Bryce Gibbs through a trade and Sam Docherty through injury, Blues fans approached season 2018 with a great sense of optimism. Improved on field performances in 2017 were combined with another strong trade / draft year, meaning our list on paper at least looked impressive with an eye to the future. Hopes rested on the recruited Matt Kennedy and Darcy Lang together with #3 Pick Paddy Dow, plus the ongoing growth of our impressive draftees from recent years.
A positive JLT Cup showing only aided these hopes.
However when the rubber hit the road we were soon a few tyres short. An opening honorable loss to the Tigers was impressive in phases, but hard losses at home to the Gold Coast and the Pies had the angst levels returning to 2015 levels! A smashing in Round 4 at the hands of the expected-to-be-lowly-but-not North Melbourne demoralised the fans, with close but too far losses following meaning for the first time in our history we were 0 and 6 and facing another bottom 4 finish. A win against the Bombers raised hopes, before another long run of losses - some close, and showing massive endeavour, some a mile away from the comp - saw the Blues two games adrift at the bottom and planning for draft picks.
The end result was our 5th Wooden Spoon and second in 4 years, in a sad outcome for a year with so much promise and a list with so much upside. In many ways it was the 'black cat' Spoon, with such horrific luck with injuries - most Blues had a hit of some type or other other than man mountain and future Captain Cripps - let alone the season absences for gun Sam Docherty and future gun Tom Williamson (Doc, Willo, ASOS and Macreadie did not play all year due to injury - there goes the whole defensive plan for the team).
While the season couldn't end soon enough, it was clear that months of planning by the Blues hierarchy would soon be enacted in a renewed effort to drive us out of the Bottom 4 and into the 8 once again...
Coach: Brendon Bolton
Assistant / Development Coaches: David Teague, John Barker, Cameron Bruce, Dale Amos, Tim Clarke, Shane Watson, Josh Fraser and Saverio Rocca
Captain: Marc Murphy (NB He brought up his 100th game as Carlton Captain in Round 2!)
President: Mark LoGiudice
All Australian: Patrick Cripps
Paddy Dow, Lochie O'Brien, Patrick Kerr, Tom de Koning
Debuts (Carlton): Jarrod Garlett, Matt Kennedy, Aaron Mullett, Cam O'Shea, Darcy Lang, Matt Shaw, Matthew Lobbe
Rising Star Nominees: Paddy Dow
300 Game (Carlton): Kade Simpson
150 Games (AFL): Matthew Wright
150 Goals (AFL): Dale Thomas
100 Games (Captain): Marc Murphy
100 Games (Carlton): Levi Casboult
100 Games (AFL): Liam Jones
50 Games (Carlton): Matthew Wright, Lachie Plowman
50 Games (AFL): Jed Lamb, Darcy Lang
50 Games (Carlton Coach): Brendon Bolton
50 Games (AFL Coach): Brendon Bolton
Retirements: Alex Silvagni, Matthew Wright, Ciaran Byrne, Cillian McDaid
Delistings: Sam Rowe, Jed Lamb, Nick Graham, Sam Kerridge, Jesse Glass-McCasker, Aaron Mullett, Cam O'Shea, Matt Shaw
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