Time to sign off!

After much thought and deliberation, this will be the last posting in Sportz. The reasons are many. The realization that social media, in all its forms, has become not a voice for much that is positive but one filled with negativity and bullying.

My blog was designed to be a different voice from those rife on social media. There was never any intention to be based on how many likes, clicks or shares. It mattered not whether some agreed, as everyone has different views and opinions. However, in this regard, how people voiced their different views and opinions ranged from logical and backed by valid arguments to total and utter flamboyant rubbish that was neither logical nor backed by reasonable arguments.

The number of times I was told to “get back to the kitchen” or “I’m a female and have no clue about the game” was prolific. But that never bothered me in the slightest. What has bothered me more is those who turn on the toss of a coin when making comments about players, coaches, administrators, and so forth.

Some spout the importance of understanding the mental health of others yet are quite happy to post derogatory comments on social media directed at specific players and coaches. To go from one week to supporting them to another degrading them is a bit hypocritical.

Given the game over the weekend, you would think that we are no better than we were in the past years when we were languishing near the bottom of the bottom eight.

I was privileged enough to attend a function where Hawthorn coach Sam Mitchell and the club’s Director of Coaching spoke. It was insightful, logical and something that all supporters of every club would benefit from what they said. They put up a slide that said that in the years before the club won their first in a series of Premierships, the average age of the players was 23.7 years. When they won their first, it was 26 years. The average number of games played in that Premiership group was between 60 – 70, compared to 35-45 games.

Sam Mitchell said that to become a Premiership side, you have to have growth in your playing group to such an extent that the game becomes second nature no matter what is facing that player. This takes time and experience to teach most, not all, where he alluded to those players who are naturally born with a footy sense.

It takes time to have that mix of players that can read the game so that they become a dynamic force during the game. He should know this, being part of a four-time Premiership team. The same situation is with Voss. He knows what it will take to continually get this team to a position of dominance. Yet some want this to happen in six months, not a few years, given the instability we have gone through. These same people barrage and comment derogatory comments towards players and the club and don’t see the damage it can do to the player. To be perfectly honest, I have no respect nor care for these “commentators” who are only interested in clickbait. So it is time to walk away.

Thanks to all who followed me on this journey, but it is time to go on other journeys. I will still be a passionate Carlton member and supporter and go to most games here and interstate, win, lose or draw. But the toxic nature of social media is something I have no interest in being a part of, so it is time to sign off. At the end of July, Sportz will be no more.

So for the last time, GO BLUES!

(Photo courtesy of AFL)


Depth, depth and depth!

It has been a while since I have posted or written anything about the footy for some time because I was away travelling, spending time with one of my sons who lives in England. No amount of footy could ever equal the feeling I got after not seeing him since the pandemic, and it was so well worth it.
My first match back was the one against Fremantle, as jet lag took a big hold at the Richmond game. For the match against Freo, I was fortunate enough to watch the game at the President’s Lunch at Marvel and given the location of the seats, I could see the entire field as I usually sit on the lower level.

Before I go on about the game, I want to say that I have in the past, that I have spouted the need for a team, any team, no matter what type of sport it is, must have depth in their playing group. It must understand that the “stars” of a team should not and must not carry the said team. That if one or more go down, there will be others who may not be as outstanding as the “stars” are, but their heart and their ability and trust from the playing group and coaches will enable them to plug that hole that others have left because they are out injured. If you do not have that, you will never be a success. It may work for a while, but long term, it will only show the gaps in your squad and the reliance on a few to carry the many. The game on Saturday afternoon proved the point that I have made, even if they all gave us a scare in the first quarter.

I don’t like to name players specifically because this is a team sport, and it must be the team that garnishes the results. Sure, some stood out, and we all know who they are, but for me, those who have put their all into the game without the fanfare showing why they are an essential part of the depth this club now has.

Photo Courtesy of AFL

Gerard Wheatley said on SEN about the game, “WOW. WOW. WOW.” That he wanted to be wherever Carlton was playing. The sheer domination from the team from midway through the second quarter never let up, and it wasn’t just the “stars” that ensured this pressure; every player never gave up any time from then on. The sheer speed in which the ball went from the superb midfielders and backline stopping a sure Freo goal to our forward line was electric to witness. The speed in which players from all positions came and assisted when required showed a level of not only skill but footy knowledge that we have not seen for a long time. The game showed a level of maturity of the game itself that, while was missing when we played Richmond, was demonstrated in spades in this game.

