AFL 3 months ago

Down but never out!

  • Down but never out!

After the match on Saturday night, I sighed, took a deep breath, closed my eyes, counted to ten, and then waded into the world of social media. For the rest of the weekend, I read what some had written in the different groups that are supposedly made up of Carlton supporters.  While words such as ‘typical’, ‘predictable’, ‘idiotic’ and even a few expletives that won’t be repeated here, echoed in my mind, there were a few posts that called for the same knee-jerk reaction towards the coaches and administrators that have been swirling around for years.

I wrote an article after last week’s match detailing Carlton’s past twenty years of troubles starting with the Elliott Board managed salary cap breach.  Then continuing with knee-jerk reactions that resulted in coaches being sacked midway through a season.  Now there are some, well, how shall I put it, self-absorbed-think-they-know-better people out there who now have started a petition to oust the current Board and bring Tom Elliott on as President!  Have these people learned nothing from the past?  Have they not looked at what has happened in the past that has resulted in where we are now? Do they really think that another knee-jerk reaction will solve everything?  Do they really believe that the arrogance that the club had in the 1980’s/90’s will be the answer to all of Carlton’s failings on the field?

So, in that vein, here is my response.

Dear ‘Those People’,

In typical fashion and response, you have once again shown how little you know or understand what it takes to make a once great club, which is now wallowing in the doldrums, great again.  You have the opinion and view that to change the Board, the coaches, will ensure that the club, under your platform, will be a successful club once more. 

You have this narrow-minded and a rather ignorant assumption that your platform, your push for what you deem to be the right person for the job as President,  but it is ill-informed and potentially destructive for a club that has a rich history in the game. Why is it that you believe that what you are touting is the answer? To put it mildly – it’s not.

But, to appease you all, let’s go down that path then. Let’s sack the Board and bring in a new one with all the trappings of change that they bring right in the middle of a season.  Do you think that this will not affect the atmosphere at the club in both the players and the administrators? Do you think that by doing this the players will play in any different way? So then, let’s now sack the coaches in the middle of the season.  How will that ensure growth and maturity in a team that is, for the most part, made up of players who have not even played more than 50 games in their career?  But who are slowly building an on-field chemistry and knowledge of each other's playing abilities. But let’s do that because you know that this will spur them on for the rest of the season.

So, now you have a shambles of a club with a new Board, new coaches and an administration that, while still does need some more refining, is in now complete disarray.  So now, you believe that a new coach, a new Board will set things straight this year.  I’m sorry, but the Comedy Festival was in April, but you can try out next year if you want.

About five years ago, Richmond was in the same position where we are now, what they did was understand the process of what it was going to take to get the club to where it is now.  They stuck by a coach when some supporters did not believe in.  They supported the process of what it is going to take to get the club to where it is now. Did they sack a coach mid-season – No?  Did they start a petition to get rid of the current Board, maybe, I don’t know, but nothing came of it and the club understood the process of getting their club back to the top.

Then there is Hawthorn. Every team in the league wants to be in the position that Hawthorn is in and has been in for the past eight years or so – at the top or hovering near the top. Do you think this was achieved with the club sacking a coach mid-way through the season? Do you think it happened because they wanted to sack the Board mid-way through the season? Sure, the now current President did not believe in Alastair Clarkson and thought he should go, but he was not President then, and has done a complete turnaround and believes in what Clarkson and his coaches are achieving.  Do you think it happened overnight?

But hey, you know better don’t you. You know what will make Carlton great again because you have played the game, been a part of a club, understand what it takes to make a great club, haven’t you. You believe that by putting your negative, self-absorbed beliefs out there that those supporters who can now see the massive change in the playing group and its direction, will believe in what you propose.  Well, I don’t and I know that for the majority of supporters, and this is shown in the record number of those who are members, that they don’t believe in what you propose.

What we saw on Saturday was hope for the future. The young players who with more game time, will gain more confidence, have more on-field knowledge on what to do under pressure. Who will become stars of the game, but what we need is time to develop them. The attack on Paddy Dow who did the one thing that we all want each player to do, kick a goal under pressure, is downright appalling, as that will spur on the players to become better won’t it.

I know that I will not be able to stop you from continuing your drivel, but it’s nice to know that the majority of supporters don’t agree with you and never will.  I know that when the time comes that Carlton will start to dominate again, without the knee-jerk reactions that have been in the past, we will know that we stood by the club and that we are the lucky ones who will celebrate more because of this.  You will be the ones that might celebrate,  but because of your continual negativity and continual push for knee-jerk reactions, you will probably find something wrong with that too. 

We understand and believe in what it takes to make a club great again. You don’t. We may be down, but we are never out! 



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