mistakes but what they did in the end was to turn those mistakes around and not dwell on the negatives but push for the positives. The club had not done this for a few years and after 4 rounds of steady growth, which the club has been showing, at the final siren, the team song rang around the ground. What impressed me the most that the team, the whole team backed each other up, helped each other and when mistakes were made did not get angry but used those emotions to fuel them to turn that mistake around.
I was impressed with players who for some supporters should not have been at the club, Daisy Thomas is one of them. Marc Murphy as Captain gave the royal finger at those who thought he was not captain material. Ciaran Bryne aware of some of his silly passes and kicks did not let that bother him and played his heart out to change that. The likes of Kerridge, Weitering, Cripps, Plowman, Little Bro Curnow shows in what hands the future the club has. Then there was Wright. He was for me outstanding on the field as he never, ever gave up. You had Sammy Rowe, who I don’t care what you think, kept Pavlich on a short leash. Then there was Liam Jones! I mean who would have thought that he would be the one to seal the win!
The club has a long way to go before it becomes a club that everyone will be talking about every week for the right reasons, but this win, when no-one thought we could win, is a step in the direction for that. Where the club becomes not a group of individuals but of a team. Where the seasoned players and the new players work together for four quarters. This game whether people realise it or not is a pivotal one in Carlton’s 2016 season. I’m not saying that we will win all matches moving forward, I’m saying that for Carlton under a new regime, it will be a stamp of what can be achieved if your whole heart is in the match. With a little more experience and senior game time for the team to work and know each other better on field, watch out…the sounds of We Are The Navy Blues will be rung more and more.
It was not a pretty match, but boy, it was a pivotal one.