Carlton was unable to acquire the services of gun small forwards Tom Papley and Jack Martin before Wednesday’s trade deadline, leaving many Carlton supporters disappointed and flat and the trade period being labelled as a failure.
Sure, Papley and Martin were the big fish targets for the Blues after both requested to be at the Blues in 2020 and they were unable to get them, but Blues fans need to take a deep breath and take a look at it from another perspective.
Was it really that bad of a trade period for the Blues?
Firstly, the Blues acquired former star and cult figure Eddie Betts for a future fourth-round pick, in a trade that will almost certainly guarantee 25+ goals from him in 2020 and bring a spark back into the Blues’ forward line.
In 2019, Betts kicked 37 goals and would have led Carlton’s goal kicking for the season, with the next closest being Harry McKay with 26 goals.
Betts will add another dimension to a young and growing Carlton forward line, bringing in a wealth of experience that will help the rest of the group moving forward.
Even if it is only a one or two year deal, to bring him back in will be massive for the club both on and off the field, and will be sure to bring the excitement back to Ikon Park.
Carlton then acquired the services of 23-year-old ruckman Marc Pittonet and pick 61 in the 2019 AFL draft from Hawthorn in exchange for picks 54 and 63 after losing back-up ruckman Andrew Phillips to Essendon, in a deal which will add youth and energy to the Blues’ ruck ranks and provide healthy competition for up and coming ruckman Tom De Koning while Matthew Kreuzer is heading towards the end of his career.
Two good signings for the Blues that will be sure to be big for club moving forward without losing much in the process for them seems pretty good to me.
The biggest of the fish in Tom Papley was a clear disappointment. It was a disappointment not to gain his services because he is just the player the Blues have been searching for, for a few years. A small forward that’s young, quick, full of energy and is a proven goal kicker that can be a potential match-winner.
Anyone would be disappointed not to gain a talent such as Papley, especially when he personally requested a trade to the club.
Being a contracted player at the Swans, any sort of deal for Papley was seemingly out of the Blues’ hands no matter how high the offer, and it ultimately turned out that way in the end as the two could not come to an agreement with the other deal in limbo.
As disappointing as it is, it’s time to move on from that, look forward and potentially come back another time with Papley.
Jack Martin was another player the Blues were unable to acquire by Wednesday’s deadline after the small forward/midfielder had requested a trade to the Blues.
Martin was highly touted as a junior and has been unable to fulfil that potential with the Gold Coast Suns, under-performing for most of short career and leaving the Blues with an opportunity to reinvigorate his career and reach the heights so many thought he may have.
Carlton offered up their future second and third-round picks in exchange for Martin, but were rejected with that deal.
Carlton was then offered by the Gold Coast Jack Martin and pick 16 in the draft in exchange for pick 9 and a future second-round pick, which the Blues deemed too much of an asking price for a forward who had been in and out of the team and performing inconsistently.
The difference with Martin is he is out of contract, and is still seemingly extremely keen to get to the Blues, and will nominate for the pre-season draft to get to his destination.
Carlton has pick 3 in the pre-season draft behind the Gold Coast and Melbourne and look the goods to pick up Martin in the pre-season draft period giving up nothing to get him, with his manager seeming hell-bent on Martin donning the navy blue in 2020.
Carlton may not have been able to acquire Martin in the trade period, but will seemingly win in this instance by getting him and not having to give up anything in order to do so, which will see the tough business by the Blues ultimately reaping its rewards.
The Blues were unable to get Papley in the trade period, but acquiring the likes of Betts, Pittonet and seemingly Martin through the pre-season draft while also gaining co-captain Sam Docherty back from two years out with a knee injury, will certainly give Blues fans a deeper sense of optimism heading into the 2020 season when it wasn’t looking too flash at the trade periods completion.
Chin up Blues fans, there’s plenty to look forward to in 2020.