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3:27pm  Mar 22, 2018

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Bolton: Blues ready to climb

Alexandra Stewart, Carlton Media  February 28, 2018 3:49 PM

Teague: Bluebaggers 'should be excited' David Teague spoke to the media at Ikon Park today as the boys prepare for their first JLT match against St Kilda.

CARLTON coach Brendon Bolton has indicated his side is as determined as ever to climb the AFL ladder in 2018 ahead of the Club’s first JLT Community Series hit-out against St Kilda at Ikon Park tonight. 

The 38-year-old enters his third year as senior coach at the Blues and has declared there would be "no ceiling" on what his rising team could achieve in 2018.

“We think the year is about not putting a ceiling on what we can achieve. Our members and supporters need to hear that I’ve never heard our players more passionate – including from the likes of Murphy, Simpson, Cripps and Docherty – in wanting to climb the ladder and strive to chase other teams,” Bolton said.

“It’s a credit to the Club that they’ve stuck to the plan we had and we’re now going into our third year of a massive amount of list changes.

“We think it should just settle now and as a club we’re going to build some chemistry in our group playing together this year. We’re really excited about where we are, and now it’s about chasing the climb.

“Like anything, it’s dangerous not to believe and not have hope. And we have that. The passion amongst our players in wanting to chase the others and climb the ladder is really important and why not put a ceiling on it irrespective of our age.

"We’re not shying away from the reality of what has happened too. We’ve had a massive list turnover – and we needed to. Our members asked for it in going about the changes in the right way." 

With a mix of experience and exciting new talent, including top-10 draft picks in Paddy Dow and Lochie O’Brien lining up at Ikon Park on Wednesday evening, Bolton indicated there would be a number of debutants for the navy blue this season.

AFLX 2018 - Melbourne Tournament
Prized No.3 draft pick Paddy Dow has already shown exciting glimpses of his potential this pre-season. (Photo: AFL Media)

“(We think) maybe three or four (debutants) at least. And (on Wednesday) we’re going to play young Paddy Dow and Lochie O’Brien who are both top ten draft picks. But irrespective of age, we’re going to go out there to try and win every game,” he told 3AW on Tuesday evening.  

“We hold our players to account on standards and that’s important because in time we want to climb the ladder and climb it really quickly.”