June 19, 2024

In the midst of several significant matchups in the nine games scheduled in Adelaide, both the Blues and the Dockers will enter the twilight clash with a 3-0 record.

This scenario echoes a similar situation for Carlton last year when they were 4-0 and commenced the first Gather Round with a Thursday night game against Adelaide at the same venue. Unfortunately, the Crows dismantled the Blues, marking the beginning of a nine-game slump where Carlton’s sole victory came against the wooden spooners, West Coast.

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Star Blues forward Charlie Curnow emphasized the importance of learning from past experiences, stating, “Obviously every game has high importance and we learned last year, if we let little slides into our game, it can affect you long-term.” He further acknowledged the significance of away games, recognizing the challenges of securing wins on the road.

Looking ahead, the Dockers’ defense, spearheaded by captain Alex Pearce, will face a formidable Carlton attack that showcased its potency in the recent Good Friday victory over North Melbourne. With 11 different goalkickers, including Curnow’s four goals and fellow key forward Harry McKay’s five, the Blues’ forward line demonstrated its strength. Additionally, Matt Owies impressed with three goals, while Elijah Hollands made a promising Carlton debut.

Reflecting on the team’s performance, Curnow expressed excitement about the forward line’s display, particularly praising Owies and his contribution to the goal tally.

McKay’s improved accuracy stands out as a significant advantage for Carlton, especially considering his well-documented struggles in front of goal last season.

With McKay finding his form, he and Curnow pose a formidable challenge for opposing defenses as tall, marking forwards with a knack for goal-scoring.

According to Curnow, McKay’s impact extends beyond his goal-scoring prowess, highlighting his ability in contesting marks and leading at the football. Curnow emphasized that McKay’s overall contribution creates opportunities not just for the forward line but for the entire team.

“We’re going to see a pretty good Harry McKay this year,” Curnow remarked. “He’s absolutely dominating right now and reaping the rewards.”

In another positive development for the Blues, midfielder Sam Walsh returned to full training on Monday morning after being sidelined due to a back injury.

Curnow expressed excitement about Walsh’s return, noting his impressive performance on the field during training. He jokingly remarked about Walsh’s status during training sessions, mentioning the yellow cap signifying no contact, and expressed relief that Walsh no longer wears it.

“The Blues fans will be excited to see him doing his thing,” Curnow added. “I know he’s a pretty angry man when he’s not playing football, so I’m excited to see him out there for all our sakes.”

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