In Kouta's last game - and Brett Ratten's first as coach - Carlton lost to St Kilda by 10 points at the Telstra Dome.

Round 17, 2007

Carlton6.1377.3 459.76115.11101
St Kilda5.43410.76714.12 9616.15111
Venue: Docklands Stadium
Date: Sat 28 July 2007, 2:10pm Result: Loss by 10 pts
Umpires: M Ellis, S Meredith, M Nicholls Crowd: 32,327
Goalkickers: B Fevola 5; B Fisher 3; S Ó hAilpín 2; C Ackland, J Bannister, P Bower, M Lappin, J Saddington
Reports: Nil Injuries: Wiggins (hamstring), Koutoufides (hip)

Game Review

In Brett Ratten's first game as Carlton's caretaker coach, the Blues put in a spirited effort to prove to the football world that they weren't tanking (as had been suggested in the previous weeks) by running the in-form St Kilda to 10 points at Docklands. The team came out hard in the first quarter and finished the game off well with a six goals to two final quarter, but the twin towers of Fraser Gehrig and Nick Riewoldt (who booted 10 goals between them) proved too big a hurdle for Carlton's defence.

Matthew Lappin was impressive for the Blues in his 250th career game, and Andrew Carrazzo continued his stellar season by racking up a career-high 38 disposals. Ryan Jackson, in only his third senior game was brilliant, keeping Saint star Robert Harvey to 19 possessions while picking up 23 himself. Marc Murphy was tried in a tagging role on Leigh Montagna and kept him to 13 disposals, while Brendan Fevola was outstanding with 5 goals, including one in the third quarter where he ran down Sam Fisher, then gathered the ball and kicked a super goal from about 65 metres out.

Sadly, the great Anthony Koutoufides struggled to run freely throughout the second half, and after a scan on his hip during the following week, announced his retirement after a stellar Carlton career of 278 games, including the 1995 Premiership.


B:18 Paul Bower 32 Bret Thornton 29 Heath Scotland
HB: 9 Jason Saddington 30 Jarrad Waite 38 Ryan Jackson
C: 3 Marc Murphy 44 Andrew Carrazzo 33 Ryan Houlihan
HF:2 Jordan Russell 14 Brad Fisher 12 Matthew Lappin
F: 17 Setanta Ó hAilpín 25 Brendan Fevola 34 Simon Wiggins
Ruck: 11 Cain Ackland 31 Jordan Bannister 6 Kade Simpson (a/c)
Interchange:4 Bryce Gibbs 13 Luke Blackwell 19 Eddie Betts
43 Anthony Koutoufides
Coach: Brett Ratten
Emg: 7 Adam Bentick, 16 Shaun Grigg, 10 Dylan McLaren
In: Eddie Betts, Jason Saddington, Ryan Jackson
Out: Josh Kennedy (thigh), Andrew Walker (shoulder), Adam Bentick (omitted)


Last game: Anthony Koutoufides
250 Games (AFL): Matthew Lappin
Stand-in Skipper: Kade Simpson continued in the role of skipper for this game
Debut (Coach): Brett Ratten. Ratten would go on to coach the Blues for 120 games, starting today, and ending in 2012 with a similar loss to the Saints.
Interesting Fact: This would be one of the closest losses in a record losing streak against the Saints.

Brownlow Votes

3. Nick Dal Santo, St Kilda
2. Nick Riewoldt, St Kilda
1. Andrew Carrazzo, Carlton

Best and Fairest Votes

Ryan Jackson 18, Andrew Carrazzo 17, Marc Murphy 14, Brendan Fevola 13, Jason Saddington 6, Brad Fisher, Kade Simpson, Heath Scotland 2, Matthew Lappin 1

The Ghost

All Things Must Pass

H.G.Wells and Kouta

What really matters is what you do with what you have.
H. G. Wells

All things must pass; sadly, the greatest things always seem to pass too swiftly. It only seems like a year or so ago (pre Black Friday that is - since then everything is dragged out, stretched thin, and bleak as a seaside graveyard) that a bobbing-haired kid with the frame of a Greek God and the speed of Hermes started playing in the glorious number 43 jumper. Kouta!

The name says it all. Kouta! Like Jezza before and Buzza and Johnno! At Carlton we give our greatest players a single cry (even Big Nick was always Nich’olls!), a cry that captures our adoration, our joy, our synaptic squeeze of bliss when they do what we expect when we least expect it – this dynamic is ,of course, the very heart of our great game, perhaps the heart of all sport.

Kouta takes the saving grab, Kouta kicks the goal to begin the avalanche, Kouta picks up the ball one hand, like a life saver grabbing the line to save a drowning team. Kouta shrugs off players like the swimmer carving through the waves to reach the sinking team mate.

Kouta! This player saved us, (see the ’99 prelim. for the greatest saving game ever played) stirred us (see the ’95 finals series), set the team, the stands, the televisions alight (see the highlights package).

Leigh Matthews once replied, when asked what players he’d like if he could have anyone, that if he had the chance he’d take 22 Koutas’. Imagine that team! Kouta taps it to Kouta who passes it to Kouta who marks and handpasses to the running Kouta who passes it to the leading full-forward Kouta! With Anthony, all things were possible and that is what took our breathe away. He could soar like Jezza; part the red sea of Essendon jumpers like Big Nick and save us in defence time again like SOS.

If I had an H.G.Wells time machine, I would take my son back to the young Kouta; to the first time he picked up the ball one handed, that would be a thing to savour, to share with my son, time and time again. I remember early in Kouta’s career there was an article on him where he was claimed to be the prototype footballer of the future - the six million dollar man of the AFL.

How prophetic. Before Kouta there were footballers. Since, there have been footballers and athletes and if a club is lucky, a footballing athlete (or an athletic footballer) – all are as a result of Kouta. A man who has left his mark upon the game at every single club because since he arrived they have all sought his like in every draft. Even now when a tall, fast footballer arrives on the scene he is immediately christened ‘the new Kouta’ and every reader knows exactly what the writer means.

Each Carlton great defines a period of time, for Kouta it was the 90’s. He was the footballer of the 90’s. He carried this game into the new Millennium. But all things do pass. And this week we have learnt that the great man has retired from the game - and even in writing these words I remember that game against Melbourne at the Dome when he returned from his knee reconstruction with the brace, the crowd screaming his name, the first touch, the mark, KOUTAAAAAAA! The roof buckled with love for the man who had given us so many great moments.

The injuries ruined his game, placed him back amongst the mortals and yet still he racked up possessions out of the middle, like Beethoven going deaf, Kouta still found majesty despite the setbacks.

So to Kouta I would like to say thanks for the memories, thank you for the love you gave this club, gave to our beloved jumper. To the club I ask they find a role for him, he has been our greatest ambassador, a humble, gentle giant who has always held himself up as a perfect role model to all.

How fitting it might have been if this team had managed to push themselves over the line against The Saints. I am sure if they had known it was his last game they would have. How fitting too that he was coached by Ratts, a bloke who started with Kouta in the under nineteens all those years ago when I was still a young bloke and Saturday arvos were for trips to Princes Park with my mate Keith, a few ales, and the marvels of Kouta to bring a smile to both our faces.

But we lost.

So this week we come up against the Pies who were humbled last week to the delight of this old ghost. Oh I know about picks and PICKS but this is The Pies and we have a chance to hurt them. A chance to hurt each and every one of ‘em as only football can, and in the end, this is one of the main reasons we love the game. I want to hurt the Joffa dill with his fool’s gold coat, hurt Mr McChins and his silly Caa’arlton grins. Oh sorry folks but how I want to win!

This week everyone must get to the ground, we must pack the M.C.G, to the ‘Patricks’. We must be an ocean of Navy Blue, a deep blue sea of vocal joy as the Ratts led team continue the relighting of the Carlton torch and set this ground alight by burying The Magpies hopes of a top four spot.

Besides, this weekend, the great man Kouta will do a lap of honour and so we must all be there to shout his name again as he travels around the boundary. We must join as one and scream ‘Kouta!’ so loud every Collingwood player, every AFL supporter, everyone in this town and continent shivers, feels the goose bumps run up and down their spines as a Legend of the game retires with due honour.


Thank you


GO BLUES!!!!!!

Mike and Dan

Jackson’s Thriller

Most Carlton supporters would have thought that ‘damage control’ was the best case scenario for stopping Robert Harvey last Saturday, but they didn’t count on the efforts of Ryan Jackson. Not only did the classy midfielder restrict Harvey to 19 largely ineffectual disposals, but he picked up 23 possessions and 12 marks himself to be in Carlton’s best on the day and a worthy winner of Play of the Week. Mike and Dan caught up with the young Blue as he prepared for this week’s big game against Collingwood.

You’ve won Play of the Week for your fantastic blocking efforts or Robert Harvey. Is this the most prestigious award that you’ve won in your short AFL career?

  • laughs* Yeah it would be at this stage, I’ve won a few Best and Fairests at underage level, and All Australian honors at under 16 level, but this is definitely the highlight!

How does it feel to be the first Carlton player in history to draw level, if not beat, Robert Harvey?

I didn’t look at it like that, on the day I just tried to stick with him and block his possessions. I knew I had the motor to run with him and the game plan to stay with him and get a few touches myself. He is known for his motor but I’ve always had a good endurance base and last pre-season I worked really hard over Christmas to increase my fitness levels. Endurance has always been on of my main strengths and I used it on Saturday to keep up with him.

It was disappointing to lose, but the boys put in a great effort on the weekend. What was the mood like after the game?

The mood was good, even in coaches room Ratts was pretty happy with our effort, and our effort was the main thing that we were going to be judged on. We stuck with it and Ratts told us that our last quarter was the thing that was going to stick in the mind of our supporters. We had trained hard during the week, and we knew during the last quarter we needed to step up and as a group we did ok in the end.

