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Carlton 2024 Predictions / Expectations

John Ralph goes bang!

https://www.heraldsun.com.au/sport/afl/the-list-manager-jon-ralph-runs-the-rule-over-carltons-current-group-its-future-and-everything-in-between/news-story/988704ed67c6bcf7d8ec7c1c73085407

The List Manager: Jon Ralph runs the rule over Carlton’s current group, its future and everything in between
The Blues won’t have a better chance to end their flag drought than 2024 with how their list is placed. Jon Ralph dives deep into where the Carlton list is right now and how it could change.

It’s go time.
Nearly 30 years on from the 1995 premiership win, Carlton will never have a better chance to hold the cup aloft than in 2024.

It wants for nothing on any line, has assembled an array of match-winning stars that eclipses any team in the competition and enters 2024 brimming with momentum.

In the late-season charge that included 11 wins in 13 games (including two finals victories) the Blues conquered Sydney, Port Adelaide, Collingwood, St Kilda, Melbourne (twice) and the Suns (twice).

With any luck the Blues will hit round 1 with Harry McKay, Zac Williams, Sam Walsh and Jack Martin fully fit after various injuries through 2023.

And they should believe the premiership can be theirs next year.

TRADE PERIOD OUT OF TEN

Rating: 7/10

Carlton admitted its salary cap was close to overflowing so it prioritised retention, an improved draft hand, points for 2024 father-sons Ben and Lucas Camporeale and a trade for No. 7 draft pick Elijah Hollands.

It ticked all of those boxes, even if the shock of the trade period was Hollands’ drug charge that only emerged the day after the trade period.

Carlton has done its due diligence on Hollands – and approval from the coaching group, leadership group and board – and believes he is not a rotten apple but rather a young kid who will learn from his mistake.

The Blues traded pick 17 and eventually turned it into picks 22 and 28 as part of the Zac Fisher move to the Roos, also clearing cap space.

They cleared inside mid Paddy Dow for very little but believed they owed it to him to find his preferred home.

Carlton will back Hollands, brother Ollie, Matt Cottrell and second-year mid Jaxon Binns to fill Dow’s role and Lachie Cowan, Zac Williams and Alex Cincotta to fill Fisher’s role, with neither of Dow or Fisher playing a final last year.

The Blues 2024 national draft hand has them stocked with a trio of back-end picks, so they have accrued enough points if both Camporeale boys are taken in the top 30 of the draft.

Then came the throw at the stumps – a two-year deal for injury-prone Orazio Fantasia that has plenty of upside and not much risk.

LIST HOLES

Carlton has talent to burn on every line.

The midfield has elite match winners (Patrick Cripps, Adam Cerra), outside pace (Sam Walsh, Ollie Holland), and depth (Matt Kennedy, George Hewett).

Michael Voss has a pair of complementary rucks (Marc Pittonet, Tom De Koning).

The backline has a defensive pillar (Jacob Weitering), a strong interceptor (Mitch McGovern), three more talls competing for spots (Brodie Kemp, Caleb Marchbank, Lewis Young) and a bevy of lockdown and rebounding smalls.

And the list demographic is spectacular with Ed Curnow’s retirement meaning only Nic Newman and Sam Docherty are 30 or over.

The stars are all in their sweet spot – Cripps at 28, Weitering only 26 in November, Harry McKay 26 in December, Cerra 24, Walsh 23, Charlie Curnow 27 in February.

While there are only 14 players under 24 on the list many of them have real promise – 22-year-old Kemp, 19-year-old Jesse Motlop, 19-year-old Ollie Hollands, 21-year-old Corey Durdin, 21-year-old Elijah Hollands, second-year outside runner Jaxon Binns.

Elijah Hollands and Fantasia will both play half forward to add experience to a group of small and medium-sized forward that hasn’t had an on-field leader since Eddie Betts and is probably the one area that needs improvement.

So to frank this spectacularly talented list Michael Voss needs to turn individual finals cameos into entire 2024 campaigns.

Tom De Koning could be a top-five ruckman in the comp if he can replicate his semi-final against Melbourne – two goals, 15 touches, 12 contested possessions, profound influence.

And Harry McKay doesn’t need to be the 58-goal hero of 2021, he only needs to play his part as he did selflessly handing goals to Sam Docherty and Charlie Curnow early in the elimination final victory over Sydney.

DRAFT STRATEGY

The Blues would love to move up from picks 22 and 28 but don’t have the draft capital so will likely take only those two picks, put Orazio Fantasia on the primary list and take one selection in the rookie draft.

The beauty of having such a balanced list is Carlton can keep adding depth without having to reach for any particular type of player.

Last year it was an elite running mid in Ollie Hollands (pick 11), a flint-hard defender in Lachie Cowan (pick 30), a quality mid in Jaxon Binns (pick 32) and a project forward in Harry Lemmey (pick 47) plus summer rookie Alex Cincotta.

With the Camporeale brothers coming in for the 2025 season as hard running mids and flankers next year, the Blues could consider taller prospects this year including 203cm key position player Archer Reid.

