Blues list manager Stephen Silvagni has urged supporters to be patient as the club rebuilds
CARLTON list manager Stephen Silvagni has declared “everything’s for sale”, as the club ponders whether to trade the No.1 draft pick if it finishes bottom of the ladder.
The Blues are currently sitting in 18th position with just one win after 17 rounds, and face Hawthorn, Gold Coast, GWS, Fremantle, Western Bulldogs and Adelaide in the run home.
Gold Coast is eight points clear of the Blues in 17th spot.
In a wide-ranging and often tense interview on Channel Nine’s Footy Classified on Monday night, Silvagni spoke about the club’s large rebuild, defended several trade decisions and backed coach Brendon Bolton.
Silvagni was asked – hypothetically, given the draft order is not yet determined – if the club would give up pick one for two selections inside the first round.
“I think you look at every option. Everything’s for sale,” he said.
The Blues legend became list manager at the club in 2015, with Bolton joining as coach in 2016.
Silvagni staunchly defended the club’s rebuild and pleaded for patience as it continues to rejuvenate the playing list.
“You have to look at what’s actually panned out throughout the year. On the weekend we had 16 injuries. Even in the last two games, if you look at our list demographic against Brisbane, we had 10 players under 21 years of age compared to Brisbane’s six. Between (ages) 22 and 25, Brisbane had nine and we had four.
“If you look at this week’s game (a 64-point loss to St Kilda), we had 11 players under 21 years of age and St Kilda had five. We had three players between 22 and 25, and St Kilda had nine.
“When you’re actually putting a young list out there and haven’t got the support of your key players with age and strength, it’s going to be very difficult for those kids to actually flourish as senior players.”
Carlton has brought in several players from other clubs who weren’t necessarily getting AFL games to supplement its list (including Andrew Phillips, Matthew Lobbe, Sam Kerridge, Jed Lamb and Aaron Mullett), and Silvagni said they weren’t all expected to be needed at the time.
“Certainly, there are players there who aren’t seen as long-term players, but when you’re making – roughly over the last three years – on average over 10 changes on your list, you can’t bring in 10 18-year-olds.
“You have to support yourself with some senior players on your list, and hence why some of those players were brought into the club.
“Now, some of those players aren’t long-term. Some of them weren’t there to play regular AFL footy, but right at the minute, with the injury list being where it’s at, some of them are playing. [And] some were brought onto our list to play VFL footy and support our kids.”
Silvagni also threw his support behind Bolton, who has presided over just 14 wins in two-and-a-half seasons.
“Stick fat with him, because he’s a very good teacher. Obviously, he’s going through a difficult time with the injuries on our list and our age demographics, and he’s coaching a team that’s, each week, hasn’t got anywhere near its best team out there,” Silvagni said.
“It’ll come. It’s been a tough year, a really tough year, but it’ll hold us in good stead in years to come.”
Source: AFL FOOTBALL NEWS