June 19, 2024

When Elijah Hollands joined IKON Park in late 2023, he had his sights set on making his debut for the Navy Blues. His family shared in his excitement, eagerly anticipating the moment when Elijah and his younger brother Ollie would play together as teammates for the first time.

Elijah becomes a Blue

A year and two weeks after Ollie’s debut for Carlton, Elijah achieved the same milestone, donning the Blue No.1238 jersey for his first appearance in the Good Friday SuperClash against North Melbourne.

For Elijah, it was a momentous occasion. “It was pretty cool, a bit emotional,” he shared with Carlton Media. “It’s been a big summer since coming into the Club. Being able to join up with Ol, then finding out I would be able to have a run this weekend was quite emotional. I’ve taken the last few days to find a lot of gratitude: grateful for the coaches, and for the boys to back me in and play a role. I hope I was able to do that.”

Elijah made an impressive debut, earning two coaches’ votes and scoring his first goal for Carlton while wearing the No.20 jersey, presented to him by Carlton Legend Geoff Southby before the game. The significance of the day was not lost on Elijah or the wider Hollands family.

Although sibling partnerships have become familiar at Carlton, such as Ed and Charlie Curnow, having two of his sons as teammates for the first time was a special moment for dad Ben Hollands. The Hollands family has a strong connection to Carlton, with Ben’s grandfather, Martin Cross, playing for the club in the 1960s, including in the 1962 Grand Final.

Despite Ben’s own history with Richmond, his loyalty to Carlton runs deep. “This is a little surreal,” he reflected. “It’s different, for many different reasons: to celebrate Ollie’s debut last year was incredible, but having his brother playing at the same club – the Club that our family grew up supporting – is a dream come true for all of us.”

“I was just super proud. He’s obviously had a little challenge to overcome . . . he’s worked really hard. The support that he’s had from everybody, from the skipper before he even started, to ‘Vossy’, to Brad Lloyd, to Andrew Russell — everybody has played a huge role in getting him here.

“He’s had incredible support, we’ve felt that as a family. That just makes it even more special.

“It’s amazing just to have any siblings at the level, let alone at the same club and the Club you’ve grown up for. That’s pretty cool. We’re super proud of both boys.”

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