WHO’S UNDER THE PUMP?

Zac Williams has played only 23 games across three of his six contracted seasons because of injury, tearing his ACL in February after an excellent summer.

Carlton still has high hopes for him but there will be pressure to perform and competition for spots with Adam Saad, Sam Docherty, Nic Newman, Brodie Kemp, Alex Cincotta and Lachie Cowan all keen to play as small or mid-sized defenders.

PREMIERSHIP WINDOW

Dean Bailey once said the Demons would open the “bi-fold doors” to a premiership window given how wide it could be, but it is Carlton in that position.

The Blues should set themselves for a five-year window where their stars are all at the peak of their powers.

THE TOP 100

PLAYERS WHO MADE THE TOP 100 IN THE AFL PLAYER RANKINGS IN 2023 AND A 2024 BOLTER

Charlie Curnow (31st), Adam Cerra (40th), Patrick Cripps (54th), Sam Walsh (63rd), Jacob Weitering (89th), Adam Saad (91st).

Harry McKay was the 353rd ranked player this year as he battled injury and form.

As above, he only needs to play his role. But he has pledged to put in place an off-season goalkicking routine overhaul that should get him back into the top 100.

TRADE TARGETS FOR 2024

Something would have to go badly wrong for the Blues to need to splash the cash on a big-name free agent and their picks will be taken up by the Camporeale boys.

The Blues can again consider low-cost big-upside plays like Orazio Fantasia, set to join them this week as a delisted free agent.

SALARY CAP SPACE

Mid-season the Blues looked to have cap space to spare but was surprised when both Tom De Koning and Jack Silvagni stayed, with David Cuningham, Lachie Fogarty and Caleb Marchbank all winning new deals.

So the Blues are again fairly tight in the cap but will have some space for the kind of targeted acquisitions that brought in Acres last year and Hollands this year.

Carlton admits it is top-heavy in wages with the Blues not getting much change from $3 million from McKay, Curnow and Cripps’ deals next year.

Walsh, Williams and Weitering are among those on $800,000 a season but the Blues will go to the draft this year and next so while they are in retention mode they have their cap issues in hand.

Mitch McGovern’s $800,000K a year deal finished last year while Jack Martin’s lucrative five-year deal of $600,000 a season was front-ended and expires at the end of 2024.

TRADE BAIT

Give full back Lewis Young all the credit in the world for realising he had to work on his weaknesses rather than asking for a trade when pushed into the VFL.

But if he can’t find a spot in the back six he is too good to continue playing VFL in 2025 despite a three-year deal to 2026.

Carlton believes Marc Pittonet and De Koning work perfectly in unison – Pittonet bashing up his opponent then De Koning jumping over the top of them.

So it would take De Koning going to another level for Pittonet to be pushed out of the side, which would spark trade inquiries.

CARLTON CRYSTAL BALL

2024 FINISH
1st. Going all in on the Blues but what do they want for in talent?

2024 BEST AND FAIREST
Sam Walsh. Was Carlton’s best finals player and finished eighth in the John Nicholls trophy despite missing eight games.

2024 LEADING GOAL KICKER
Charlie Curnow. How can you go past him?

PLAYER ON THE RISE
Matt Cottrell. A point of difference in the midfield with his speed. 17 possessions at 91 per cent efficiency and seven score involvements in the Sydney finals win. Can he churn out eight games of that standard?

PLAYER ON THE EDGE
Jack Silvagni. Blues fans were thrilled he signed on, but now comes the challenge of establishing himself as a regular best-22 player.
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: Carlton 2024 Predictions / Expectations

Reply #1
I'm not sure what his prophetic track record is like, but it's very much a wait and see for me. I'd be happy with a top 4 finish, happyish with a top 8 finish. I think you need to be around the mark for a few seasons before you can iron out all the kinks. We will need plenty of luck with injuries, and especially with our prime movers Weitering, Walsh, Cripps and Charlie Curnow.

Re: Carlton 2024 Predictions / Expectations

Reply #2
Poured the Acid on the coach is the way I read it.  Succeed or else.  If we have a middling year, we have no where to go with Voss contract situtation.
"everything you know is wrong"

Paul Hewson

Re: Carlton 2024 Predictions / Expectations

Reply #3
A team that was bottom 4 halfway through the year is now the best team in the land in 2024?

Thats some turnaround. How does Vossy not win the coach of the year?

What he says is all well and good, but i noticed none of our players featured, and there was no mention of, the injury list.

Lose Weitering and Charlie and there goes your season because we don't have any depth to cover them.

To win a flag, you need more than just talent and a good list. You need your fair share of luck.

Rather than any particular 'diamond in the rough' or young talented kid through the draft making an impact in year 1 ala Sam Walsh, i'd be hoping for bucket loads of luck. That will have more say than any one change we could make between now and then.

 

Re: Carlton 2024 Predictions / Expectations

Reply #4
It's a top four list.
I don't think there is any doubt about that.

