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Mid-season review: Forwards

VFL R11 | Jack's gutsy three goals Jack Silvagni kicks three goals after a heavy hit in the Round 11 VFL clash against Footscray.

WITH the first half of the season already behind us, we take a look back at Carlton’s first 13 rounds of 2019.

Who has impressed for the Blues, and who still has more to show?

1. Jack Silvagni

Silvagni has been a workhorse in his AFL outings to date, and acted as a key connection between the midfield and forward line. 

Averaging 15 pressure acts per game as well as four score involvements, Silvagni has flown under the radar with his ability to harass the opposition.

Although it didn’t coincide with a victory, his best came in the Blues’ Round 7 clash with North Melbourne. Silvagni was unrelenting in his attack on the contest, combining his 16 pressure acts with two classy goals.

10. Harry McKay

2019 is shaping up to be a breakout season for energetic key forward Harry McKay, who has played every game so far this year in his most consistent season yet.

The Blues’ leading goal-kicker currently tops the competition for contested marks, having clunked 31 so far this year: he sits four ahead of Tom Lynch (Richmond), Ben McEvoy and Aaron Naughton. 

The fourth-year Blue recorded his best performance to date in the Round 5 victory over the Western Bulldogs, finishing with 11 marks (five contested) and four goals.

 

11. Mitch McGovern

Mitch McGovern pulled on the Navy Blue for the first time in 2019 after moving from Adelaide during the off-season.

Despite an injury-interrupted first half of the season, Mitch McGovern has been impactful up forward with an average of 1.5 goals a game. He has proven to be a dead-eye in front of goal, having kicked 16.4 (80 percent accuracy) and hitting the scoreboard in all bar one game.

His best came in the Blues’ narrow loss to Gold Coast in Round 4: McGovern was crucial in the second term, kicking three consecutive goals while finishing with four marks. 

12. Tom De Koning

One of Carlton’s promising youngsters, Tom De Koning has spent most of season 2019 on the sidelines through a knee injury.

Making his return through the Northern Blues, De Koning showed promising signs in his first game back, finishing with 10 disposals in the 17-point win over Coburg.

Yet to make a senior appearance in 2019, De Koning will be vying for selection following the bye after he continues building his fitness through the VFL. 

 

30. Charlie Curnow

Exciting key forward Charlie Curnow was another of the Blues’ tall forwards unable to string together consistent game time due to injury in the early going. 

The 22-year old missed three games through recurring knee bruising earlier this year, but has returned to some inspiring form over the last few rounds.

Since his return, Curnow has returned an average of 14.8 disposals (7.2 contested) and two contested marks a game. His last month has also marked a return to his goalkicking ways of 2018, kicking 14 goals in the last four weeks. 

Blues fans need not cast their minds too far back to find Curnow’s best performance, with the forward back at his rollicking best after a career-high seven goals against the Western Bulldogs in Round 13. 

32. Alex Fasolo

Alex Fasolo arrived at Carlton as an off-season recruit, swapping the black and white of rival Collingwood for the Navy Blue.

With injury interrupting his pre-season, Fasolo has had an inconsistent 2019 campaign to date.

In his three games this season, Fasolo has averaged two tackles inside 50 per game, with his best performance in Round 2 against Port Adelaide. Featuring for the Northern Blues, Fasolo has spent more time in the midfield in recent weeks.  

 

36. Patrick Kerr

Third-year Blue Patrick Kerr has made a convincing case for senior selection in 2019, posting consistently promising VFL performances playing with the Northern Blues.

Yet to make an AFL appearance in 2019, the youngster has kicked 18 goals in his eight appearances for the Northern Blues, establishing himself as a handy target up forward.

Kerr’s most promising moment came against Collingwood, slotting a last-minute major to seal the three-point victory, while his six-goal haul against Frankston was a career-best. 

38. Finbar O’Dwyer

Drafted by the Blues at pick No.66 in the 2018 NAB AFL Draft, Finbar O’Dwyer has the spent the first half of 2019 developing his craft through the VFL.

The lively forward has shown promising signs with the Northern Blues, averaging six disposals and two tackles across his five games.

 

40. Michael Gibbons

An established VFL player for Williamstown, Michael Gibbons has made the most of his opportunities at the top level after joining the Blues as a supplementary rookie on the eve of the season.

The ready-made footballer has made an immediate impact in his first season in Navy Blue, playing all 13 games and averaging 14 disposals and 17 pressure acts in attack.

Playing largely as a small forward, the first-year Blues’ best coincided with Carlton’s Round 12 comeback victory over the Lions. Gibbons was integral in the win with 23 disposals and two goals.

42. Kym Lebois

After a hamstring injury interrupted his pre-season, Kym Lebois has recently returned from the sidelines and has featured for the Northern Blues over the last month. 

Since his return, Lebois has been building his form in the VFL with an average of six disposals and 2.2 tackles as he continues to build game time. His two goals against Sandringham showed a glimpse of his class.  

 

44. Matthew Owies

A cross-code rookie, Matthew Owies has been gradually developing his craft with the Northern Blues in his first year at Carlton.

Yet to get an opportunity at senior level, Owies has averaged 8.3 disposals a game while averaging a goal a game across his first nine matches.

His best came on the weekend, with the former basketballer producing a five-goal performance against Footscray in Round 11 of the VFL. He was also named the best Blue on the ground by his coaches.