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2023: A review

With our season over, disappointingly, we will now have to turn our attention to 2024. In the immortal words of Arnold Schwarzenegger (and general Douglas McArthur), 'we will be back'!

It is now time to digest what we've achieved and where we've failed.
[1] Considering that we were 15th not that long ago, with some of the worst losses we've endured in recent times, getting to 3rd was an amazing achievement. Teams feared us (at last!) and they needed to.

[2] Michael Voss has lost his Preliminary Final. I'm sorry we couldn't do it for him, but we have done things in the last couple of months that looked impossible halfway through the season.

[3] We turned the worst forward line in the competition into one that didn't just have 2 towers.

[4] We haven't really played that well for some time, but we still kept on winning. That wasn't a fluke: that has hard work and belief.

I'll have more to say when I get over the loss.
Live Long and Prosper!

Re: 2023: A review

Reply #1
Started at a funeral, ended at a party.

Clearly a season of contrasting halves. The club will be perfectly aware that they cannot rest or stand still or think the job is done. 17 other teams will strive to evolve and improve, and we must do the same, in what is essentially an AFL arms race.

Some fantastic efforts in that second half of the season, and surely some luck as well - but the latter is necessary for any team that goes all the way.

I was happy that most of the usual injury suspects managed to stay on the park, happy that we got the media off of our case for a change, happy with the performance of many individuals, concerned with the form of a couple.

Definitely a successful season, but now that expectations have been raised, the pressure is on and the fun really starts.

Well done to all at the CFC.

Re: 2023: A review

Reply #2
Started at a funeral, ended at a party.

Clearly a season of contrasting halves. The club will be perfectly aware that they cannot rest or stand still or think the job is done. 17 other teams will strive to evolve and improve, and we must do the same, in what is essentially an AFL arms race.

Some fantastic efforts in that second half of the season, and surely some luck as well - but the latter is necessary for any team that goes all the way.

I was happy that most of the usual injury suspects managed to stay on the park, happy that we got the media off of our case for a change, happy with the performance of many individuals, concerned with the form of a couple.

Definitely a successful season, but now that expectations have been raised, the pressure is on and the fun really starts.

Well done to all at the CFC.
Spot on Pauly, Ill just add and say that as Fly said in his presser the other night, building up to a GF appearance takes 2 years. Year one is complete, based on the elements you describe above and the drive the players will get from the disappointing end to this year, next year just has to be top 4 and a GF appearance. If you had have told me earlier this year we would have finished the year in a PF 17 points away from a GF I would have laughed, yet here we are.
2017-16th
2018-Wooden Spoon
2019-16th
2020-dare to dream? 11th is better than last I suppose
2021-Pi$$ or get off the pot
2022- Real Deal or more of the same? 0.6%
2023- "Raise the Standard" - M. Voss Another year wasted Bar Set
2024-Back to the drawing boardNo excuses, its time

Re: 2023: A review

Reply #3
I am sad for the missed opportunity but happy with the season recovery. If I had some say in how the board at the club operates I would demand Cook calls Voss into the office. I would have him ask what do you need from the board, coaching staff, medics, players, recruiting etc. You have the club in your hands. You tell us what you want and need for the next 2 seasons and I will see you get it.

Your job is to review all the players efforts and performances. We will review everything else and strive to be more unified at every level of the club and get the long term sustained results other clubs have achieved. We can’t expect a good result next season based on this season. We need to eliminate losses that repeat for 2, 3 or 4 games in a row. That is not a result of a true successful club. This is the foundation we have created. Now we build on it to be better. Not just next season, but every season to come. That is when multiple flags happen. Take a rest for ow, but the plan for the future is ready to begin soon. “If you fail to plan, you actually plan to fail”. Start on the new plan and get to work.

Cerra and Acres are two examples of players I thought were good at best, but lazy too often in the past. The roll up the sleeves and do the hard work was not in their DNA, rather than look fancy when they feel like it and let other players do the real work. I apologise for any original comments about my expectations with these players when they played for other clubs. They have leadership written all over their paperwork now. Sure they have quiet moments but they have got us out of trouble more often than not. Just like Saad. Find us a couple of fast by foot, ball carriers one in the middle of the ground and one more rebounding defender and a couple of potential small forwards with evasive abilities and we are well on the way to being a super threat. A special-k type ruck might be a good future project if there is something in the system or available to mature in the next few seasons. They take time to develop. So a junior project is a perfect start for the future.

I would like us to keep TDK as a part time ruck that can swing forward as a target or be an extra tall defender. That damaging utility that is hard to find. He just needs to keep working on getting bigger and stronger and keeping his feet. He is one that has the tools but chooses when to do what needs to be done. When he is hot, he looks like the real deal. Maybe it is a maturity thing. Maybe Voss can teach him how to be consistent.
This digital world is too much for us insects to understand.

Re: 2023: A review

Reply #4
One of the most remarkable efforts from a Carlton side to turn a season around.
Even our wins in early games were lacklustre.
It wasn't until the switch was flicked and we charged home that we started to meet pre-season expectations.