What kind of a coach is Brett Ratten? Does he get animated or is he calm and collected?

He was very enthusiastic, and even as an assistant coach he was always out there kicking the footy with the players. On game day he was cool and calm, and went through all of our plans and match ups pretty thoroughly. He has a lot of knowledge about the game and it really shows. The way he goes about it and gets around to all the players is a real strength and something he is very good at. He is a very thorough coach who is very aware of opposition strengths and game plans.

There was a great statistical improvement from you second game to your third – how did your roles differ between the game against the Lions in round 5 and the game against the Saints last week?

I didn’t really have a role against the Lions, it was more just to play on the wing and get a few kicks but I didn’t end up with much game time. For Ratts to give me a go, to get the 4 quarters of footy and playing on one of the stars of the game in Robert Harvey was fantastic for me. I had watched his tape during the week and got a few tips of the assistant coaches. Harvey runs really hard between the two fifties, he can go around the back and sneak off on you so you have to be on the ball on the ball. If you don’t he’ll get away from you and start getting some touches and cutting you up.

I had never been a tagger at any stage during my junior footy career, but at the start of the year the coaching staff talked to me and because I had a good endurance base, I did a lot of running with Nick Stevens and he gave me a great insight on how to tag the good players.

How is the hand after your unlucky break earlier in the year? Do you have full confidence in it now?

It’s much better now, in fact there’s no soreness at all. I did a lot of rehab to get it super right, my surgeon was really good and it doesn’t give me any trouble any more. The physiotherapy was fairly intense, the nurses did a lot of bending and rubbing my arm through where I had the plate put in, and gave it lots of treatment to get the mobility back. I spoke to my surgeon last week and he said that the plate can come out at the end of the year if I want, or I can keep it there for life. I will probably leave it in there to be honest, as taking it out will require a minor operation and I don’t want to get a few weeks behind in training.

Who has been the biggest influence for you at the club, and which of the assistant coaches do you work most closely with?

Before when Denis was coaching, Ratts was my biggest influence, and now that Ratts is coach I’ve been doing a lot with Braddles over the past couple of weeks. Being around two legends of the club in Ratts and Braddles is amazing, and the mood at the club definitely changed at the start of the year when they came along.

Kouta was a big influence on us all and it was a shock when he had to retire. The players got a text message on Wednesday morning to say that we had to be at the club earlier than usual, and there were a few cameras around so we knew something was up. It was a sad day, Kouta got a bit emotional as you would expect from someone who has been around the club for so long and a champion of the game.

You can be honest now, were you disappointed that you weren't promoted at the end of last year?

Yeah was a bit disappointed to be honest but that’s only natural, I’m not going to lie about it. Its every rookie’s dream to get promoted, and I did ok at the end of last year and was hoping for a guernsey, but obviously its turned out ok now and I’m glad to have my opportunity.

We've got Collingwood at the 'G this week. Who do you think you will be lining up on?

We had a run through of the game yesterday and talked about some prospective match ups. The coaches aren’t 100 percent sure about who is getting who at the moment, but that will be sorted out very shortly.

I haven’t played against Collingwood but I know it’s a really big day as we are traditional rivals and there is a lot of spirit out there. There might be a bit of physical stuff, it always seems to get the game going between the two sides.

Tell us about your pathway through the junior ranks and the Northern Knights and how you ended up at Carlton?

I started off at Greensborough and got picked up as a 16 year old at Northern Knights. I was Vice Captain at under 18 level and played with some other guys such as Brett Stanton, Ricky Dyson and a couple of the Shaw boys. I went to draft camp and missed out both years, but got a call after draft and was asked by Wayne Hughes if I wanted to try out. He didn’t need to ask me twice!

What do you know about the history of the no.38 guernsey at the club?

I know that Shane Robertson played about 80 games for the club and played in a premiership. He actually rang me when I got the guernsey and obviously you listen to a player like that who played in such a good era for the club and you want to wear the number with pride.

Here is your opportunity to pay out on any of your team mates. Anything you’d like to say about them that Blues supporters should know?

I’ve actually been waiting for this opportunity to come around for a while! I have to say that the way that Cam Cloke talks to his girlfriend is unbelievable! He likes using the word darl and is always telling her that he loves her. He tries so hard to get in the good books!

Having been given the opportunity to take on and comprehensively beat one of the greatest players of the modern era, Ryan Jackson has shown that he has a great deal of potential to develop into an exciting midfielder for the Blues. His versatility in adapting so well to an unfamiliar role as tagger has shown further strengths that this rookie can develop over time, and along with his good performance last week, Jackson will be looking forward to ending the 2007 season well and building some momentum for 2008.

Round 16 | Round 18
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Page last modified on Sunday 29 of January, 2023 21:47:42 AEDT by Jarusa.

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