ONE he’d been pencilling in for a while.

While it’s still February and attention is naturally on the season proper, Carlton recruit Elijah Hollands admitted he’d been looking forward to yesterday’s match simulation against Geelong for a fair portion of time. 

In what was his first outing against external opposition alongside his new teammates, Hollands impressed onlookers at IKON Park, playing largely in a forward-mid role.

Speaking to Carlton Media post-match, Hollands said the chance to connect with his teammates in a game-like scenario was an invaluable experience leading into the season to come.


“It was obviously just a practice match to kick things off, but I was really happy to be back out there with the boys. It was one I was keen to knock over,” Hollands said.

“For me, it was a big one to work on that [connection] with the forwards and mids against opposition, against teams that don’t know what you’re doing all the time. It’s a little bit different when you’re doing it over the summer and everyone knows what you’re trying to do.

“It was good, we got a good look at what we can do over the next couple of weeks before we get another crack at it on Wednesday.”

There were signs of the dynamic ball movement which the Blues have gone to work over during the summer against the Cats, but some early rust and tricky conditions made for some turnovers coming out of the back half.

Hollands said the Blues would continue to get after what they need to in the lead-up to the season, and also forecast the shifting of magnets would continue as was demonstrated in the clash with the Cats.

“We felt we had periods of time where we played the footy that we want to play, and there were periods of time where we lacked in what we wanted to do. For the first hitout of the year, you can live with that.

“We’ve got some good opportunities to spin names through the midfield and forward line: we feel that can be a strength, so we’ll keep looking at it and what works for us.

“Everyone got through unscathed, and that’s the main thing for these kind of games.”


He also saved a special mention for the performance of his younger brother, Ollie.

“It was nice playing with him, I thought he was really good.

“He’s had a great summer and translated that today. It’s good to see him playing well and get some good prep in before he goes up to Brissy: I was happy for him.”