Official Website of the Spirit of Carlton Past and Present
29Jan/111

Intraclub Game: News From Around the Traps

The Blues had their first intraclub practise game for 2011 at Visy Park today. It attracted a crowd of 2000 people and also created a flurry of activity across all the Carlton related websites. This is a summary of the best.

From the club itself,

Brett Ratten post match interview.

Nick Duigan post match interview.

The Season Begins.

The Herald Sun ran a positive piece,

CARLTON'S mature-aged draftee Nick Duigan was one of the standout performers in the Blues' first competitive hit-out of 2011 at Visy Park today.

As the mercury started rising early yesterday, so too did Blues fans’ hopes that the 26-year-old draft smoky plucked out of the SANFL last November will lock in a spot in the backline in Round 1.

Duigan’s polished display and his fine foot skills were one of the highlights of a spirited and competitive hit-out that pleased coach Brett Ratten.

The Blues took the opportunity yesterday to try some players in new positions, use some new faces and experiment a little ahead of their opening NAB Cup round of matches against Collingwood and Richmond at Etihad Stadium on February 12.

Herald Sun photo gallery.

Getty Images photo gallery.

The following album of photos was taken by regular training photographer and photobook user yonniboy,

 

Meanwhile at TalkingCarlton some of the comments on the game were,

From Hotcox:

Walker very good up forward, kicked 4 and looks set for a big year. Waite was also good, presented well and with a full pre season under his belt i expect he will be pushing for AA honours this year.  Ellard was excellent by foot today and looks to have improved from last year. Expect him to play round 1.

Marcus Davies has put on the most size out of any player this pre season. He is massive and no doubt has been ear marked to play on the Colin Sylvia, Mark LeCras big bodied medium forwards this year. Yarran played across HB and was impressive with run and carry and his delivery by foot was terrific. Bower and Jamison were good in defence

Nick Duigan was also impressive across HB. I like the look of him, tough uncomprising type who will be a fan favorite this year.

and

From Cazzesman:

Duigan looks the goods simply because he makes few mistakes and makes good decisions. Bower very good run. We need 20-22 games from him to take the extra steps this year. He frees up Waite.

Laidler good for a half. 1 kick off a step over 50 to a running man made me smile. Yaz at half back showed alot of promise. You just know we will still have the ball in a good position once he disposes of it. Walker looks an X prospect for us. 20+ games is a must for us to take another step. JR looks huge and will be hard to pass this year. Very calm and composed when under the pump.

Robo looked calmer and used it well most of the time. When he did kick long I thought it was the right choice.
Houls onball looked sharp and moved very, very well. Hammo never missed a tap out and was jumping well. Not much to beat but he did it convincingly. White calm and collected. Lucas moving well and getting involved due to his hard running. Took a while to spot Kerr but he did some nice things in the 2nd half and has slimmed down this year.

Over at the Carlton Supporters Club the opinion was,

From RiverRat:

Lots of half-field press, defensive flooding and sideways kicking but the players showed good patience and considerable skill in piercing the zones - either that or the defensive zones were crap. Players who looked in very good form were, on the blue team, Bower (37), Ellard (35), Scotland (31) and Waite (33). Also impressed with bursts by Duigan (18) and Tuohy (14).

Players who looked in very good form were, on the white team, Carrazzo (10), Houlihan (16), Robinson (6), Russell (14) and Walker (24). Laidler also looked the part. Walker, without his shoulders obviously strapped, looks to be every inch a key forward - I have been hoping for him to play there since he played a couple of games there for the Ants a few years ago - about time the club coaches caught on.

Regular senior players Gibbs, Murphy, Simpson, Armfield and Lucas all looked to be travelling well. McLean looks in better shape than last year, which is not saying much, but positive nonetheless.

