THE WORK doesn’t stop.
After Carlton reached its first AFL preliminary final since 2000, some might expect the Blues’ natural progression to take them to another level in 2024.
That view isn’t shared internally. The message is clear: put in the work, or get overtaken.
Someone who knows all about that is Jack Silvagni, who watched from the sidelines in the Club’s first September run in a decade after an injury sustained late in the season. He provided an insight into the chats already held internally at IKON Park when speaking to SEN’s Whateley.
“There’s a strong alignment amongst the group, the coaches and the supporters as well,” Silvagni said.
“It’s an understanding of needing to move forward, and knowing how close the competition is — if you rest on your laurels, you’ll get overtaken. Being happy with the progress, but there’s an understanding that we need to improve in our roles and the team we want to be, challenging each other from within.”
Silvagni, who’s been part of a senior contingent who have flocked to IKON Park this week a week before they were due back, knows all about the grind and struggle both internally and externally.
Competition for spots at Carlton has never been greater, as all Bluebaggers are finding out when attempting their best 22s for the upcoming year. No longer is the question ‘Who makes it?’, but rather it’s ‘Who misses out?’.
The 25-year-old is under no illusions that pre-season is the time to make those gains, with Carlton’s greatest competition to come from within.
“I’ve got to back myself in . . . confidence is a big part of the game.
“Working closely with those who I trust at the Club, working closer with Harry and Charlie, backing myself in to play my role and know my worth — that’s what’ll hold me in good stead.”
One thing that was never a question for Silvagni was remaining at his boyhood club, despite doubts over his contract throughout the 2023 season.
“There was a lot said in the media about me wanting to leave and the Club pushing me out, but I think we were on the same page fairly early. Once conversations started, it was taken care of pretty swiftly.
“It’s very hard to imagine myself elsewhere . . . I don’t think it’d be received well from Nonna if I decided to move clubs!”