For me, it means we are sitting with ten wins and four losses so far, but with every failure we have had, it has become a learning experience for a group of players who show not only heart but a culture that it is not them that will make the difference, but the team. This mentality was forefront on Saturday, and after the final siren, I sang my heart out because exceptional game playing got us to the thirty-one-point win.

We played against a team where a very one-sided, biased and blinded man (Ross Lyon) stated how Fremantle would destroy Carlton and its depleted back line. It is where we played against a team that, for many commentators, were prime Premiership contenders, and while they may still be, no one countered on a club that, for the most part, no one gave any hope of beating this top-four team, shows that they know little about the game itself or about the damned tenacity of a team that is getting better and better with each game, win or lose.

There are not many games left in the season, and I have always believed that it is those teams that, with every game before the bye, gain experience, learn from mistakes and come out with a renewed sense of urgency and willingness to play as a team, will ultimately succeed, after the bye. It is that team that understands that the homestretch is not far and the possibilities are there for the taking; we just have to do that.

Photo Courtesy of AFL

Gerard Wheatley said on SEN that if asked whether Carlton could win the Premiership, his reply was “Hell Yeah!” Given the way the team played on Saturday shows that we are slowly but surely making our way to that ultimate pinnacle. That with every game from now on, we have to play as we did from mid-way through the second quarter. We do that, and the rewards are endless. We have mountains to climb before we get there, but with any climb, it will be the team that will encourage, urge and support each other, and it will be the team, the depth of the team, that will allow us to get there.



Where’s the defib? Go Blues!

Photo courtesy of AFL

The game over the weekend had me going on a roller coaster ride that started off simple enough and then led to the most nerve-racking, heart-stopping, stressful ride I had been a part of for a very long time. My husband took a photo of me lying on the floor, I was exhausted mentally, and it seemed that the floor was the only place where I felt calm. After a while, I had calmed down enough to celebrate a win. Because, as said before, a win is a win, is a win.

However, this match proves what most have been saying for a while – we need to play four quarters, not blow out the first-half lead, then go missing for the rest of the game only to fight to the bitter end for a positive result. We cannot be in any finals contention if this is our mindset. Do I think that all is doom and gloom – no. In the past, we would have lost these games; instead, we fought hard to get it back to a win.

I spoke to a guy at a shop over the weekend who is a Carlton supporter, and he said that while he loved the win, he is still not 100% onboard the new Carlton. I told him that he would be correct if this was previous years, but we are not one and four, but four and one.

Yes, the wins have been hard-fought after taking the lead, but they are still wins. I do not subscribe to the notion that the state of the ladder now will be the determining factor after the bye rounds. Those clubs in the middle of the ladder are the ones who will learn more from their mistakes than those floundering at the bottom or taking a decidedly unbeatable lead.

From now and until the bye, sustaining a certain high level of playing ability takes a toll on the body of any player of any game. Those teams that fight harder to win no matter what the scores are during the match become the team that will grow in stature during a game because they will be guided and grow under the tutelage of the coaches. This will sustain them for the rest of the season. It will allow a team to spread their depth in their game over four quarters and not try and blitz an opponent all at the beginning, then fade out towards the end.

Some may not agree, but this is my view, and history has shown that a team in the position that Melbourne is in right now does not win a Premiership. It is those teams who fight during the season to get to the point where this fight for a win becomes second nature and one that sustains them in every match.

So yes, we won – just. Yes, we gave up a substantial lead. Yes, we managed to hang on. Yes, we need to play all quarters and not just a few. But yes, this will click in because if we had been one and four, the despair would creep into the players being, and they might not believe they could achieve any semblance of success. But at four and one, they do believe and will learn from this with each game played.

This weekend will be a massive test for the players, given they are playing interstate and against a team that is also in the same position we are in. The team that plays all four quarters with the same intensity throughout will win the game. I know Carlton can do it, but I will be happy with a win, no matter the margin. But I would rather not have to worry about where the nearest defib is near me while watching the game!