 

At Bigfooty the assessment was,

From wavefall21:

Houlihan and Scotland were the major ball winners and very clean as usual. Duigan was clearly the best of the recruits and is ready made for a debut in rd 1, he seems to know what spaces to run into and I noticed him directing a bit of traffic down back as well, which is the sign of good leadership. Robbo was good in close an his attack at the contest was very good, don't expect much less.

Watson looked much more comfortable down back in the second half after been moved up and down the ground. Walker was a real live-wire up forward and seems to have found his niche up there, backing up what we saw in the qualifying final last year with a few goals and some good marks. Carrots racked up the touches and played to his role like he usually does, but his disposal still lets him down, as does Armfield's, can't question Army's endeavour but he really needs to do something about his kicking

Lucas ran out the game really strong after a quiet first half but it's obvious he's trying to get his fitness back, Yazza showed some glimpses of class but often went missing, I think he's worth persisting with at half back, cos we def need some good ball users coming out of defence.

Not only that but a supporter was taking a little video on the day and it can be seen here as well (check out the Spirit of Carlton donated vehicle towards the end of the video),

As you can see it may have just been an intraclub game but it created a lot of interest. The next intraclub game is on the 5th of February, get down to the club and check it out, and while you are there get your Blues membership if you haven't already.

24Jan/113

Father and Son Academy Training

Today marks the beginning of another exciting initiative of the Carlton Football Club and the Spirit of Carlton with the inaugural Father and Son Academy Training program. This program is a chance for possible future father and son prospects to become better acquainted with the club, to see how the players train, how team meetings are conducted, listen to some Carlton greats speak, and do some skills sessions with Carlton football staff.

The children are split into a younger group and an older group who each participate for two days at the club  during the week. The program for the younger children is aimed more at familiarisation and fun. The older group get advice on diet, training, goal setting and presentation from previous father son players on what they might expect.

Each group will get the opportunity to mix with the current players and hear the stories of how current players such as Chris Judd made the transition from junior footy to senior footy.

This is a wonderful initiative from the club that strengthens the bonds of community and family within the club which are so important. Not all these boys will get the opportunity to play for Blues but they will always be part of the Blues family.

Stay tuned later in the week for more news from the Academy.

24Nov/100

Spirit of Carlton at Kukerin

When you think of the Carlton Football Club, the small township of Kukerin, 300 kms southeast of Perth in the vast West Australian wheat belt does not come to mind. Yet, it is from this remote area of Australia that Ross Ditchburn was born and bred, a classic country superboot who travelled across the country to become a premiership player for the Blues in 1982.

When the Spirit of Carlton learnt about Ross' recent battle with prostate cancer and Ross' determination to spread the message of mens health awareness throughout rural communities the idea of a mens health weekend supported by the Spirit of Carlton was born. Keep returning over coming days for further details from this marathon footy trip across the country to support a very good cause.

In the meantime enjoy a pictorial summary of the trip from Spirit of Carlton TV on youtube.

28Jun/100

Roo Pressure Puts Glitch in Blues’ System

In round 12, on the Friday night stage at Etihad Stadium, Carlton suffered what could be called a network breakdown.

Against North Melbourne, the main systems instrumental in the Blues’ promising start of seven wins and four losses failed to connect.

Explaining reasons for the 29-point loss, coach Brett Ratten referred to the usual culprits: “A lack of intensity and skill errors,” he said. “We gave the ball back too easily. That diminished our confidence to run and spread and get involved.”

This is a standard coaching admission that, in reality, reveals nothing. There is no mention of an opposition out there on the playing field, and what it did to stuff up the best intentions of Carlton’s plan. No acknowledgement of the Disruptive Pattern Theory, which was in effect during this game.

Anyone familiar with computer systems should be familiar with the theory. A simple network glitch breeds panic. There is no plan B. What next? No clues! The Roos-Blues game is a good example of how the theory applies in action.

North was outstanding at disconnecting Carlton’s plan A, and then pouncing on the opportunities available. Without an apparent plan B, the Blues looked lacklustre. As Ratten lamented, giving the ball back too easily was certainly the case.

