Huge thanks to Will for sending this report in. If you head to any intra-club matches, shoot us an email with a report and we’ll put it up.
I was able to get down to Visy Park yesterday and managed to catch Carlton’s first hit out for 2013, you’ll have to forgive my vagueness on certain players as they were all wearing different numbers and it was often quite hard to distinguish who was who. A few of the big names were rested like Judd, Murphy, Simpson and Kreuzer but there was still DT relevance with the likes of Gibbs, Rowe, Robinson and Carrots all playing.
Now as a mad Carlton supporter I’ve always been quite critical of Bryce Gibbs as I’ve always felt he has the potential to be a superstar of the competition, if he were to play through the midfield. With Gibbs being available in defence this year he has become a lock in most sides as Malthouse will most likely run him through the middle and release him from his quarter back duties and if what I saw yesterday was a good indicator, he deserves a spot in your side. He played through the guts at times and almost looked as if he were in a second gear, finding the ball at will. What should please DT coaches is that he did push hard forward at times, following up the play and taking the game on instead of just sitting back in defence once the contest was finished. Best of all though was that he occasionally sat out the back of the pack and collected cheap possessions if he was having no luck while pushing forward. He looked in great shape and should be a lock in your side.
Now I’ve seen Sam Rowe‘s name pop up a bit of late as he is a DPP and is being used as a link for the likes of Cox, Nic Nat and Roughy. With a year out of footy Rowe really really surprised me yesterday as he worked extremely hard to get to contests and flew for his marks but I felt his touch was a little bit off. The problem with Rowe isn’t his own personal performance as it was quite good, the problem was the performance of others. Casboult and young Luke Mitchell both really impressed me and having played all my junior footy with Mitchell this was a terrific site as I know his capabilities and at $173k he could be a real smokie. I feel like Kreuzer is easily Carlton’s number one ruck and Warnock was quite solid yesterday around the ground which makes me feel like he’s number two. Hampson didn’t do a lot and I’ve never loved him as a forward so I think Casboult or Mitchell could really push for round one selection and at this stage they are both ahead of Rowe.
In terms of smokies there were a couple on show yesterday. Kane Lucas was superb and just about BOG for me, he not only ran the ball out of defence extremely well but he also pushed forward and kicked a ripper goal and missed another. Malthouse loves playing young blokes and this guy was a first round pick and looks ready for a big year and at only $251k he needs to be kept on your radar. Another two blokes that were quite prominent were Watson and Laidler who both played quite well. It looks like Watson will take kick in duties and although he tried Malthouses torpedo plan and failed miserably he did find a heap of the footy and used it extremely well. Laidler is a lock in my side at only $235k as he will play all 22 games and doesn’t mind cheap kicks around the backline, plus he loves an intercept mark. Nick Graham provided a spark around half forward in his first hit out for the blues but it’s hard to see him playing this year.
Of other relevance was Robinson who collected quite a few possessions but he looked rushed at times and his efficiency was down but to be honest I don’t think I can trust a bloke who thinks it’s a good idea to crash packs with his skull, a definite no for me. McLean was superb around the ground and looked as if he had the ball on a string and if you’re doing a draft league this year he should be a super pick up. I thought Carrots was pretty quiet performance wise but he was very vocal around the ground and looked in good shape.
That’s all I picked up on guys, hope you can get something out of that!
Cheers, Will, Coach of Goonberg Patrol.