Wooden Spoon in 2018, the Blues threw everything in to the pre-season to start our resurgence. Months of planning and the 2018 Fitness Review saw the Blues - even in October 2018 - announce the recruitment of Andrew Russell as High Performance Manager and the nominations of target players Will Setterfield, Alex Fasolo, Nic Newman and Mitch McGovern.
It seemed the Blues were planning a serious recovery mission in 2019!
Some exciting JLT performances saw the Blues break their membership record before Round 1. No doubt fans were excited by the new recruits and the expected continued growth of our kids, not to mention the outstanding start to the year for Sam Walsh.
Alas, the traditional Round 1 clash with the Tigers saw a nervous first quarter and a 33 point loss, but there were clearly signs of a more balanced team and of some genuine dash and excitement for the year ahead. Yes, 3 further losses would follow, including a heartbreaking 2 pointer away to Gold Coast, but the media drums started beating and we needed to respond. Respond we did. Our Round 5 victory over the Dogs was a stirring win with good performances across all lines. Our biggest victory for a number of years indeed! Alas, as false dawns go it was really midnight, and the Blues would lose the next 5 games in a row; some by close margins, but some in terrible smashings that ultimately saw Coach Brendon Bolton dismissed. The Essendon loss was the final straw, a game where the Blues looked slow and a little lost...
Coach David Teague would step in, and the season would become transformed. A simpler structure and some renewed passion saw the Blues transform close losses to close wins, most memorably again the Dockers and Swans away. Erstwhile fringe players would contribute well with Kennedy a revelation up forward, the defence tight and Captain Cripps dominating in the middle. 7 wins for the year - our best since 2016 - would see Teague appointed Coach permanently and renewed hope for Blues fans nationwide.
In the post season wash-up Cripps won the MVP, and Sam Walsh won our first ever Rising Star Award. Go Blues!
Coach: Brendon Bolton / David Teague
Assistant / Development Coaches: Cameron Bruce, John Barker, Dale Amos, David Teague (Assistants), Josh Fraser (VFL), Shane Watson, Brent Stanton, Jason Davenport (Development Coaches), Hamish McIntosh (Specialist – Ruck), Saverio Rocca (Specialist – Goalkicking)
Captains: Patrick Cripps and Sam Docherty
Leadership Group: Patrick Cripps, Sam Docherty, Marc Murphy, Kade Simpson, Ed Curnow
President: Mark LoGiudice
AFL Rising Star Winners: Sam Walsh
Debuts: Michael Gibbons, Sam Walsh, Liam Stocker, Angus Schumacher
Debuts (Carlton): Alex Fasolo, Mitch McGovern, Nic Newman, Will Setterfield, Hugh Goddard, Josh Deluca
50 Games: Charlie Curnow, Sam Petrevski-Seton, Jack Silvagni, Zac Fisher
50 Games (Carlton): Liam Jones
50 Games (League): Mitch McGovern, Nic Newman
100 Games: Patrick Cripps
100 Games (Carlton): Dale Thomas
100 Games (League): Matthew Lobbe
150 Games: Ed Curnow
250 Games: Marc Murphy
250 Games (League): Dale Thomas
Rising Star Nominees: Sam Walsh
Retirements: Jarrod Pickett, Dale Thomas, Alex Fasolo
Delistings: Jarrod Garlett, Patrick Kerr, Kym LeBois, Matthew Lobbe, Angus Schumacher
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