Re: Carlton 2024 Predictions / Expectations

Reply #5
Poured the Acid on the coach is the way I read it.  Succeed or else.  If we have a middling year, we have no where to go with Voss contract situtation.
Tend to agree, lot of pressure on Voss to deliver and not much margin for error after that article.
I'll be happy to make the eight and be consistent through the season, the problem with articles like this is that they dont account for other teams improving and at what rate and you cant get a handle on who are the favourites till about 2/3 of the way through the season when injury tolls have mounted and the draw starts to also help dictate winners where teams having the bulk of their games at home get an advantage in the run home.
As Brisbane have found you can be a consistent top 4/8 finisher but another team will pop up out of nowhere and win the premiership especially if they bank wins early and can overcome that flat spot that a lot of teams have during the season. ie Collingwood.

Re: Carlton 2024 Predictions / Expectations

Reply #6
Poured the Acid on the coach is the way I read it.  Succeed or else.  If we have a middling year, we have no where to go with Voss contract situtation.

Somehow I don't think our board will take much notice of anything Ralph writes.  Vossy secured his immediate future by winning two finals.  In the unlikely event that we don't improve in 2024, winning those two finals means that Vossy still has credit for a contract extension.
“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: Carlton 2024 Predictions / Expectations

Reply #7
Jon Ralph loves talking us up so he can smirk when (he hopes) it doesn't happen.  I'm sure his Richmond boyhood dreams were smothered in Navy Blue nightmares...... 
This is now the longest premiership drought in the history of the Carlton Football Club - more evidence of climate change?

Re: Carlton 2024 Predictions / Expectations

Reply #8
Jon Ralph loves talking us up so he can smirk when (he hopes) it doesn't happen.  I'm sure his Richmond boyhood dreams were smothered in Navy Blue nightmares......
Nothing wrong about anything he wrote. If we dont make the top 4 next year, 95% of this sites posters will go apoplectic
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: Carlton 2024 Predictions / Expectations

Reply #10
If we dont make the top 4 next year, 95% of this sites posters will go apoplectic
@Kruddler is correct, our fate doesn't just rest on delivering, it's just an injury or two away from derailment.

Under the current AFL TPP system most clubs have weak spots on list, clubs just can't afford to have depth in every position so they are forced to accept some risk. If you are lucky you get an low rate of injuries and a team can do a Dogs, but have a bad year and the best will fail.

So I don't think we would be apoplectic under any circumstance, but only if we burn our opportunities due to waste form or lack of effort.
The Force Awakens!

Re: Carlton 2024 Predictions / Expectations

Reply #11
Nothing wrong about anything he wrote. If we dont make the top 4 next year, 95% of this sites posters will go apoplectic
I agree that 95% of gooses will lose their feeble minds but anyone with 1/2 a brain should be able to figure out that 11 wins does not = a premiership…
We struggled at the end of the season with injury, mental and emotional fatigue but also because the opposition had looked us up and down and were countering our strengths.
Playing next year like the back end of 2023 will see us mid table… we need to lift and develop new strategies.
Many a team has made the 8 only to flounder the following couple of years, our goal is to play finals again and make the top 4, beyond that it’s mostly luck…
Let’s go BIG !

Re: Carlton 2024 Predictions / Expectations

Reply #12
Playing next year like the back end of 2023 will see us mid table… we need to lift and develop new strategies.
 
Many a team has made the 8 only to flounder the following couple of years, our goal is to play finals again and make the top 4, beyond that it’s mostly luck…
Not sure we'll ever find more intensity than we had in the later half of last season, but developing new strategies to deal with opposition tactics is a must.

The difference between true believers and ratbag fans is the last bit highlighted, the ratbags don't get it.

You can have Moneyball quality list managements, Bellyache quality coaching, but get an injury to the wrong player at the wrong time and your season is stuffed. For example, if Cripps had picked up whatever it was he picked up in Rnd 3 instead of Rnd 18 or so, we would never have recovered our ladder position last season.

The ratbag fans(We have some high profile ones) will claim we must have a backup / sub for a Cripps / Walsh type, well good luck with that. A club can find ways to support it's better players, put some foundations in place around them, but having a backup for a Cripps or Walsh type is pure fantasy.
The Force Awakens!

Re: Carlton 2024 Predictions / Expectations

Reply #13
My expectation is that we'll win the whole bloody thing.
Anything less, and I'll be sad  :'(

We have the side that's capable.
We just need it all to click, some natural improvement... and a bit of luck.
The thing about our side is that we have few if any players who are on the downslide.
They're either at their peak or yet to reach it.

Re: Carlton 2024 Predictions / Expectations

Reply #14
One thing for sure, this team can enter the 2024 season KNOWING that they are good enough.  Prior to this, the hype at the start of every year was more about hope than belief.

Confidence and belief is what takes a talented team from middle-of-the-pack to top-of-the-tree.
This is now the longest premiership drought in the history of the Carlton Football Club - more evidence of climate change?