“We put ourselves in such a strong position. Our top level is extremely impressive. We drop our guard a bit and lose some concentration and lacked consistency. If anything, it becomes more a confirmation of what we need to keep working on. Despite putting ourselves in that position, you can’t fault the fortitude of the group. The last six minutes were extremely intense.” Michael Voss. Photo courtesy of AFL.



Three Points!

Photo courtesy of AFL

Point One: AFL

At the ten minute mark of the first quarter of the game on Sunday, I knew we wouldn’t win. The feeling emanating from that game was one of lackluster. When Crippa went out of the game, it was simply a matter of playing in a way that would stem the flow of goals from the Gold Coast and trying to ensure that we were “not blown” out of the water in that respect.

What was evident was the importance of Pitto in the center and how his absence made the midfield just a little bit shakier, and that was proven on Sunday. With Silvagni in the center and not down forward, we missed a significant body in our forward line. But given all that, I was not terribly upset about the outcome. I did not want to “burn my membership” that some have posted on social media. Given the past three games, we were expected to win that match, but I actually did not expect it. I will tell you why.

We have a new coach with new expectations and a new game plan. We have new players and have re-structured the entire football department. In the first three games, we did not play a full four quarters, and it was expected that if we did not do this in this game, we would eventually lose a game. No team in the past has won all their games from Round One and won a Premiership in that same year. Especially in the modern game.

The pressure physically and mentally takes a toll on a player and a team and cannot be sustained unbroken, unless something illegal is going on. But irrespective of that, remember this. In the past, and given what others have commentated on before this last round, we could have been sitting on one and three and not the other way round.

I want to see the team have these “shake-ups” in a game to gain the hunger for not letting it happen again. I want to see the team grow and develop so that if we do lose players such as Crippa and Pitto, we have the experience and depth to counter that. Only then can we even contemplate being a top-four team.

But the real test will come this week against Port Adelaide, who wants to prove to the AFL world that they aren’t that terrible. They have more to gain and lose than we do, and I want to see the team ensure that what we saw last game does not factor in this game.

Point Two: AFLW

Photo courtesy of Carlton FC

We are all exceedingly disappointed that Maddy Prespakis and Georgia Gee are leaving Carlton for Essendon. Given that they have been a part of Carlton since they were both respectively drafted. But the nature of the game, especially in the AFLW is that players in order to be in the peak of their game, have to look at the financial aspects of playing at this level. They are not financially as secure as the men are and so need to look at that with regards to their future contracts.

It is sad, disappointing, but what the club needs is to ensure that future players want to don the navy blue and play for that honor. Inevitably future stars could also leave but unless the AFL administration ensure that all players in the AFLW are compensated enough to enable them to continue their journey at their club and in their growth in the game, this will happen again.



Point Three: Resignation of Gil

Photo courtesy of AFL

With the resignation at the end of this year of the AFL’s CEO, the AFL Board has the prime and required opportunity to ensure that this competition both men and women’s doesn’t fall by the wayside of irrelevancy.

The AFL does not really take notice of the supporters who pay hard earned money to be a part of their team and the code itself. Yet they are still given not much of a voice. They are basically told to pay up, accept the ticketing issues, the rising cost of food and transport and sit in the stadiums to cheer your team. What the AFL administration is missing here is the point that for many, it is cheaper and better to watch the game at home where it won’t cost you over $50 just for a few bucket of chips and a drink and that is not including any alcohol or the cost of getting to the game.

The AFL Board right now has the chance to select the person who will lead the code into a new era of post-Covid and ensure that supporters and members are considered to be the equal priority alongside the players and umpires. That the code has three components that will make it a success. The players, the umpires and the supporters. Pushing the needs of one below the others will only lead to disenchantment and eventual uncaring attitude to going to the game rather than watch on TV.

There is a real opportunity here that if not dealt with accordingly will see the code become something that for a lot of supporters, not worth the financial aspect and would rather watch it on the TV.


A Win is a Win!

