A STIRRING second half of the season will have Carlton full of confidence with 2019 coming to a close.
Familiar faces fired in Navy Blue while the Club’s emerging youngsters owned the future in a campaign which saw the Blues record seven wins for the year.
With the home-and-away season now over, we’re going through every player who featured for Carlton at senior level in 2019.
Here’s the year that was for Carlton’s No. 28, David Cuningham.
KEY AFL STATISTICS (averages in brackets):
Disposals: 144 (16) Marks: 28 (3.1) Contested possessions: 62 (6.9) Tackles: 32 (3.6) Pressure acts: 166 (18.4) Metres gained: 2438 (271)
Worth the wait!— Carlton FC (@CarltonFC) July 31, 2019
Three more years of David Cuningham in Navy Blue.
Following a frustrating 2018 season hindered by injury, the classy David Cuningham would benefit from one of his most complete pre-seasons to date, playing throughout the JLT Series and hitting the field for Round 1.
He would find his greatest stretch of consistency in the senior team between Rounds 6 and 13, where he showcased his football smarts, tenacity and strong decision-making around the contest, proving to be a handy asset in a new role across the half-forward line.
Injury would once again derail Cuningham’s season, however, as he would miss a large portion late in the season with an ongoing knee injury.
Cuningham added greater dimension to his game, joining the brigade of emerging Carlton pressure forwards in averaging 3.6 tackles and 6.9 contested possessions from his nine games.
Highly regarded around the Club, the 22-year old was rewarded with a three-year contract extension late in the season.
Cuningham’s best performance of the season came in Round 8, when Carlton took on traditional rivals Collingwood in front of a packed house at the MCG.
In a tough-fought contest, the smooth-moving Cuningham produced his best game at the elite level, collecting 23 disposals, laying four tackles and kicking two important goals.
While the Pies may have run away with the win late in the game, it was a performance which definitely showcased the full potential that the young Blue has — and it gave fans something to be excited about for years to come.
Cuningham delivered one of the goals of the season when the Blues took on the Hawks in Round 6.
Deep in the Blues forward line, Cuningham picked up the loose ball, fended off his opponent and threaded the needle from just inside the boundary to send the travelling Blues’ faithful into a frenzy.
Awesome stuff, Cunners!— Carlton FC (@CarltonFC) April 29, 2019
His stunning solo effort has been acknowledged with a Round 6 Goal of the Year nomination. #BoundByBlue
THEY SAID IT
Speaking to Carlton Coaches’ Corner, development coach Jason Davenport highlighted the strengths that Cuningham brought to his game in 2019.
“His attributes are no secret: speed, power and his ability to break lines and change direction.
“They’re what will make him a great player at AFL level for a long period of time.”