In round 12, on the Friday night stage at Etihad Stadium, Carlton suffered what could be called a network breakdown.

Against North Melbourne, the main systems instrumental in the Blues’ promising start of seven wins and four losses failed to connect.

Explaining reasons for the 29-point loss, coach Brett Ratten referred to the usual culprits: “A lack of intensity and skill errors,” he said. “We gave the ball back too easily. That diminished our confidence to run and spread and get involved.”

This is a standard coaching admission that, in reality, reveals nothing. There is no mention of an opposition out there on the playing field, and what it did to stuff up the best intentions of Carlton’s plan. No acknowledgement of the Disruptive Pattern Theory, which was in effect during this game.

Anyone familiar with computer systems should be familiar with the theory. A simple network glitch breeds panic. There is no plan B. What next? No clues! The Roos-Blues game is a good example of how the theory applies in action.

North was outstanding at disconnecting Carlton’s plan A, and then pouncing on the opportunities available. Without an apparent plan B, the Blues looked lacklustre. As Ratten lamented, giving the ball back too easily was certainly the case.

The supposedly lessercredentialled Kangaroos ‘won’ 79 turnovers from the Blues’ disposals and scored a matchwinning 9.8 (62) from these opportunities. In contrast, Carton won only 57 turnovers from North Melbourne disposals and scored just 4.4 (28) from these chances.

Importantly, the Roos knocked the Blues off their perch around the stoppages. Before the game, Carlton’s main strength had been its ability to out-score its opposition from stoppage wins.

During the game, the Blues had an exceptional advantage of 47 clearances to North’s 27. However, this domination resulted in Carlton scoring only 17 points more than the Kangaroos from their respective stoppage wins.

How could these two discrepancies have occurred? What is Carlton’s plan A? How was it derailed? What mattered in this instance is how North Melbourne applied pressure to the Blues’ system, and the effect this pressure had.

Carlton is the most captaindriven club of any. It’s not unlike North Melbourne of the 1990s under skipper Wayne Carey. Like the Carey example, the Carlton system is engaged to accommodate the exceptional talents of Chris Judd.

Watching Judd take flight, drawing opposition flak while teammates, confident he will prevail, are lining up in attacking positions, is among the most compelling forces in footy. It is a mistake to think the system is a one-man-show. If too much attention is paid to Judd, the likes of outstanding lieutenants Marc Murphy and Bryce Gibbs can get you.

Carlton takes pride in its dominance and effectiveness at stoppages. After Geelong, it is the second-best team at outscoring the opposition from stoppage wins. Slick and efficient exits from stoppages also propel Carlton’s run-and-spread caper.

In their seven wins, the Blues have averaged a remarkable 50 more kicks than their opposition, which is the highest kick differential for any winning team. Hence the supply to their revamped livewire forward structure (minus Brendan Fevola) has been top-notch, and the forwards generally have delivered.

But Carlton has lost five games and what has broken down in these losses is revealing. It has suffered a spectacular drop in kicking dominance, averaging 15 fewer kicks than its opposition in these games.

Against North, Judd, Murphy and Gibbs, along with Eddie Betts (five goals), made important contributions. However, the Roos were outstanding at limiting the roles played by the rest of the team.

North Melbourne, a team that usually struggles to outnumber its opposition for total kicks, evened the score with Carlton. Blaming the Blues’ lack of intensity and skill errors for the loss does not give due credit to how good the Roos were at disconnecting the captain’s system.

The sustained pressure North applied produced 31 turnovers forward of centre, while Carlton could manage only eight in its forward half. The result was further endorsement of the Kangaroos’ work-in-progress development. Carlton should also gain valuable lessons for improvement. Handling pressure and applying it are two of the keys to success.

Take note: the grand masters at these capers are Geelong and St Kilda. They clearly disconnect opponents better than any other teams.