AS THE football and wider world deals with change like no other, Carlton is planning to build on the foundations set from previous seasons.
That’s the opinion of CEO Cain Liddle, who joined AFL.com.au’s Callum Twomey to discuss all the happenings at - and away from - Ikon Park.
Carlton’s home base was just one of the intriguing points of discussion on the Footy Feed podcast, with Liddle revealing that the Club was pressing ahead with developments in the Ikon Park Masterplan.
“It’s probably been a small advantage to everything that has happened. Because we’ve had all staff working remote and now it’s highly likely that none of our players will return to training at Ikon Park in the near future, it’s given us a chance to push ahead with some of the internal works.
“We’ve really ramped up that project and we’re now hoping to start the internal works in late September or early October.”
Those internal works include new change rooms for the AFL and AFLW teams, which will eventually lead to a brand new aquatic facility, an indoor training facility and gym “double the size” of how it stands currently and - most significantly - a full integration of men’s and women’s football staff.
O' happy Deas!— Carlton Women's (@carltonfc_w) August 6, 2020
We've secured two pieces of the puzzle: we're delighted to announce the acquisitions of Elise O'Dea and Maddy Guerin to the Old Dark Navy Blues!
“I think it’ll be the first fully integrated [facility], certainly in the AFL: it’s something we’re very excited and certainly very proud about,” he said.
From an AFL performance point of view, Liddle - who joined some staff and families in the Gold Coast transition hub - said there was plenty of reason for excitement about the signs shown in 2020.
Pointing to Senior Coach David Teague’s growth in just 20 games in the role, Liddle said it was important not to lose sight despite the immediate disappointment of close losses.
“Both him and I and others understand that we’re going through the phases we’re going through and in the development phase of bringing a whole range of new players together, there are going to be ups and downs,” he said.
“We certainly haven’t got our head in the sand: we know there are areas to improve… ultimately, am I happy with the trajectory? I certainly am.
“‘Teaguey’ has coached 20 games: it feels so much more than that but it really is. He’s only in the very, very early parts of his coaching career and equally, in the early parts of developing this list and teaching them to play the way he wants.”
Liddle also looked at the significant amount of turnover in the list in recent sizes, hoping there can be some stability to come in the ensuing seasons.
However, he admitted it was hard to use the crystal ball too much considering the doubt and discussions given the current predicament.
“The Carlton list has had such significant turnover for such an extended period and moving forward, it’s something we probably have to settle down,” he said.
“Whether we’re going to be able to do that this year with potential list reductions, I’m not quite sure.
“We certainly need stability through that list and some of the early draft picks we’ve brought in: we need time for them to develop and learn to play ‘Teaguey’s’ way.”