Here's the concern though...
The nature of that recovery and the finshing position has left many supporters with a bit of a warm fuzzy feeling about the future.
There's a sense of satisfaction that we've done so well, and that's eased the hurt to some extent.
The media are telling us we should be happy how well we finished, and it's all positive for next year...not a lot needs to change.

How are the players feeling?
Naturally there will be a level of hurt and disappointment, but given the run, the injuries and exhuastion at the end, has the loss bit hard, or do they perhaps (even subconsciously) share the supporter feelings that we've done very well from the position we were at mid year?
They're entitled to believe that but, it's left us in a somewhat different position to a side that has been badly burnt and shamed in a finals campaign.
That's a side that looks for redemption.
We have nothing to redeem.
We've lost, but we've been solid.
We can't know the level of hurt internally, but there is one thing that we need to see, a much better and full on effort from the start of season 2024.

Re: 2023: A review

Reply #5
How are the players feeling?
Naturally there will be a level of hurt and disappointment, but given the run, the injuries and exhuastion at the end, has the loss bit hard, or do they perhaps (even subconsciously) share the supporter feelings that we've done very well from the position we were at mid year?
They're entitled to believe that but, it's left us in a somewhat different position to a side that has been badly burnt and shamed in a finals campaign.
That's a side that looks for redemption.
We have nothing to redeem.
We've lost, but we've been solid.
We can't know the level of hurt internally, but there is one thing that we need to see, a much better and full on effort from the start of season 2024.
@Lods there won't be any warm and fuzzy feelings amongst the playing group, that's a fan perspective.

I've been involved with state level sport and even won some state titles over the years, I know you've had a long involvement with athletics, have you every known top level sportspeople or teams to be satisfied with going close?

In my experience falling at the last hurdle just makes people who are already driven and capable to get to the highest levels, even more driven! The most important thing is to learn from the failure and sharpen your focus on the things that are needed.

I noted a couple of things;

 - Despite playing in big games, we still panicked in the finals, we need to address that ability to remain calm, cold and focussed on the biggest stages.

 - At the pointy end of the season revenge is a dish best served cold, when you get there act like you've been there before and you belong there! That mindset is every bit as important as any other visualisation routine.

 - We must never drop our heads, and it is everybody's responsibility to lift those around them, even the fans. Never point the finger. Those moments last Saturday when we(fans) went quiet as a crowd impacts the team, that silence is a virtual finger point. When the going gets tough we need to get louder not shrink into silent dread. The Filth do that better than any other supporter base, aren't we up to it? Remember the theme "Stronger Tougher", it means something, stick fat with your team, lift them with your voice!

 - I suspect it was no accident McKay and Cripps stood up, I believe they both study some psychology on the side, they know how to set themselves into the right mindset. Think of the improvement in McKay after the events of the 1st final, that 1st final game could well break uniformed players, remember Nick Riewoldt was never the same after cooking it on the biggest stage, but instead McKay rose to the occasion.

 - Be prepared to play your part, to let others succeed and to let them help you to succeed, you can't do it all yourself.
The Force Awakens!

Re: 2023: A review

Reply #6
@Lods there won't be any warm and fuzzy feelings amongst the playing group, that's a fan perspective.

I've been involved with state level sport and even won some state titles over the years, I know you've had a long involvement with athletics, have you every known top level sportspeople or teams to be satisfied with going close?

In my experience falling at the last hurdle just makes people who are already driven and capable to get to the highest levels, even more driven! The most important thing is to learn from the failure and sharpen your focus on the things that are needed.

What you say is generally true.
I'm sure our players are hurting...
Is the hurt as much as at the end of last season when we missed the finals?
We missed out last year, but I suspect we thought it would just roll over and we were 2023 finalists for sure, which may have contributed to the sluggish start.
I guess what I'm alluding to is levels of disappointment.

If you've given your absolute best, even exceeded, expectations, and just run into a superior opponent at the end you can walk away with a positive feeling, even in defeat.
You're confident that with a bit of improvement you can take the next step.
There's disappointment there, but at the end of the game you group together and make a commitment to go that next step, next season.

Contrast that with a side who has fallen short of expectations, maybe even embarrassed themselves. This is a side that feels that they've been beaten by an inferior side.
They leave the field shattered at what might have been.
Knowing that at their best they should have won.
Think a side like Melbourne, and the 'dead' bodies all over the field at the end of their last game.

Where's the greater hurt?
Where is the need for redemption?
Where is the motivation for improvement greatest?
Now it may be that history repeats, and a side like Melbourne has run its race, and we're just at the starting gates.

The danger for us is believing that we'll be there for sure next year, because that's when it can come undone.
And that's a challenge for the coaching staff in the off-season.


Re: 2023: A review

Reply #7
The danger for us is believing that we'll be there for sure next year, because that's when it can come undone.
And that's a challenge for the coaching staff in the off-season.
I think there are bigger short term worries for our club, worries exposed by recent history.

