46. MATTHEW COTTRELL
THE curtain has been drawn on an unprecedented 2020 season for the Navy Blues.
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 Matthew Cottrell.
KEY AFL STATISTICS (averages in brackets):
Disposals: 53 (10.6) Contested possessions: 25 (5) Clearances: 5 (1) Metres gained: 1379 (275.8) Score involvements: 11 (2.2)
Living the dream.
In his second season for the Blues, Matthew Cottrell certainly put together a few moments for his personal highlight reel.
Cottrell played five games for Carlton in 2020, with the boyhood Bluebagger becoming a cult hero among fans thanks to his determination on-field and ‘passionate’ goal celebrations.
Following in the steps of his grandfather Len who played 12 games for the Club from 1958–59, it was a memorable personal moment when Cottrell got his chance to run out in the Navy Blue this season.
He’ll be looking to add more senior games to his belt in 2021, having signed a contract extension for next season.
Cottrell’s best performance came in just his second game against Fremantle.
It was a game made memorable by Jack Newnes winning goal after the siren, but it was a handy showing from Cottrell across a win.
Collecting 14 disposals, it coincided with Cottrell’s first AFL goal which brought about a typically intense goal celebration.
It also just happened to be Cottrell’s first win at AFL level, joining debutant Josh Honey and close mate Tom De Koning on the inner circle.
It was the moment that made Cottrell a cult-hero among Bluebaggers and AFL supporters alike.
The pack mark, the game-winning goal and the memorable celebration: it put Cottrell on every footy fan’s radar.
In the dying minutes of the Round 16 match against Sydney, Cottrell pulled off a clutch contested mark in the forward 50, which would’ve been a highlight in itself.
From there, Cottrell went on to slot the goal that put the Blues ahead and ended with a win, providing the ‘Greek Freak’ celebration that will be remembered for a long time.
THEY SAID IT
On Cottrell re-signing with the Blues for another year, List Manager Nick Austin had this to say about the youngster.
“Since arriving at Ikon Park, Matt has worked tirelessly to make the most of his opportunity and we have been really pleased with his growth this season,” Austin said.
“He is an energetic character and brings great enthusiasm to the playing group, as well as a high work rate and eagerness to improve on a daily basis.
“With five senior games now under his belt, we are looking forward to his continued development over the course of the next 12 months and seeing him push for more opportunity at senior level.”