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AFL: New Blues set to shine

Phase two | 2018's final week The players were put through their paces in the final week of training for 2018.

EXCITING new opportunities comes with the arrival of a new year, and that's exactly what Carlton's 11 fresh faces will be looking to make the most of.

Over the off-season, the Blues have welcomed significant talent through the doors of Ikon Park, with phase two now underway.

What can we expect from these 11 players in the Old Dark Navy Blue?

No.11 — Mitch McGovern

McGovern secured his switch from the Adelaide Crows to Ikon Park, where he'll be a dynamic addition to the forward line. With the ability to also play a role in defence, the high-flying McGovern will provide another scoring avenue for the Blues.

Originally from Western Australia, McGovern’s footballing pedigree is evident: his father Andrew played for Fremantle, while his brother Jeremy is at West Coast. Now in navy blue, McGovern will be looking to make his own name.

Recruited from: Adelaide
Draft history: 2014 NAB AFL Draft 3rd round selection (Adelaide Crows) No.43 overall.

No.13 — Liam Stocker

Stocker’s name will go down in the history books as the first player selected as part of a live trade. The Sandringham Dragons product is a midfield bull with great foot skills on either side of his body.

With the ability to go forward and do damage, Stocker — taken with pick No.19 — will learn from Carlton’s best in Patrick Cripps and Marc Murphy as he embarks on a new career in navy blue.

Recruited from: Sandringham Dragons
Draft history: 2018 NAB AFL Draft 1st round selection, No.19 overall.

No.18 — Sam Walsh

The No.1 pick in the 2018 NAB AFL Draft, the one word to describe new Blue Sam Walsh is ‘class’.

A smooth mover who mixes a strong running game with the ability to win his own ball, Walsh will complement Carlton’s young midfield mix extremely well. Despite his age, Walsh is a leader and someone Blues fans will latch onto for years to come.

Recruited from: Geelong Falcons
Draft history: 2018 NAB AFL Draft 1st round selection (Carlton) No.1 overall.

No.24 — Nic Newman

A smooth-moving, high-efficiency defender, Newman was Carlton’s last acquisition of the 2018 trade period, sealing his move to the Blues with 10 minutes remaining. The former Swan made his mark as a mature-age recruit, slotting into Sydney’s miserly defence to play 31 games over the course of two seasons.

With an accurate left foot and the ability to rotate off the wing, Newman — who cost the Blues a future fourth-round draft pick — could prove to be an astute pick-up for his new club. 

Recruited from: Sydney Swans
Draft history: 2015 Rookie Draft selection (Sydney) No.35: 2016 rookie elevation (Sydney)

 

No.32 — Alex Fasolo

Crossing from the old enemy, Fasolo has shown football fans that he’s capable of the magnificent throughout his 101 games.

Averaging more than a goal a game and having played on the AFL’s biggest stage, the mercurial Fasolo will add some scoring nous and valuable experience to an emerging group. At 26 years of age, the 181cm forward will add a different avenue in a forward line full of young talent.

Recruited from: Collingwood
Draft history: 2010 NAB AFL Draft 3rd round selection (Collingwood) No.45 overall.

No.37 — Ben Silvagni

It will be a special moment when Ben Silvagni pulls on the navy blue jumper for the first time.

Throughout his junior career, he showed his ability to take a game by the scruff of its neck, with 23 disposals and 10 marks in a single game in the TAC Cup. However, it was his form down back for Vic Metro which was equally impressive and displayed his versatility.

Recruited from: Oakleigh Chargers
Draft history: 2018 NAB AFL Draft 4th round father-son selection (Carlton) No.70 overall.

 

No.38 — Finbar O’Dwyer

Tidy in the air and clean at ground level, O’Dwyer is a versatile young tall who has the attributes to be a damaging forward.

Taken with pick No.66 in the 2018 NAB AFL Draft, O’Dwyer enjoyed a growth spurt of 10cm in 12 months and has a lot of scope for development. He looms as an exciting prospect.

Recruited from: Murray Bushrangers
Draft history: 2018 NAB AFL Draft 4th Round selection (Carlton) No.66 overall.

No.40 — Tomas Bugg

Tom Bugg’s determination and desperation was a welcome addition to Carlton via the 2018 Rookie Draft.

With nearly 100 games of experience, Bugg - a former Giant and Demon - will be an asset to the Blues’ forward line, with his fierce tackling pressure to be a feature.

Recruited from: Melbourne
Draft history: 2011 17-year-old access selection (GWS Giants); 2018 Rookie Draft (Carlton) No.19 overall

No.43 — Will Setterfield

Setterfield added to Carlton’s flourishing young midfield stocks when he made his way to the Blues in the 2018 trade period. A former GWS Giant, Carlton has clearly been a fan of Setterfield for a long time, bidding its No.5 selection in the 2016 AFL draft.

Now officially a Bluebagger, Setterfield — who has had his game likened to Marcus Bontempelli — is the prototype for a modern-day midfielder. He wins a combination of inside and outside ball, while he can also drift forward and hit the scoreboard.

Recruited from: GWS Giants
Draft history: 2016 NAB AFL Draft 1st round selection (GWS Giants) No.5 overall.

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No.44 — Matthew Owies

Owies arrived at Carlton over the off-season as a Category B rookie, having spent the last three seasons forging a basketball career in America.

A star junior, Melbourne boy Owies is no stranger to the game, having won two best and fairest awards for St Kevins. Having now code-hopped back to football, Owies is looking to make his own way as a potential pressure forward with the ability to play in the midfield in the long-term.

Recruited from: Seattle University (basketball)
Draft history: 2018 Category B rookie

No.45 — Hugh Goddard

Hugh Goddard will be keen to make the most of his second chance at Ikon Park in 2019. The former Saint was a highly-rated junior talent who had an unfortunate run with injury, but rebounded to enjoy a strong VFL season last year.

Likely to settle in down back, Goddard can also pinch-hit up forward and will provide another option in the defensive half.

Recruited from: St Kilda
Draft history: 2014 NAB AFL Draft 1st round selection (St Kilda) No.21 overall; 2018 Rookie Draft (Carlton) No.1 selection