A big loss on a big stage in Round 1 put some reconsideration in the stables, before a close loss to finals aspirants Melbourne and a tight win against The Bombers saw us 1 and 2 to start the season. Two more losses, including a hard loss against Port had the naysayers out in force, before a close but enjoyable wins against Grand Finallists Sydney and Collingwood whetted our appetite for bigger things.
Over the next 6 weeks Carlton fans enjoyed a number of close games, from tight tussles with St Kilda, to a nail biting 1 point over the Giants, and to another win over the Gold Coast away. Turning for the home stretch at 5 and 8, the Blues were playing with a confidence that seemed infectious and the camaraderie was clear.
From there on a long run of losses changed the complexion of our season - but don't forget where we were at at the half way mark. 7 losses to Round 20 saw us fall to equal bottom of the ladder, including some close losses to top 8 aspirants and a horrific loss to bottom place Brisbane. As the Lions themselves gathered some form it looked like a wooden spoon was possible notwithstanding the effort and clear development in a range of players...
Until a stunning win against the Hawks provided some hope in the future, with form across youngsters, stalwarts and the continued rise of Liam Jones as a key defender. Despite a second half smashing against the Swans in the last game, the Blues would eke out enough positives from the year to provide some form of hope that our time in the bottom 4 would end in Season 2018.
Coach: Brendon Bolton
Assistant / Development Coaches: Neil Craig, John Barker, Tim Clarke, Shane Watson, Dale Amos, Mathew Capuano, Josh Fraser (Northern Blues & Development Coach)
Captain & John Nicholls Medallist: Marc Murphy
Leadership Group: Kade Simpson - vc; Dennis Armfield, Bryce Gibbs, Sam Docherty, Patrick Cripps, Ed Curnow
President: Mark LoGuidice
Leading Goalkicker: Levi Casboult
All Australian: Sam Docherty
Harrison Macreadie, Jarrod Pickett, Sam Petrevski-Seton, Tom Williamson, Zac Fisher, Cameron Polson, Harry McKay
Club Debuts: Caleb Marchbank, Billie Smedts, Rhys Palmer, Alex Silvagni
Rising Star Nominees: Caleb Marchbank, Sam Petrevski-Seton, David Cuningham, Jack Silvagni & Charlie Curnow
150 Games: Matthew Kreuzer
50 Games: Patrick Cripps
50 Games (AFL): Sam Kerridge, Lachie Plowman
Retirements: Dennis Armfield, Daniel Gorringe, Matt Korcheck
Delistings: Liam Sumner, Kristian Jaksch, Andrew Gallucci, Dylan Buckley, Rhys Palmer, Ciaran Sheehan
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