Trading Ikon Park for 10 different hotel hubs across Queensland, Western Australia and the Northern Territory, it’s been a year we won’t soon forget.
With the final siren having rung on the final game, it’s time to look at those who featured in five or more games for Carlton or made their AFL debuts in 2020.
Here’s the year that was for Carlton’s No.35, Ed Curnow.
KEY AFL STATISTICS (averages in brackets):
Disposals: 320 (18.8) Contested possessions: 153 (9) Tackles: 88 (5.2) Clearances: 71 (4.2) Metres gained: 5220 (307.1) Inside 50s: 64 (3.8)
Playing every game for the second straight season, Ed Curnow was once again an embodiment of consistency in Navy Blue.
Having now featured in 52 consecutive games, Curnow was as dependable as ever as he continued his career-best run of form which has resulted in third and second-placed finishes in the last two John Nicholls Medals.
Ranked No.1 at the Club for tackles and No.2 for inside 50s and clearances, it was clear that Curnow still has just as crucial a role to play for the team he’s represented 182 times.
Curnow will go into his 11th season at Ikon Park next year after re-signing a one-year extension for 2021.
One Ed Curnow performance stands above the rest in 2020.
The No.35 was the clear best on ground when the Blues played in the final leg of their Western Australian trip against Fremantle.
A classic Ed Curnow performance.— Carlton FC (@CarltonFC) August 17, 2020
In classic Ed Curnow conditions.
With a classic Ed Curnow disposing of the footy face to go with it.#OwnTheFuture
In true Ed Curnow conditions, the veteran collected 33 disposals, 16 contested possessions and 10 clearances in a superb solo showing.
While the game will be remembered for Jack Newnes’ heroics after the siren, Carlton simply wouldn’t have been in that position without Curnow’s efforts over four quarters in the comeback win.
Heading into their first game in the hub, Carlton needed a big effort from their leaders after a disappointing result against St Kilda.
Curnow led from the front from the outset, taking on Western Bulldogs big gun Marcus Bontempelli and delivering in spades.
Setting the tone from the opening term, Curnow laid a crunching tackle on Bontempelli inside forward 50 and nailed the set shot.
It was a sign of things to come from Curnow, who amassed seven clearances, quelled Bontempelli’s influence and polled five coaches’ votes.
THEY SAID IT
Respected across the entire competition, Curnow has been a leader not only at Carlton, with the veteran also part of the AFLPA Board.
A father in a young family, Curnow opened up about the significance of moving into a hub for the betterment of the game.
“To judge a group of players broadly is just unfair: you never know what’s going on in someone’s life,” Curnow said.
““A lot of the guys are really aware that us making the sacrifice to come away as a group and ‘hub up’ to keep the game going is benefitting the industry as a whole.
“The playing group is really excited to just play footy, that’s our job. There’s a certain feeling of duty to the game.”