With every match played, with every new experience in a battle against sides that are more experienced, Carlton is showing what the other teams have to be fearful of in season 2017. On Saturday afternoon the prediction was that Carlton would lose by 10 goals, nothing less…but they did not and even though they lost by one goal, yes, one goal, the respect they gained and earned from the opposition, the media and most importantly from the supporters, is immeasurable.
The team came out from the very first bounce, fighting and scared the Sydney players to their core. Sydney had 24 shots at goal, Carlton 18 and yet we only lost by 6 points. In the top 10 leading disposals, Carlton had 7 players, Sydney 3. The top 6 players were 5 Carlton, 1 Sydney. Again, Simmo was outstanding with 34 disposals, one less than the top Josh Kennedy with 35 and 1 goal. Crippa 32 disposals, Gibbs 31, Docherty 30, Curnow 28. Carlton played again another team that were vying for premiership contention and again, they rattled their fragile egos. We saw the younger, newer players put their mark in the ranks of future greats with Silvagni kicking a goal on the run. With Charlie Curnow proving again why the number 30 guernsey is his and his alone, not what-his-name with a fantastic goal and a brilliant mark. If he had not got slightly injured, then who knows how this game would have finished. Then there is Weitering, who even the commentators believe that with more game time and more experience, he will be an incredible force on the field.
Bolts stated that for the club to be a real contender in the future, players need to step up and play through the bruises and the bumps (unless some long-term injury prevails). Kerridge went down and hurt his arm, but he still performed and worked through his bruising. Why is this important, it is because it allows a player to build up stamina and push through the pain. Because it makes good players, great and not soft players.
But more than anything in this match, I saw what I have been saying for a while, that we cannot rely solely on set-shots on goal, that we have to take our chances with the pressured goal, the goal on the run. I have stated that by taking the chance to have a shot at goal when the pressure with players from the opposition are surrounding you, will result in either a goal or not and with the continual trying this, eventually the results will speak for themselves, and they did.
The pressure, the intensity, the sheer will to get to the player or the ball, was enlightening and uplifting to watch. Because with every match they are getting better, stronger, more intensive and with that more experience in playing top sides. With the new players, the first-year players, the seasoned players, if this is what they are capable of now, imagine what will happen next season!