2021 SummaryAfter a fascinating COVID-impacted season where the Blues showed a great deal, at times, but a penchant for ceding runs of goals in quick succession, the Blues started planning for a big 2021 by specifically targeting pace and delivery from defence. The pre-season brought in some ready made AFL joy with the recruitment of Adam Saad from the Bombers and Zac Williams via free-agency, to really assist with that run forward from contested ball.
The Blues began with the customary Round 1 clash against the Tigers, who were again the reigning Premiers. The Tigers were impressive, particularly Dustin Martin, as they dispensed with the Blues but there was no shame in the performance. A disappointing Round 2 loss followed, before the Blues regrouped with wins against the Dockers and away to the Suns to hit 2-2 by Round 4. A continually deep injury list was a worry as the Blues ebbed and flowed with gallant wins, and some troublesome losses - particularly against the bottom teams. A shocking loss to Port in Round 22 with a weakened outfit would kill us all.... Alas the Blues again missed the finals, and this time for the 8th season in a row which was a difficult and disappointing Club record.
The Blues were able to farewell Marc Murphy in his 300th match, the Round 22 game, just the 6th Blue to achieve this feat. Murph, good luck in retirement! AFL Legend Eddie Betts would follow, as would great clubman and fan favourite Levi Casboult as the Blues started to lose some experience. In less of a surprise David Teague would be shown the door as Coach after 50 games across 2 1/2 seasons, as the Blues board (and fans) became impatient with this list build and the abovementioned lack of finals. Still a good list, still some stars - 2 All Australians (and Weitering horribly unlucky)! - but..... where were we heading?
Despite the on field problems, 2021 would be remembered for some off field successes. More than a month out from the start of the 2021 AFL season, the Carlton Football Club announced that last season's record membership has already been surpassed. The football club was now debt free for the first time since 1996...
People of 2021Coach: David Teague
Assistant / Development Coaches: Assistant Coach (Forward): Cameron Bruce, Assistant Coach (Defence): Dale Amos, Assistant Coach (Midfield and Stoppages): John Barker, Assistant Coach (Midfield and Transition): Brent Stanton, Head of Development: Luke Power, Development Coach / VFL: Daniel O'Keefe
Football Performance and Strategy Coordinator Brent Manson
Football Analyst Jack Noble
Football Analyst Matthew Hodges
Wellbeing and Engagement Manager Lillian O'Sullivan
Director of High Performance Andrew Russell
Captains: Patrick Cripps & Sam Docherty
President: Mark LoGiudice
MilestonesDebuts: Luke Parks, Corey Durdin, Brodie Kemp
Debuts (Carlton): Lachie Fogarty, Oscar McDonald, Adam Saad, Zac Williams
50 Games: Harry McKay, Sam Walsh, Paddy Dow
50 Games (AFL): Matt Kennedy
100 Games (Carlton): Sam Docherty
100 Goals (AFL): Jack Martin
200 Games: Eddie Betts, Ed Curnow
300 Games: Marc Murphy
50 Games (Coach): David Teague
Coleman Medalist: Harry McKay 58 goals.
All-Australian Initial 40 Man Squad: Harry McKay, Sam Walsh, Jacob Weitering
Retirements: Eddie Betts, Levi Casboult, Marc Murphy
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