July 14, 2024

Carlton’s newcomer, Elijah Hollands, expressed gratitude for the Blues’ support after seamlessly fitting into the undefeated lineup following the end of his AFL suspension. Despite feeling a bit rusty at the start of his Carlton debut, Hollands managed to accumulate 22 possessions and score a celebrated goal during the impressive victory over North Melbourne on Good Friday. The 21-year-old, who joined Carlton from Gold Coast in the off-season, faced challenging circumstances after being handed a two-game ban by the AFL for being found with cocaine at The Star Casino on the Gold Coast last September.

Queensland Police charged the utility and placed him on a two-month good behavior bond, in addition to requiring him to complete a drug diversion course.

However, Carlton coach Michael Voss had seen potential in Hollands and decided to include him in the lineup as soon as he was eligible.

“I’m incredibly thankful to the coaches, players, and administrative staff for their unwavering support and for embracing me,” remarked Hollands.

“They’ve given me the opportunity to get straight to work, which has been immensely beneficial and has instilled a lot of confidence in me,” Hollands expressed.

“Being able to step directly into the AFL lineup is truly humbling, and I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunity.”

Hollands was already motivated to prove himself after his limited game time during his three seasons with the Suns, despite being the former No. 7 draft pick. Now, he’s reunited with his younger brother, Ollie, at Carlton.

During Elijah’s first goal for the Blues in the final quarter against North Melbourne, the brothers performed a celebration reminiscent of the one popularized by Tottenham soccer star Son Heung-min.

“We weren’t sure if we would manage to connect, but fortunately, we did a couple of times,” Elijah remarked. “It was a special moment for us, and we’ll cherish it as the years go by. I’ve been trying to do that celebration for a while, and it just happened spontaneously with Ollie wanting to join in the celebration.”

Voss praised Hollands for quickly earning the respect of his new teammates. “It was an easy decision,” Voss said of selecting Hollands immediately. “It’s not based on just one or two weeks but on the consistent effort we’ve seen from him throughout the preseason. We’re increasingly confident about what he can bring to the team and the role he can fulfill for us.”

Elijah Hollands has made a successful Carlton debut after a controversial off-season. (James Ross/AAP PHOTOS)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *