THERE wasn’t one particular moment where Sam Walsh could identify when Carlton was on top against Sydney in Round 10.
Rather, it was the cavalcade of noise bouncing off the Marvel Stadium walls which told the co-vice captain that it was the time for his team to capitalise.
With the exception of Zac Fisher’s sealer in the final term, the noise was never louder - and never more sustained - than when the Blues piled on nine second-quarter goals under the roof.
On the day when the Club announced it had broken its membership record for the seventh consecutive season, the Navy Blue faithful turned up in droves, posting the highest crowd at Marvel Stadium in 2022.
Speaking on SEN on Saturday, Walsh said that support in the stands went a long way to producing a result: that being Carlton’s eighth win from its opening 10 games.
“There were a few times where the crowd was just so loud,” Walsh said.
“In my career, I haven’t played many Friday nights in my time at Carlton. For the fans to come out like they did, it created some unbelievable excitement.
“We’ve been celebrating team acts and players performing their role really well. I think the second quarter was a great example of that: we were playing with the ball in our forward half and some of our smalls were putting the pressure on.
“When you’re doing that and playing proactive footy, it’s funny how things can fall in your lap a bit and things can go your way.
“It was a great quarter for us and a memorable night for us to get the win.”
While it’s easy to forget, Walsh was part of a noticeably youthful Carlton contingent on Friday night. At an average of 24 years and two months (unused medical sub Brodie Kemp would’ve brought that down further), it was the Blues’ youngest team for the season.
The reigning John Nicholls Medallist was one of nine players aged 22-and-under which pulled on the Navy Blue guernsey last night. The same amount of players had less than 50 games experience, while no Blue had over 150: Patrick Cripps was his team’s most experienced with 147.
Post-match, pundits lauded the developing maturity of the Blues and their ability to once again hold on: knowing there’s still plenty to work on, Walsh said the best learning for the group was continuing to get the four points.
“Even though you don’t like playing in close games too often, we’ve had a few this year and been able to stand up,” he said.
“It’s not the position you want to be in, but the ability to find a way has been a positive for our group.
“[Michael Voss] mentioned that it was the time we have to dig in… we had a few last-line efforts from ‘Weiters’ and a few big tackles: at the end of the day, that’s what got us over the line.”