 - The first is what the AFL do to the draft and trade in the lead-in to Tasmania, we feel secure as a list at the moment, but that can change in a heartbeat!

 - The second, is what rules and regulations the AFL "touch up" between now and the start of the 2024 season. What changes are likely, who will they benefit, and how smoothly they will be implemented. It's almost a certainty the Scott brothers will complain their way into some changes that benefit Dad's Army and CheatsFC. I've heard rumours about possible ruck rule changes, born out of the scarcity of ultra mobile rucks some clubs are experiencing. And with the changes in tackling and focus on head high contact you just never know what might come about, but the weird about face of the finals exposed in a lack of free kicks seems to suggest the status quo.

Hands down, the biggest influence on the fate of any club is the AFL, it's procedures and policies, but I have faith that Cook will be across any changes.
The Force Awakens!

Re: 2023: A review

Reply #8
A couple of years overdue but finally got there.
It's amazing what a healthy list does to a team.

Expectations met " We don't want to make up the numbers - we want to impact" and did exactly that.

I actually think this list is more than good enough to win a flag - a couple of additions to the squad will help. Zac Williams is a classy player and his foot skills will be a welcome return.

Bit more class in the forward half.

Top two next year lads.

Re: 2023: A review

Reply #9
We can be confident that we can take on all comers now.

Thats my takeaway.  Bring the effort we can beat anyone.

Our teams issues has been as much above the shoulders as it has been ability.  Now they can believe we belong that's the anyone anywhere any time catalyst.
"everything you know is wrong"

Paul Hewson

Re: 2023: A review

Reply #10
i am rapt we played finals and won a couple of games but what concerns me is our game plan /style for me it is no good . There is no other team that kicks ball straight to opposition so many times through out a game ,so what happens turnover opponents easy goals . But we played finals yes and we won but how lucky were we with syd /melb in inaccuracies . Need to IMPROVE transition footy from defence to forward line for 24

Re: 2023: A review

Reply #11
Apart from the obvious on-field performance improvement, I think the desire of Cook et al to make CFC a 'good club' is well on the way.  It's one thing to get your act together on the field, but it has been said many times that success is born out of a stable, supportive and forward-thinking administration (which we haven't had for 25+ years).

'Stronger Together' is the best way to sum that all up.  Kudos to those who are working to make this happen.
This is now the longest premiership drought in the history of the Carlton Football Club - more evidence of climate change?

Re: 2023: A review

Reply #12
i am rapt we played finals and won a couple of games but what concerns me is our game plan /style for me it is no good . There is no other team that kicks ball straight to opposition so many times through out a game ,so what happens turnover opponents easy goals . But we played finals yes and we won but how lucky were we with syd /melb in inaccuracies . Need to IMPROVE transition footy from defence to forward line for 24

I don't think thats the game plan.  I think thats what you call errant and rushed ball use.  No one goes out there intending to hit an opponent with each and every kick.

For me, it comes down to game management.  We were 5 goals up, conceded 2 in the second quarter, and instead of recognising a momentum swing had occurred, we continued taking the game on and playing fast, which led to quick kicks up the line, and long bombing.

That was the mistake.  At some point you need to kill the momentum game, by playing kick mark football and that arrests the momentum.  Instead we seemed to have gone into scoring mode which is anathema to maintaining a lead, and also exposes you to a red hot opponent who is currently on the ascendency scoring against you almost seemingly at will.

"everything you know is wrong"

Paul Hewson

Re: 2023: A review

Reply #13
I don't think thats the game plan.  I think thats what you call errant and rushed ball use.  No one goes out there intending to hit an opponent with each and every kick.

For me, it comes down to game management.  We were 5 goals up, conceded 2 in the second quarter, and instead of recognising a momentum swing had occurred, we continued taking the game on and playing fast, which led to quick kicks up the line, and long bombing.

That was the mistake.  At some point you need to kill the momentum game, by playing kick mark football and that arrests the momentum.  Instead we seemed to have gone into scoring mode which is anathema to maintaining a lead, and also exposes you to a red hot opponent who is currently on the ascendency scoring against you almost seemingly at will.

I'm not sure that slowing the tempo would have done much more than delay the inevitable Thry.  I think that we had too many banged up players and too many who weren't able to play at their best for whatever reason.  They were trying to counter Brisbane but too many just couldn't match their opponents on the day.  The fact that it wasn't a blow out is a tribute to some very hard working players but I think that cloning Sam Walsh is probably the only way we could win.

Game plans always get a tweak or two but I wouldn't like to see ours change that much.  A bit more polish on the execution wouldn't go astray.
“Why don’t you knock it off with them negative waves? Why don’t you dig how beautiful it is out here? Why don’t you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?”  Oddball

Re: 2023: A review

Reply #14
just hope winning those 2 finals game doesn't cover the cracks ,we were very LUCKY this time .To take next step need to add pace speed into the team and somehow work on transition footy over summer . I DONT want to see long bombs in 24 .