Photo courtesy of AFL

While walking back to the car after the game on Sunday, a family of Carlton supporters were talking about the game in front of me. One member said, ‘The team did not deserve to win.’ Another replied, ‘Yes, but they got the four points.’ The reply was, ‘Well, they did not deserve to win.’ It was difficult, but I did not say anything because in my mind, no matter what the outcome, a win is a win, is a win.

Michael Voss stated, ‘I’m glass half full, no question. We understand that we’re not the finished product. We’ve got things to work on. I’d much rather be learning with four points in the pocket than learning the other way right now. What we do have to understand is what’s real and not real. For us, the work starts again on Tuesday.’

The idea of what is a deserved win or not should not be the issue of, well, any game. If you look at this game, we would have faltered in the past and lost it towards the end, but we didn’t. Yes, we had a massive lead after the first quarter, but anyone who thinks that Hawthorn would not attempt to come back and change their game plan to suit the game’s circumstances are delusional.

Sam Mitchell has been a part of a successful club as a player for a long time. He knows what it would take to change the game around and get the players back into a goal-scoring team, and given that they had won two matches that no one thought they would win, it was inevitable that they would come back.

Carlton has been a team that has not played full four quarters for the past years, which is indicative of the eventual results of those games. Expecting this to change overnight is, well, again, delusional.

It takes time to change a mindset and get that monkey off the back, considering it had been there for a long time and no other coach could actually achieve this eradication.

In Round One, we won against a team that, for a long time, had beaten us every single time. In Round Two, we won against a team that played in last year’s Grand Final. In this round, we beat a team that is in the same boat as we are: a new coach, a new playing style and a mantra. It was always going to be a game that, in the end, would depend on how well each team fought to the very end.

Yes, we made errors. Yes, we gave up a substantial lead, and yes, we only played well in parts. But in the end, it is not the team that deserves to win because of the way they played, but the team that actually does. Does not that constitute a deserving win? Yes, we have to get better at playing four full quarters and not only two or three. Yes, we have to get better in ensuring that the game is one where across the entire game, we are consistent and have a determination that encompasses the whole time we are on the field.

Are we less deserving because we only won by one point? I don’t think so because instead of capitulating as we have done in the past, we didn’t. We deserved that win irrespective of how much we won. Regardless of the lead, we had in the first quarter, we eventually dug deep. We applied a pressure that was encapsulated by the magnificence of the saving mark by Jacob Weitering in the dying moments of the final quarter.

The team had so many great moments in the game from so many players that the message that Vossy is sending is working. Imagine when everything starts to click into place, that we play four quarters, and we do not let other teams creep their way back from a substantial lead.

We deserved that win irrespective of the score. We deserved it because since Vossy has taken over, the change in the player’s mindset is proving to be what we all knew was possible. That is, we have the talent. We have the depth, and we must now continue to learn and ensure that we play four quarters. We are learning and growing, just as Vossy said, and four points are four points.


Depth in the AFL World!

Photo courtesy of AFL

The first match of Round Two was filled with trepidation, fear, and uncertainty. This was because Carlton was going up against a previous season Premiership team finalist, the Western Bulldogs.

They lost in round one and wanted to show the footy world that they are, well, a significant contender in season 2022. With their opposition team’s senior coach out of the mix due to AFL Covid Protocols, other coaches out, two players out, the Bulldogs probably figured that Carlton would not be the same team they were against Richmond. They were wrong.

This is not the same team it was in previous seasons. Throughout the game, Carlton was tested, brought to the possibility of being on the brink of losing. They did not capitulate as they would have done in the past, and this all comes down to one thing both on the field and off – DEPTH!

One of the most significant aspects that makes a successful team is depth in their playing group and, as we have seen, depth in the coaching ranks. Carlton came up against a team that most believed would beat them soundly, given their coach would not be in the box. The depth of their coaching team was astounding. Sitting on the bench, I saw Carlton stalwart and AFLW coach Kade Simpson and watched as he advised players coming off the field. I saw how the club rallied together, came out on top, how each allowed the other to do what they did best, both on the field and off. But I also saw how a senior coach allowed those that were placed in charge of steering the game, allowing them to do just that.

This is depth! Depth from all aspects of the club and the team. It was probably one of the most impressive sights in Round Two. But I was to be proven that this, for me, was the second most inspiring sight to see in Round Two. For that came the next night.

