“THERE is a real steely resolve to try and achieve something.”

Carlton senior coach Daniel Harford believes his Blues will be able to harness the disappointment of a 2020 season cut short to come back stronger in 2021.

Carlton concluded its 2020 season qualifying for a preliminary final after a five-game winning streak, but weren’t able to contend for their Grand Final spot after the season was cancelled due to Covid-19 restrictions.

10:07 Mins
Published on

Harford on Blues return to training

Carlton AFLW coach Daniel Harford outlined the Blues' goals for the upcoming pre-season.

Published on

“It’s hard to let go of not just for us but also for the other three teams that were still alive in the competition. It’s hard to let go of an opportunity that you never got a chance to have,” Harford said.

“Now having said that, there’s a lot of other athletes around the country that never got anywhere near the finishing post. We understand that position as well and we were very lucky to get to that point.

“But it is difficult to let go of because we were really humming, we were feeling good about ourselves and our game was growing every week.”

The goal for Harford will be encouraging the group to harness that disappointment to become an even stronger outfit in 2021.

“We don’t just get to start from that point again, we have to go all the way back to the start of an even competition with no wins and no losses like everyone else and we’ve got to build,” he said.

“But I wouldn’t mind betting that because of the last couple of years that we’ve had - a Grand Final appearance, the experience of being comprehensively beaten in that and then really growing in that next year and having the season taken away - that there is a real steely resolve to try and achieve something.”

The AFLW Blues returned to Ikon Park in October for the first time since they faced Brisbane in a semi-final in March, an informal training period preluding a structured pre-season.

“This three-and-a-half-week period is about feeling good about ourselves, getting our bodies moving at the intensity again without going over the top, just building up nicely with our strength and conditioning department,” he said.

“That’s essentially it: have a good time, feel good about yourselves, touch the footy heaps and don’t get broken.”