June 24, 2024

Patrick Cripps, Charlie Curnow, and Harry McKay often dominate the spotlight at Carlton, but according to North Melbourne legend David King on AFL 360, there’s an unsung hero who deserves recognition: Jordan Boyd.

Boyd, despite having played only 19 AFL games, has earned praise for his astute understanding of the game’s demands. Champion Data ranks him as the seventh-best kick in the league, highlighting his proficiency. Operating in Carlton’s formidable half-back line alongside Adam Saad, Mitch McGovern, and Zac Williams, Boyd, at 25, brings experience and skill to the mix.

Jordan Boyd - Highlights - AFL Round 8 2022 - Carlton Blues vs Adelaide  Crows

King sees Carlton’s defensive setup as a crucial aspect of their potential success, dubbing it the “Season of the Sticks” and even envisioning club legend Stephen Kernahan handing over the premiership cup in September. With an array of options in defense, Carlton’s game plan has shifted towards counter-attacking and scoring, a strategy that King believes makes them as well-equipped as any other team in the league.

In King’s view, Carlton’s depth in the defensive half, with four quality half-backs, sets them apart and positions them as serious contenders in the AFL.

King highlighted how Carlton’s scoring dynamics have shifted significantly. Previously reliant on scoring from stoppages and clearances, the team has undergone a transformation in their approach. They now prioritize generating scores from intercepts rather than relying solely on brute force at stoppages.

This change is reflected in their statistics, with Carlton moving from first in the league for scoring from clearances to 15th. However, they have significantly improved their scoring from intercepts, now averaging four extra goals per game compared to 2023.

King emphasized that this shift indicates a more balanced and system-based approach, rather than relying solely on individual strength. Carlton’s ability to capitalize on turnovers has greatly improved, moving from seventeenth to second in the league in terms of punishing opposition mistakes.

Overall, Carlton’s ability to win matches has evolved, with the team now succeeding through various methods rather than being limited to one particular style of play.

Looking ahead, Carlton will aim to maintain their undefeated streak in 2024 as they face the Dockers in Gather Round on Saturday night.

Jordan Boyd of the Blues. Picture: Michael Klein

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