I sat glued to my TV screen watching the game between Sydney and Geelong in Sydney. The sheer excitement emanated from the TV screen as “gobsmackingly” watching a player creep slowly towards a major achievement in the game, reaching 1000 goals in a career. The excitement brewed to a “froth” when Buddy Franklin took a mark in the fourth quarter, and on the sixth minute of the game, as he sat on 999 goals, we watched the ball sail through the air and blow apart the air in the goalposts and watched as a crowd swarmed the field.

But what was more astounding was the way Buddy handled the swarm. And what was even more impressive was how after many minutes, the call was made for spectators to please leave the field so the game could continue. Watching this as everyone (except one) respectfully left the field was something that has been talked about around the world. There was no fighting, no demonstrations, no flares, nothing—just an excited group of fans leaving the field to resume the game after celebrating an incredible achievement.

This is the depth of what the essence of this game – footy, has. A depth that permeates throughout the code and what makes it such a unique environment. I don’t suggest for one moment that this happens all the time, but when there is a need, the depth of the substance of what Aussie Rules is all about does come to the fore when needed. We also saw in an interview with Sam Docherty, how the footy world, from all team supporters, players, administrators, came together to raise money for the Peter Mac Cancer Foundation.

We saw depth at the Carlton game, and again after Buddy kicked his 1000th goal. I love this game and love what can be achieved when the word depth becomes a part of the vocabulary.



P.S The image below is one the best tweets I’ve seen in a while!

Seek validation from the club!

Photo courtesy of AFL

Without a doubt, all Carlton supporters are floating on a cloud of euphoria given the result on Thursday night and the emotion surrounding that win. Yet it seems that some on social media scan the many social media pages, watch the many footy programs and listen to the footy radio, waiting for those that comment and report will sing nothing but the praises of the team and the win.

These same people are disappointed, angry and frustrated that commentators don’t sing the club’s praises. They go down the other path of either not commenting on the game, not saying how great the game and the win were, or give the club a mediocre score on the scoreboard of how each team went after the round. I have to ask myself – why?

I don’t understand this need for some supporters to have their team validated by so-called journalists and commentators as if their positive validation will be the determination of what will mean that the club is a success.

Some are angry that a person such as Kane Cornes on Footy Classified outlined holes in Carlton’s game instead of praising how they fought back. I just got to say it – personally, who cares what he says. You do know he says it to get a reaction, nothing more. He has no legitimacy as an unbiased, intelligent footy commentator.

We all know he hates Carlton, and I should know as I am honoured (yes, I said it) and proud to be a person Mr Cornes has blocked on Twitter because I had the audacity to ask a few years ago that he justify some of his outrageous comments. He did not but just blocked me. This shows that he cannot defend his comments or views with rationale and conviction and only resorts to either blocking a person or insults.

I have no respect, no like, nor a need to listen to him, read what he writes or have any care at all. I seek no validation from an ex-player who believes he is the epitome of what a great football mind embodies. He is not. And that goes for all those in the same realm that he is in.

I will not watch footy shows to seek validation or admonishments from them just because they are on a TV screen or the radio. I, to be perfectly honest, don’t give a toss. Neither should any supporter of any club. If you seek validation about your club’s performance both on and off the field by what you see on the TV, hear on the radio, or read, you do not seek the only place where you should find it – the footy club itself. That is the only place I will watch, listen and read.

I can guarantee you that no one in a club, any club seeks out these commentators for any validation or confirmation about the team’s performance with any legitimacy and as supporters, neither should we. I don’t.
You want validation, look to the club. You want confirmation about where we are heading, look to the club. It is not worth one letter to bemoan the lack of positivity on the TV, radio, media and social media regarding Carlton.

Validation about Carlton comes from the performance the team gave on Thursday night. That is the only place to seek it out. Let the haters hate, for it matters not. Will Smith said, “Haters are the people who will broadcast your failures and whisper your success.”

“My type of validation” Photo courtesy of AFL


The real best part!

Before I say anything else, please note that this is not a break down of players, the game etc, as others do this. This page is a different view and blog of the game.

