Carlton want to play more Friday night matches in 2017.
With six wins from 11 matches, they’ve far surpassed expectations and their emergence under Brendon Bolton has been particularly impressive.
But every club wants more Friday night games. And Carlton’s bid is ambitious at best.
This once-mighty club have sat in the football wilderness for the better part of a decade.
For decades, Carlton – along with Collingwood, Richmond and Essendon – have been considered as one of the ‘big four’ Victorian clubs.
But a recent lack of success, poor administrative decisions and the emergence of Hawthorn and Geelong has put them well back into the pack.
Put simply, they’re just another Victorian team at the moment.
They’ve built a base in 2016 that suggests if they can continue playing this exciting, hard-at-it brand of football under Bolton, then regular Friday night appearances will only be a few years away.
But for now, they need to sit tight and just worry about their football.
Carlton will need to prove they’re not a ‘one season wonder’ if they want a regular return to the bright lights of Friday night footy.
The Weekend Preview
GWS versus Sydney. The rivalry is slowly building, but with the Giants proving themselves this year, this match should be a cracker at a sold-out Spotless Stadium.
Most at stake
North Melbourne. They need to beat Geelong for two reasons: to hold top spot and to prove they can beat a legitimate contender.
Carlton to beat St Kilda. With Nick Riewoldt out, this is Carlton’s chance to further add to their already successful season and move to 7-5.
Nic Naitanui won’t play against Adelaide on Saturday night. He is likely to be named, but despite the significance of the match, the Eagles would be silly to play him and risk further injury. He’s been on crutches this week for a reason.
One to watch
Port Adelaide’s Aaron Young. The goal-kicking half-forward has benefited the most from the abolishment of the substitute rule and has kicked 25 goals in 10 games. He’s in great form.
The umpires will be more aware of jumper punches after Gold Coast’s Tom Lynch escaped punishment for his obvious hit on Sydney defender Jeremy Laidler.
Feeling the heat
Brandon Ellis. Once considered part of Richmond’s ‘elite’ midfield, Ellis has struggled for consistency in 2016. A big game against Gold Coast may get him back on track.
Jack Silvagni. He’s been superb for the Northern Blues over recent weeks and backed it up against last week with four goals, 21 disposals, seven marks and seven inside 50s. Is it enough to break into an in-form Carlton side? He’s been named on the extended bench.
Travis Cloke will be at Richmond in 2017.
Don’t set the IQ
Brisbane Lions versus Fremantle. Fremantle might have won last week, but they are still playing poor footy. Couple that with Brisbane’s efforts last week, and this has the makings of an utter snooze fest.
John Feeney also writes for footyprophet.com – football and fantasy analysis unravelled.