THE Carlton Football Club is thrilled to announce it has re-signed young guns Ollie Hollands and Lachie Cowan for a further two years.
It continues a thrilling 24 hours for the pair, who were told in front of teammates yesterday that they would be debuting in Thursday night’s season opener against Richmond.
Recruited from the Murray Bushrangers, Hollands - the No.11 pick in last year’s draft - has not hesitated to make his mark in his debut pre-season at IKON Park.
Hollands has impressed early, with solid performances across both practice matches. He was the leading disposal winner at half time in the second practice match against Sydney, finishing the game with 17 disposals, 6 marks and 14 kicks.
An elite runner, he has a proven ability to play on the wing while also putting his hand up for time in the midfield, and across back half.
Hollands enjoyed an under-18 All-Australian campaign in 2022, building into the season to also showcase some strong form for Vic Country.
The teenager also has ties to the Navy Blue with his great-grandfather Martin Cross, playing 36 games for Carlton in the early 1960s.
Photographed in the first image is Martin Cross, standing alongside Carlton teammate Ian Collins. Cross made his debut in R1, 1961.— Carlton History (@CarltonHistory) March 13, 2023
Some 62 years later is Cross' great-grandson Ollie Hollands, congratulating Collins on his Legend elevation. Hollands will debut in R1, 2023.
Cowan has not put a foot wrong over summer, since being selected as a 17-year-old at pick No.30 in the 2022 draft.
After an impressive showing in the practice match against Sydney, Cowan is quickly becoming a fan favourite for his toughness and refusal to take a backward step.
A classy rebounder out of the back half, Cowan has a prodigious right boot, and is just as adept at providing dash from defence, as he is thwarting opposition attacks via intercepts.
A boyhood Bluebagger, Cowan was the 2022 Morrish Medallist (the NAB League’s best-and-fairest player) and an under-18 All Australian, putting together a superb season for Tasmania, where he was co-captain.
Carlton Head of List Management Nick Austin said Ollie and Lachie have really captured the attention of the coaching group since arriving at the club.
“Ollie has been so impressive since walking in the doors of IKON Park late last year, and we believe he’s going to have a really bright future as a player for the Carlton Football Club,” Austin said.
“His natural running ability, quick decision making and willingness to learn have seem him become a natural fit within the Club.
“From the moment you meet Ollie you know he is a quality character, has transitioned into the playing group really well, and we look forward to watching his development unfold in the years to come.
“As someone who has supported this club since day one, Lachie has embraced all parts of life at Carlton and so it was an easy decision to put such faith in him – were excited to see him emerge in the Navy Blue.
“His dedication to his craft has impressed us early, and we’re rapt with how quickly Lachie has adapted throughout his short time here.
“He’s an impressive young athlete who plays footy the right way, a willingness to compete in every session consistently has become a trademark of his in such a short time, and we know our members and supporters will enjoy seeing him grow over the next few years.”