Photo courtesy of AFL

The best part of last night’s win started with the trip to getting to the MCG after being away for so long. The traffic, the parking, the anticipation of walking over the bridge to the gate. But that was not the real best part.

The best part was the roar of the crowd as the team came out and the countdown began to the start of the AFL season. The siren blasts to signify the game was about to start with the umpire raising the ball. But that was not the real best part.

The best part was not in the first quarter, where the huge crowd felt that we were heading into another loss against a foe that we had not beaten for some time. The score was where we were twenty points down, and a sense of deja vu hit us all. That was, by no means, the best part.

The best part was not the massive turnaround by a club that would have in the past capitulated and given up, to finish the second quarter being eight points up. The goal to see this going was by the incredible Mr Patrick Cripps, then another over three minutes later. Then another by a dynamic small, Corey Durdin. But that was not the real best part.

Photo courtesy of AFL

The best part was not really the third quarter, where it seemed that the third quarter jitters of the past kicked in, and Richmond came back. It was not even the goal by Harry McKay because we felt that this might be the Carlton of old.
Despite the next Carlton goal by Jack Silvagni, the lack of backline pressure to Richmond’s quick midfielders and forwards could not quell that nagging feeling that we were on the road to a loss.

The best part was not when Shai Bolton from Richmond kicked a goal in the first few minutes of the fourth quarter, and the anguish Carlton supporters felt grew deeper and deeper as we looked into once more, unable to shake off the monkey on our backs of losing to Richmond. But the best part was that we flicked off that monkey and kicked not one, not two, not even three, but seven goals to put the Tigers back into their cage.

The sheer dominance of the never giving up attitude that we saw on the field by Carlton astounded and swelled inside of us, disbelief and damn pride. The roar of the crowd when the final siren went sent chills; this is what we were waiting for, that had been missing for so long. But that was not the real best part.

The best part was not when a Carlton player who epitomizes what resilience means and a connection to a club and a team took a beautiful chest mark in the second quarter, and the crowd erupted. That was not the best part; it happened a few seconds later when a fifty-meter penalty was paid against Richmond to that very player meant that he was in direct line to try and land the ball into the big sticks.

Photo courtesy of AFL
Photo courtesy of AFL

That was the real best part when everyone in the ground watched as the ball soared through the air and cut a blanket of past illness into the distance, where the crowd didn’t erupt; it exploded. The real best part was Sam Docherty. Just that. Being a part of the crowd that witnessed this and seeing every player be so proud of what he achieved and the majority of the crowd all rise as one to celebrate this was the real best part.

Sometimes a game’s result may be all that we are celebrating, but the return of a man, who has gone through a rough ride to be on the ground for the start of a new era in season 2022, was inspiring and emotional. Because as others have said, this will go down as being a significant sporting moment. That was the real best part of the game.

Photo courtesy of AFL

Yes, we won! Yes, I have no voice! Yes, it was sweet, delicious and emotional because we have all gone down the very rocky road to get here. Yes, it is great to strut down the street wearing a Carlton top and seeing smiles from strangers and yells of “Go Blues” and the scowling from Richmond supporters.

But the real best part was knowing that a man of integrity overcame a considerable roadblock and took the crowd and supporters with him as the ball flew through the air between the big sticks. That was the real, best, bloody best part.


Photo courtesy of AFL

This time next week…

Photo courtesy of Carlton FC

This time next week, I will be getting my gear out of the cupboard, sorting what I will be taking with me and what to wear. I will take a peek at the weather app to find out if I need to take a raincoat or not. Given the sheer unpredictability of Melbourne weather, a raincoat will be packed. I will make sure that I have my digital ticket ready, along with my parking confirmation. I will make sure that I have prepared some snacks to pack and that my drink bottle will be filled with water and kept in the fridge until ready to go.

I cannot remember feeling the emotion of both sheer excitement and bloody trepidation. Is it because over the past two years, we in Victoria have been messed around in going to watch a sport that is the very lifeblood of who we are? Is it because of what our club has gone through last year and in previous years, it finally seems to all be coming together, and we are not sure what to make of that? It could be one or the other, or just both.

