How Carlton’s 2014 off-season set them back

Nic Negrepontis - Tue, 20th Nov 2018 - 0 Comments

After a two-win 2018 season, it’s fair to look back at why the Blues are where they are.

One of the contributing factors was their decision making during the 2014 off-season, the last year before Stephen Silvagni would take over as head of recruiting.

Carlton is a team lacking talent in the 24-28 range and their miscalculations in this year are one of the reasons why.

Obviously, the power of hindsight is strong here, but Carlton unquestionably set themselves back with their selection process at the end of the 2014 season.

Decision 1: Delisting Mitch Robinson

Off-field issues contributed strongly to Carlton delisting Mitch Robinson, but you have to look at the reality of the situation.

The Blues are a team lacking midfield depth, while Robinson has gone on to win a best and fairest at the Lions and become a leader at the club.

Clearly, Robinson would be in Carlton’s best 22 if he was still there.

Elsewhere, they were also quite unlucky with Jarrad Waite signing with North Melbourne as a free agent. The club received no compensation for the move.

Decision 2: Trading pick seven

Carlton traded pick seven to GWS for a package of Kristian Jaksch, Mark Whiley and pick 19.

On paper at the time, this seemed like a win for the club.

Unfortunately, Jaksch never clicked with the Blues and was unable to make it as either a key defender or forward.

The two players combined for 16 games in navy blue.

Pick seven became Paul Ahern who went down with multiple serious knee injuries, but is now showing his potential at North Melbourne.

Decision 3: Trading for Liam Jones

Liam Jones has been okay for the Blues and has had patches of success as a reinvented key defender.

However, the Blues gave up pick 46 for Jones which ended up becoming Bulldogs cult hero Caleb Daniel.

Decision 4: The draft

Carlton went into the National Draft with four picks and the four players have all been delisted.

The Blues took Blaine Boekhorst with pick 19, something which was deemed risky and controversial at the time.

After Boekhorst, they selected Dillon Viojo-Rainbow (pick 28), Clem Smith (pick 60) and Jayden Foster (pick 63).

The four combined for 32 games, with Viojo-Rainbow and Foster never debuting for the club.

It gets worse when you look at the players taken immediately after their selections.

Essendon selected Jayden Laverde the next pick after Boekhorst, Gold Coast picked up Touk Miller after Viojo-Rainbow and the Lions grabbed Harris Andrews out of their academy.

The next year would mark a changing of the guard at Carlton with Silvagni and Brendon Bolton coming in, but unfortunately for Blues fans, this off-season performance would still leave a sour taste in their mouths.