CARLTON will take a number of key learnings out of Saturday’s loss to Fremantle in their first game of the 2020 Marsh Community Series.

A hungry Fremantle outfit played with an intensity Carlton could not match over four quarters, eventually finishing 47-point winners. 


Missing a number of key senior players it was left up to the Blues’ younger midfield brigade of Sam Walsh, Zac Fisher and Paddy Dow to pick up the pieces. 

Speaking following the game, assistant coach Brent Stanton believes it is now on the players to find the intensity that they brought to the table in the practice match against Collingwood before they take on the Tigers in Round 1.

“There are a lot of good learnings we’ve got out of this game,” Stanton said following the game.

“It’s all about our preparation for Round 1. We’ve stressed that to our players: we tried to get as much game time into the guys we’re looking at for Round 1. 

“There’s no doubt [Fremantle] came with a real hunger and desperation. They were a lot stronger around the ball. 

“The learnings for the guys like Walsh, Fisher, Dow, the younger crew — it really shows that when you bring a desperation like Fremantle did, it’s going to be hard to come up against it if you don’t want to match it.”


A big positive for the Blues despite the result was the form of off-season recruit Jack Martin.

Getting through his allotted game time in the first half, Martin brought class, energy and enthusiasm to Carlton’s forward line, while also spending time in the middle.

Martin, who finished with a goal and an assist from his nine disposals, is likely to increase his load against Brisbane next week in readiness for Round 1. 

“Jack was fantastic,” Stanton said.

“He was probably a standout for us in terms of his intensity at the ball and his hardness. His speed and just his energy around the ball was quite noticeable in the first half.

“We’re still planning and building him to Round 1. That’s our focus. 

“Coming into next week against Brisbane, it’s really important he starts to get the confidence in his own body to be able to compete like that for 120 minutes.” 

Carlton leaves Mandurah with a clean bill of health, with the only minor concern coming for Michael Gibbons who rolled his ankle in the final term.


With the focus now shifting to next Sunday against the Lions at Ikon Park, the Blues will look to add considerable experience with the likes of Eddie Betts, Patrick Cripps, Lachie Plowman and Marc Murphy all likely to be available for selection.

The game will provide the Blues another chance to build consistency and chemistry as they look to finalise their preparations for Round 1.

“There will be a couple of changes, no doubt,” said Stanton

“The guys that played in the All-Stars game and a couple of guys that had a few niggles here and there [will return].

“That’s a really big focus that we’re trying to get that continuity between our group.