June 24, 2024

“It’s interesting how swiftly circumstances can shift,” remarked Jack Carroll, reflecting on his journey from being an unused substitute during the pre-season practice matches to earning a consistent spot in AFL again.

With only one game under his belt in 2023, the 21-year-old was determined to seize his opportunity on the main stage, dedicating himself to hard work throughout the off-season and pre-season.

Jack Carroll - Carlton Blues - AFL Player Profile - SuperCoach & AFL  Fantasy - Zero Hanger

His breakthrough came in the second half of the Opening Round, and Carroll was determined not to squander his chance.

“I feel like I’ve made significant progress this year during the pre-season, and to receive some early opportunities in the season, it’s fascinating how quickly things can turn around,” Carroll stated.

“I didn’t see much action in the practice matches, but as the substitute in the Opening Round, I was fortunate to get some playing time in the second half, and I made sure to make the most of it.

“Since then, things have been relatively smooth sailing, and I’m hoping to deliver another strong performance this weekend.”

With an average of 15 disposals and six contested possessions, Carroll dedicated himself to enhancing his strengths during the off-season, paying close attention to the areas Senior Coach Michael Voss wanted to develop.

Over the past two off-seasons, Carroll sought out Patrick Cripps for training sessions, where the two midfielders worked together closely, with the captain offering valuable advice and sharing his wealth of experience with the 21-year-old.

With Cripps as his mentor, Carroll was able to elevate his game to new heights, earning his place in the team through his exceptional form.

“My primary focuses were improving my pressure and power, driving with my legs, leveraging my strengths, and maneuvering skillfully in contests,” he explained.

“As a team, one of our primary objectives is maintaining high pressure, so I’ve been diligently working towards that because it’s what Vossy expects from us.”

As part of a formidable midfield unit, Carroll acknowledged that the upcoming clash against Fremantle would pose a significant challenge in the center of the field.

Referring to the formidable midfield lineup of the Dockers, Carroll acknowledged that the real challenge might lie further down the field.

“I anticipate a fierce battle in the midfield this week. They have players like Caleb Serong, who has been in excellent form, along with Hayden Young and Andy Brayshaw. It’s shaping up to be a significant contest in the center,” he remarked.

“As a midfielder, it’s reassuring to know that we have potent forwards like Harry or Charlie down there. It’s a dream scenario for us to be able to rely on them to convert opportunities,” Carroll added.

Reflecting on Harry McKay’s contributions to the team, Carroll expressed immense satisfaction with McKay’s performances on the field.

“Harry has been outstanding this year. Every time he takes a mark inside 50, there’s a sense of confidence that he’ll convert. It’s been a fantastic start to the season for him, and we’re all thrilled for him,” Carroll stated.

“His accuracy in front of goal not only boosts his confidence but also lifts the spirits of the entire team. When our key forwards are leading the way and converting chances, it sets a positive tone for the entire team,” he concluded.


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