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The four under-the-radar Carlton players deserving of praise, according to Champion Data


Carlton is a team known for their stars and top-end players, the likes of Charlie Curnow, Patrick Cripps, Harry McKay, Sam Walsh and Jacob Weitering, but it’s their role players who may be taking them to the next level.

That is the belief of Champion Data’s Daniel Hoyne, who wishes to give props to four under-the-radar Blues.

Carlton sits 3-0 to start the season, with their Opening Round win over Brisbane in particular showing what’s possible for them in 2024.

Hoyne has praised hard running half-forward Matt Cottrell, George Hewett for his defensive work in the midfield, Jordan Boyd for his ball use and Lachie Fogarty, who is currently the number one player in the competition for tackles inside 50.

“I want to give a bit of love to four Blues,” Hoyne told SEN’s Sportsday.

“There are some individual players who just play such an important role to what we’re seeing so far with Carlton.

“Lachie Fogarty and Matt Cottrell – I love what Cottrell said a week ago on radio, ‘people don’t come to the footy to watch me’. He runs up and back, helps defend transition and helps get them through transition. He’s not there to be the match-winner, he’s a role player. Lachie Fogarty is the same.

“One area we were looking at with Carlton this year was whether they could improve their transition game and if they couldn’t, they wouldn’t be competing again in Preliminary Final week.

“So far, there is significant improvement and if it continues down this path they’re probably the main challenger to GWS as the year goes on.

“Then there’s Jordan Boyd. He’s the seventh best kick in the competition. When you’re watching this guy, you might be a bit surprised by this guy, but he takes on kicks, he wants to change angles and be aggressive with ball in hand and more often than not he pulls off those kicks, so he’s been a huge addition.

“And then you add in the role that George Hewett plays and he is probably the perfect example of what you’re looking for to nullify the opposition’s main midfielder whilst being able to offer offensively as well.

“His performance against Luke Davies-Uniacke, who I consider a star of the competition, for Hewett to be the fifth highest rated player on the ground and to have LDU (Luke Davies-Uniacke) as the 28th highest rated player on the ground is a significant tick.

“His role on Lachie Neale in Round 0 to keep him under control was a huge reason they were able to get over the line as well.

“We know Carlton has the stars … but to have these role players in place as well, I think that could be the reason they elevate their game.”

We will learn a lot about the Blues over the next stretch.

They play Fremantle, Adelaide, GWS, Geelong, Collingwood, Melbourne and Sydney (away) in the next seven weeks.

Carlton capitulated after a strong start this time last year, entering Gather Round undefeated before losing seven of their next eight games.

Getting the four points against Fremantle at Adelaide Oval this weekend will be incredibly important given the tough run ahead.

Sportsday Carlton

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