THE Carlton Reserves got back on the winners’ list after a hard-fought win over Werribee at Avalon Airport Oval.
The Blues conceded the first three goals of the game and trailed by 12 points in the last quarter, but surged home to record a 19-point win.
Here’s what VFL Senior Coach Daniel O’Keefe had to say after Saturday’s result.
On the fighting spirit of the group and owning the moment:
“We asked for a lot of resilience in the game: it was one of our key words at the start of the match.
“We knew that we’d have certain moments even if we had some flat spells as individuals throughout the day. In our post-game review, we spoke about those moments as a group and celebrated them because they proved really pivotal in the way we finished off the game.”
On the Blues’ fast finishes:
“I think it’s a mixture of our run capacity but also the fight that these boys have. They love playing together, two programs coming together comes with its challenges but the beauty with this group is that they just love playing with each other and I think that also plays a big role towards the end of games.”
On Josh Cripps’ late two-goal heroics:
“He’s one of those guys that we spoke about with moments as an individual late in the game. He didn’t just toil away as an undersized ruckman: he gave us presence and if he didn’t mark the ball, he’d bring the ball to ground and that’s all we ask of certain players in those moments.
“The fact that he was able to finish off with a couple of goals was a testament to him and there’s no doubt that he deserved it. He was fantastic.”
On Liam Stocker’s pivotal moments:
“I thought he was one of our better players: he had a really good balance of attack and defence. He used the ball well for the most part and got us territory and a lot of rebounds.
“I’m going to go back to the moments that he had in the last quarter. He laid out a few in defensive 50 and just stopped the ball coming in pretty hot so he probably saved us two or three times late.”
On Will Hayes’ versatility:
“His consistency is enormous: his running efforts are just incredible.
“He showed a lot of versatility: in the whole first half, he didn’t play on ball at all. He played wing and he played half forward so to add those strings to his bow is fantastic and he plays a pivotal role at this club.”
On Jack Carroll’s two-goal and 25-disposal game:
“I thought he was great inside the contest and then he actually was the one that swapped with Hayes in the second half. So he went to play on ball first half and then second half he played wing and half forward: to show that sort of versatility is massive for a young developing player.”
On the 4-1 start to the season:
“I’m really pleased, I’m probably still kicking myself a little bit about the loss but off the back of the loss came really good learnings and we took a lot of those learnings into the game.
“It’s a great start to the season. ‘Vossy’ and the other assistant coaches at AFL level, they take our program at VFL level really seriously and they want us to be successful so the fact that both programs are going pretty well has been great for us as a whole.”