CARLTON participated in its second practice match ahead of the 2021 VFL season, resulting in a 28-point win over Richmond. 

VFL coach Daniel O'Keefe gives an update on how each AFL-listed player fared in the practice match on Thursday afternoon. 

6. Zac Williams
Stats: 21 disposals (91 per cent disposal efficiency), 11 contested possessions, nine tackles, six clearances

Ideally, he wouldn’t play reserves for us, but the fact that we had him was a luxury for a lot of the players in the group. They learned from him leadership-wise, intensity-wise, compete-wise and he was super for us. He laid nine tackles in a game where there wasn’t a lot of stoppages, so he was able to compete really well for us and get the ball going our way with good decisions. 

7. Matt Kennedy 
Stats: 16 disposals, six contested possessions, three tackles. 

Matt Kennedy played the majority of the game through the midfield but also went to the wing and forward at times. When he was in the midfield, he balanced us up really well: he made good decisions on whether he went inside or outside the stoppage and then he bursted forward off the back of stoppages with some really good run that set us up going forward too. His physical presence was an asset to our team moving forward. 

13. Liam Stocker
Stats: 13 disposals, nine tackles, five inside 50s, one goal

Liam probably didn’t get his hand on the ball as much as he has in the past, but that didn’t determine whether his output was high or low. He had a really good, physical, tough game which is what we expect from Liam. He had a game-high nine tackles with Zac Williams and his ability to help his mates out through blocks and first gives was class. 

16. Jack Carroll
Stats: 17 disposals, four contested possessions, two tackles. 

We played him as a forward but then he also went inside at times as well. He was really exciting when he went into the inside mix: he has a different body shape and player-type compared to Stocker and Williams and Kennedy but what he was able to give us was some dynamic movement laterally in and out of stoppages, so that was really dangerous for us moving the ball our way. The learning for Jack is once he fully understands our system and the way we want to play at stoppages, he’ll be a really exciting prospect for us. 

19. Eddie Betts
Stats: 10 disposals, two goals, two tackles. 

Eddie kicked 2.3, and he also missed a couple of easy ones so it could have been a bit of a day out for Eddie. His intensity in the forward 50 was evident and a vast improvement on last week. I think what Eddie gave us... we didn’t have a big forward line, but when the ball came in high, he was able to bring the ball to ground and compete in the air for us which under the circumstances was really good for us inside 50. 

26. Luke Parks 
Stats: Nine disposals, three tackles, two contested possessions. 

He was our only AFL-listed player that played down back. His ability to own the dangerous space and roll off is certainly an asset to his game and a strength of his. He's still just understanding the balance of when to go and when not to go but I think once he nails that which we know he can, he’s nearly that complete defensive intercept player for us. He’s going well. 

28. David Cuningham 
Stats: 16 disposals, six inside 50s, one goal

When we had the ball, he took the ball in his hands and he ran some really dangerous patterns for us. He played half-forward and also ran through the midfield as well: he was a handful for the opposition at times throughout the day and also hit the scoreboard for us.

29. Corey Durdin
Stats: Six disposals, two tackles, one goal

It was his first hit-out for the club which is exciting. He’s on limited game-time and just played as a sole forward: he was a little bit rusty early but we expect that off his limited preparation coming into the game. There's no doubt he’s better for the run but we’re really excited to get some more game time into him going forward.

33. Sam Ramsay
Stats: Six disposals 

His work rate through the day was really high. He played at half forward and a little bit of inside midfield at times. His ability to run some good patterns was evident, but it was an almost game - he could have got on the end of a few. 

44. Matt Owies 
Stats: 13 disposals, four marks, one goal.

He generally hits the scoreboard and finds a lot of the ball for us in the forward half but I think even though that didn’t happen as much, he still had a really good game in terms of setting up our system and the way we want to play. He’s manic with his pressure at the source, it’s always really high and that was again evident throughout the day. It was one of those days where he kicked a goal but could have kicked a few more. 

46. Matt Cottrell 
Stats: 15 disposals, three tackles, one goal. 

Again, he played his role really well: his work rate from back to forward was enormous playing on the wing. His ability to run the length of the ground and support our defence was huge. It allowed our defenders to be aggressive and press up so there’s a lot of unnoticed running that he does, but we love that he gives us that opportunity to be aggressive in defence just by running those patterns. He had a really good game.