Will 2023 be the year for Carlton? The team on paper is there, it will be the second year under Michael Voss and the pressure to succeed will be hot following last year’s capitulation.
Fremantle great Paul Hasleby is bullish about them, saying the Blues may just have more star power than any side in the league.
“They should be up near top four. I think they’re competing for that,” Hasleby told SEN WA’s The Run Home.
“They should jump into the finals and if they don’t, something clearly is wrong.
“They’ve set their five-year plan to win the flag by 2027 and to have 125,000 members … they are a big club and their supporters have been waiting for this moment.
“They’ve got stars everywhere. They’ve probably got more stars than anyone when you look at Harry McKay and Charlie Curnow, that’s the best one-two combination in the competition, Patrick Cripps and Sam Walsh through the midfield, then you’ve got Adam Cerra, George Hewett, those sorts of guys, Zac Fisher is improving all the time, Matt Kennedy is a good player.
“They do miss a little bit down back in terms of some run and carry besides Adam Saad, they were probably hoping Zac Williams could be that player, but he’ll miss the whole season.
“They are primed. There is no more excuses for the Carlton Football Club.”
Carlton will be hoping for some injury luck after their 2022 season was derailed by an injury list in double digits all year.
With Williams (torn ACL), Walsh (back injury), Jordan Boyd (foot surgery), Matt Cottrell (stress fracture) and Sam Philp (inactive list) already hurt, they have not got off to a strong start.