On a blowy, sunny Sunday afternoon, on the haloed turf of the MCG a rather fitting afternoon unfolded. With the grounds surrounded by men in suits talking to their lapels, people in plain clothes also talking to their lapels as they ushered in an out-going Vice-President of a country far away. As the past left the grounds, the future ran on to it. We saw what the future holds for the Carlton FC and have to say it, it was, when you think about it, a friggin awesome display of what we, the most dedicated supporters of this club, have to look forward to in season 2017.
With the youngest side being fielded against a team that was vying for top 4 position, predictions were rife about a blow-out and it very nearly was…but it didn’t happen that way. What happened was that we saw two players who were young, inexperienced in all the aspects of senior AFL games and two young players who had experience at a senior level but still needed more time, become the players that not only the club but we the true-die-hard supporters knew they would become. Friggin awesome!
We all knew that Patrick Cripps was going to be a dynamic, amazing, stunning player and for part of the season, his intensity and prowess dropped off, not on this Sunday. For what we saw in the last quarter from this player was so damn great that even those in the media could not help but award him best player points. He was stunningly quick, agile, intensive and showed what class this player has. Jacob Weitering after being moved down to the forward line, outshone and out-did what every West Coast player did not expect…he scored goals! He put the same body-crunching dynamic moves that he displays in the backline, to the forward line. He brought to the game in the last quarter something that the side had been missing for most part of the game, another player to get the ball to in the forward line and kick the goals. This is his first year at a club in a senior level. If this is his first year, with more games and more experience under his belt what can he achieve next year, the year after and so on is mind boggling!
Then there is the iconic surname legacy holder, Jack Silvagni. I have stated before that I don’t really like that sons of legends of legends has this enormous pressure to live up to what is an iconic and regal name in the AFL, but boy oh boy is he proving me wrong, and I like it! He has played three senior games so far and with every game he is getting stronger, better, faster and more agile around the grounds not only in the mid-field but in the forward line. He attempted to kick a goal on the run, something that I have said should be done more often, and even though he missed and got a point, the intensity of getting that ball in that area will eventually render the result…a goal. The more a player attempts to kick a goal on the run, the more the player will succeed because they will learn when to do it and how to do it. It is these goals that can determine whether a team will win or lose.
On that Sunday, I pulled out from the depths of my closet a Guernsey that I thought I would never wear again…the number 30! It’s once tainted aura has now been swept away by the magic of Mr Charlie Curnow! With his first game for a while after being sick, you could see in the third quarter that he was still not match fit ready, but that didn’t stop him. He not only took some great marks, applied pressure and tackled hard, but he kicked a goal. He is what the club has been missing down forward, a grungier, harder, oomph of a player who puts his body on the line to get that ball and to try and get a goal. The number 30 guernsey has been redeemed!
If you look at all of this together with those players such as Harry McKay and David Cunningham still yet to play at a senior match, under the auspicious tutelage of the magnificent Sir Kade Simpson who took a bloody brilliant mark and has shown no signs of slowing down. Together with the majestic Sam Docherty, Sammy Rowe, The Big Krooz, the wizardry of Dennis Armfield, Bryce Gibbs, the future of this club looks so damn bright, the other clubs better wear sunglasses.
On Sunday afternoon at a match that no-one thought we were any hope of winning, the team showed what the future is going to be and in the words of rapper Gizzle, “I know they wanna see me break; I know they’d rather see me fall; And that’s the very reason why; I’m a rise above it all.” As Adam Simpson said “there is nothing to be proud of this win against Carlton. They beat us in the fourth quarter”. We may not be the team that we all want them to be now, but by golly-gosh, watch out season 2017! With the experienced players, the recruits from other clubs, the newbies, in the words of the robot from an iconic 70’s show, “danger Will Robinson, danger!”