All I know is that right now, I am exceedingly emotional about the prospect that next week, I will be at the G watching the Blues in their new feel, new look and a new mindset. I’m not going to go over what has led us to where we are now, as it is time to draw a line in the sand, sorry the footy field and step over that to make 2022 a year that we Carlton supporters will look back with satisfaction that this time we have got it right and we have the tools to be successful.

I have missed the game that I love so very much and would make social plans around a match. I have missed the hype leading into a game, a big game, which, this time next week, it will be.

Because it is this match next week, where we have to make our mark on the game itself. We have to show that the ‘horribilis annus’ that was is no more. That we are going to be the club that we all want it to be and know it can be.

The game next week is an opportunity to show the footy world that Carlton is back and back with a vengeance that should hopefully obliterate the past years of gloom.

We must never forget this past because, in the end, what pushes us down, gives us a chance to rise again with a determination that will leave the footy world gasping for breath and feeling scared. That is what I am nervous and excited about, as I believe we have the talent to do just that. We just need the belief that we can. We need to settle our nerves and excitement and show what we can become. I need to calm my nerves and excitement.

This time next week, I will be decked out in navy blue, my flag in hand, my backpack on, hoping that when I wake up on Friday I will be unable to speak due to losing my voice chanting, screaming and singing the song that starts…we are the Navy Blues!

#TheTimeIsNow #GoBlues

Dear Mr Voss!

Photo courtesy of Carlton FC

Dear Mr Voss

Today I read in the Herald Sun an article written by Robbo. I read it with interest and gained a bit of respect for you and what you have gone through and achieved. I must say that I was impressed with your candour and your honesty.

I would have to say, Mr Voss, that I have been a bit sceptical in the past months when it comes to the progress of the Carlton FC and what transpired last year. It left me reeling as I felt that once more, the club with probably one of the richest histories in the game went down the path that it had gone down for the past ten years with regards to coaches.

I felt dismayed that what happened last year has the potential to happen again. I’m not going to mince words on this, and it is still a fear that I have and a sense of no real confidence in this respect.

However, the article has given me a small step in hoping that things have changed and that you are the person to lead this. I greatly admire those who pull themselves out from the depths of despair, admit their failings and failures, and do something about them. I have great respect and admiration for what you have achieved since you were fired from the Brisbane Lions as a coach.

You articulated what you felt and how it made you feel, but you decided not to give up and instead swallowed your pride and took on the role at Port Adelaide under Ken Hinkley. Given what Port’s players have said about you and who you were as captain of the Brisbane Lions during their three Premierships, I am starting to believe that you may be the hope that Carlton has been looking for since Brett Ratten.

Yet you will, of course, understand why I have some trepidation regarding the administrators of Carlton FC because we have gone down this path far too many times in the past ten years. I have seen social media ablaze with disturbing and insulting comments directed at previous people from Carlton and those still at the club. I have no respect for those who believe in a cause and then disregard that cause to suit their agendas.

You can understand that some cannot see past what has transpired over ten years and firmly believe that words will not satisfy unless they are backed up by action.

Over the past months, social media has been full of those who say if you disagree with what has gone on at the club or see the changes with some doubt, you are not real supporters. They have been called names and had attacks on them because of their scepticism. I am sure that you can understand, Mr Voss, how some have come to this point of whether they believe or not because you have had to pick yourself up and start again but have done so with support and action. This is what I got from the article and what has given me that slight glimmer of hope that it will be different this time.

After reading the article, I have gained some hope, and I know that you will accept that this hope comes with a bit of doubt as well. As you have done so in the past, I know that you will be fighting and showing what you can achieve by sheer tenacity, and Carlton will be great again. After reading the article and what you have gone through, your motivation to not fail again spurs you on and given your playing history, I believe that it can be done.

The excitement you are showing with every interview indicates that you will not let this opportunity fail you again. That you have learnt what went wrong and not make the same mistakes again. I have gained more respect for you from your honesty, but I am sure you will allow me to harbour a little bit of doubt.

But I congratulate you on this article and what you have done to get yourself back into a sport you love. I have the utmost respect and admiration for that, and I look forward to seeing you succeed because I believe those who come from the bottom, shake off the past and pursue success with a renewed vigour and understanding will achieve what they want. I hope you do too.

Carlton FC Member