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New surroundings for new draftees

Inner sanctum | Blues get their man Go behind-the-scenes of Carlton's recruiting room and witness how the Liam Stocker selection unfolded.

FOUR new draftees and three new rookies will call Carlton home this year, after finding their way to Ikon Park at the end of 2018.

All seven have individual stories which have led them to the Blues, whether it’s as a highly-touted draft pick, from a different club or even from a different sport.

Here’s what they said when they made their way to Carlton ahead of this year: their first full year as Blues.

What they said

Sam Walsh
Pick 1 — 2018 NAB AFL Draft

"Carlton has been so welcoming, it’s been a great experience so far. ‘Bolts’ and everyone have been great, backing me in to do my best.

"When you get to a club, no-one really cares about what number pick you are. I’m here to earn everyone’s respect… The expectation definitely does step up, but I focus on things I can control and go from there."

Liam Stocker
Pick 19 — 2018 NAB AFL Draft

"I didn’t think too much about it until when Carlton read my name out. I was certainly very excited to come to a club with such a rich history.

"What ‘Bolts’ and SOS said to me afterwards really instilled some confidence in me. It’s certainly a vote of confidence and I can’t help but to repay that. However my career goes, I won’t leave a stone unturned."


Finbar O’Dwyer
Pick 66 — 2018 NAB AFL Draft

"I think I bring a bit of zip on the forward line and I’m not a bad mark, so hopefully I can help the boys. There’s a good culture here - I’ll work to improve… I’m ready to hit it hard.

"I was more of a pocket, rotating off the bench was my job. I’m more of a bigger man now, and a bit more of a key position. I grew about 10 centimetres."


Ben Silvagni
Pick 70 — 2018 NAB AFL Draft

"It’d be awesome to work my way into the senior team this year, but I think the list is getting stronger and stronger every year. I wouldn’t be too disappointed if that didn’t happen because we’ve got some of the best young players in the league.

"I guess that competitive nature and rivalry is something we [the Silvagni siblings] bring to our footy as well. You’ve got to bring that competitive nature against every opponent."

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Hugh Goddard
Pick 1 — 2018 rookie draft

"I’m very grateful for the opportunity to be at this club. I’m definitely going to take that approach with my footy here, leaving nothing in the tank — playing AFL has been my dream since I was a kid.

"I’m open to playing at either end. I’m learning a lot off guys like Liam Jones and Jacob Weitering which has been great."


Tomas Bugg
Pick 18 — 2018 rookie draft

"I met with Brendon Bolton and Stephen Silvagni and they really instilled in me that they believe in me. They want me to be myself and I’m excited with the fresh start: there’s a lot of energy in the young guys and some strong leadership.

"For me it’s about building a strong pre-season and then giving myself the best chance to play Round 1 for the season. I’m strongly motivated to play for this team."


Matthew Owies
Category B rookie

"I’m super excited to play for a club with the history like Carlton. I think my competitiveness is really big: I hate to lose and love to win and that’s something I can bring.

"I think I can be a high-pressure, quick player who can put on tackles in the forward line and run in the middle, that’s where I hope to be. I know it’s going to be a big learning curve, I can’t wait to get started at Carlton."