Amidst a disappointing season, Carlton’s list manager Stephen Silvagni has made it clear that everything at the club is “for sale”.
Likely to gain rights to the number one pick in this year’s national draft, Carlton have also said the top pick isn’t off the table.
17 rounds in, the Blues have managed to pick up only one win and have fallen eight points behind the Gold Coast Suns, who sit in 17th.
In the remaining six rounds of the season, the Blues will face Hawthorn, Gold Coast, GWS, Fremantle, Western Bulldogs and Adelaide.
Silvagni appeared on Channel Nine’s Footy Classified on Monday night in a heated interview, and spoke about his position at the club and took the time to defend the rebuild and reassure the fans the Blue’s are sticking to their long term plans.
When asked if the Blues would trade the number one pick if they end the season on the bottom of the ladder, Silvagni didn’t completely throwaway the possibility.
“I think you look at every option. Everything’s for sale,” he said.
Silvagni went on to defend the club’s rebuild and urged fans to stick with them as they figure things out while building a team which has the potential to win a premiership.
“You have to look at what’s actually panned out throughout the year. On the weekend we had 16 injuries,” Silvagni said.
“Even in the last two games, if you look at our list demographic against Brisbane, we had 10 players under 21 years of age compared to Brisbane’s six. Between (ages) 22 and 25, Brisbane had nine and we had four.
“If you look at this week’s game (a 64-point loss to St Kilda), we had 11 players under 21 years of age and St Kilda had five. We had three players between 22 and 25, and St Kilda had nine.
“When you’re actually putting a young list out there and haven’t got the support of your key players with age and strength, it’s going to be very difficult for those kids to actually flourish as senior players.”
Since Silvagni signed with the club in 2015, the Blues have become known for acquiring players from other teams who weren’t capable of making it into their best 22. Players such as Andrew Phillips, Matthew Lobbe, Sam Kerridge, Jed Lamb and Aaron Mullett.
Silvagni said however, such players weren’t picked up to make Carlton a premiership contender right away.
“Certainly, there are players there who aren’t seen as long-term players, but when you’re making – roughly over the last three years – on average over 10 changes on your list, you can’t bring in 10 18-year-olds.
“You have to support yourself with some senior players on your list, and hence why some of those players were brought into the club.
“Now, some of those players aren’t long-term. Some of them weren’t there to play regular AFL footy, but right at the minute, with the injury list being where it’s at, some of them are playing. [And] some were brought onto our list to play VFL footy and support our kids.”
During the interview, Silvagni also backed the club’s head coach Brendan Bolton.
“Stick fat with him, because he’s a very good teacher. Obviously, he’s going through a difficult time with the injuries on our list and our age demographics, and he’s coaching a team that’s, each week, hasn’t got anywhere near its best team out there,” Silvagni said.
“It’ll come. It’s been a tough year, a really tough year, but it’ll hold us in good stead in years to come.”