2010 SummaryThe Blues would enter Season 2010 after a dramatic 2009 in more ways than one; yes, we had played our first Finals match since 2001, but equally, we had traded our 7-time Leading Goal-kicker in Brendan Fevola to the Lions for the upcoming year. So whilst we're definitely on the improve, and with a very impressive mid-field unit and emerging ruckmen, we needed to rethink our forward entries. Who would take the key spots? Who would kick the goals? The excitement and hope was, as always for us True Blues, unbearable...
It all kicked off by smashing the Tigers in Round 1, before a close loss to Brisbane - featuring old Blue Fevola - tempered the expectations. A horrific loss to Essendon ensued, before the return of Captain Chris Judd saw us defeat the struggling Crows away for the first time in over 6 years. A massive win over the Cats followed, before the Pies brought us back to earth. Better was still to come when Carlton finally defeated St Kilda, ending a 12 game losing streak that had stretched way back into season 2001! At this stage of the year there was much confidence - and talk in the press - of perhaps being able to challenge for a top 4 spot. The question was 'how far'?
The answer was 'don't hold your breath', as the Blues then began a troubling detour to the losers list against Hawthorn before losing 4 out of 5 mid year - all at our supposed second home at Etihad - to almost fall out of the 8. Clinging to the 8 became a Club pastime, as loss after loss - some very unexpected - continued until deep in the season, until two timely smashings of traditional rivals Essendon and Richmond allowed us to look ahead to consecutive finals appearances for the first time since 2000-2001.
And what a match it was - ebbs, flows, a brilliant third quarter from Chris Judd, a brilliant game from young Sam Jacobs, but in the end it was pure heartache, as the Blues fell to their second successive Elimination Final exit. But where there's finals, there's hope, and 2011 was just around the corner...
As an aside, a number of significant anniversaries would fall in 2010. It was 40 years since that most magnificent of Premierships won by the Blues, with brilliant coaching and playing setting the scene for triumph. More recently, it was also of course 30 years since George and Jezza departed the Blues in acrimony, in the midst of three Premierships in 4 years.
But perhaps the biggest surprise of anniversary is that it will have been 100 years since Collingwood has beaten Carlton in a Grand Final, with Carlton taking the cake (walk) 5 times over the Magpies in the ensuing century. Of course, we had to make it for this to be relevant, as Collingwood successfully challenged for the flag and won the Premiership exactly 100 years after their 1910 Win...
People of 2010Captain: Chris Judd
Coach: Brett Ratten
Leading Goalkicker: Eddie Betts
Best and Fairest Winner: Chris Judd
Milestones150 Games: Bret Thornton
100 Games: Andrew Carrazzo, Eddie Betts, Andrew Walker, Marc Murphy
100 Games (AFL): Brock McLean
50 Games: Matthew Kreuzer
50 Games (Carlton): Chris Judd
Debut: Kane Lucas, Simon White, Marcus Davies
Debut (Carlton): Lachlan Henderson, Brock McLean, Robert Warnock
Brownlow Medal: Chris Judd
All Australian: Chris Judd
Retirements: Simon Wiggins, Richard Hadley