BY THE NUMBERS (averages in brackets)
Kicks: 40 (5.7) Handballs: 58 (8.3) Disposals: 98 (14) Contested possessions 46 (6.6) Tackles: 23 (3.3)
2020 saw Chloe Dalton not only establish herself as one of the most important players in the Carlton line-up, but also across the competition.
Having not missed a game since her debut in 2019, Dalton played an integral role in the Game Changers’ dominant midfield outfit.
Her elite fitness, strength and skilfulness with ball in hand saw her collect double digit disposals in all bar one game this season.
Alongside the likes of Maddy Prespakis, Grace Egan and Katie Loynes, Dalton caused havoc for the opposition midfielders, with her pressure off the ball a key feature of her success in 2020.
Dalton’s elite standards were only made more impressive by her side-by-side preparations for the upcoming Olympic games, where she balanced her AFLW commitments with training for the Australian Rugby Sevens team as she continues to pursue her second Gold Medal.
Carlton’s semi final performance against the Brisbane Lions was a clinical display of the structured and measured football that had earned the spot in the finals series.
In a day where the team produced a 29-point win over the Lions, Dalton was one of several Blues whose game rose to the occasion.
Finishing the day with 16 disposals and five marks, the powerful midfielder did not stop until the final siren sounded at Ikon Park.
Dalton provided one of the highlights of the day during the third quarter, when she sprinted from the middle of the ground to lay a goal-saving tackle inside Brisbane’s forward 50.
Aside from being rewarded with a more consistent place in the Blues’ starting midfield, Dalton’s other season highlight may lie outside the walls of the Carlton Football Club.
Already a Rugby Sevens Olympic Gold Medalist, Dalton was again given the opportunity to represent her country at the ultimate level when she was given the call to once again take her spot in the team.
Dalton began her preparations immediately, able to successfully balance the vastly different training requirements across both codes.
While the Olympics may have been postponed, the call-up is a credit to Dalton’s talent and professionalism in both sports. There’s no doubt that all Carlton supporters will be hoping that she will once again be able to (temporarily) swap the Navy Blue for the green and gold.