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Mick Malthouse says loss of fringe players has hurt Carlton

Date
Heath Scotland was not picked until round four, and managed only four matches before announcing his retirement at the age of 33.

Heath Scotland was not picked until round four, and managed only four matches before announcing his retirement at the age of 33. Photo: Sebastian Costanzo

Carlton coach Mick Malthouse says the departures of Heath Scotland, Josh Bootsma and Nick Duigan had hurt his side's ability to compete.

"You start getting into the list of (rookie-listed Blaine) Johnsons and (Nick) Holmans and (Patrick) Cripps and so forth," he said.

"Sides can enter a game with one or two of those but you can't have three or four of those because you're going to get slaughtered."

Josh Bootsma had not played a game in 2014 before departing Carlton.

Josh Bootsma had not played a game in 2014 before departing Carlton. Photo: Sebastian Costanzo

After a narrow loss to Collingwood on Sunday night, Malthouse said his side lacked talent.

"We've got some good footballers; we've got some players that play with a lot of heart. Perhaps the talent level is not quite right there," he said.

Speaking on Wednesday, Malthouse lashed out at the free agency system as he contemplates the best way to rebuild his side into an AFL force.

Mick Malthouse.

Mick Malthouse. Photo: Getty Images

Malthouse took aim at the AFL Players' Association (AFLPA), saying they were "kidding themselves" over free agency, which would create a league of haves and have-nots.

He predicted a stream of players leaving low and middle-ranked clubs for premiership contenders, producing a competition similar to the English Premier League, which has only had three different winners in the past decade.

"Free agency creates a two-tiered system," he said.

"Make no mistake about it - free agency will only help the top sides.

"This is a simple case of the (AFLPA) not understanding the mechanics of how hard it is for football clubs to retain good footballers and have a chance to build up the ladder."

Malthouse said he was trying to build a culture of competitiveness at Carlton, although suspended midfielder Mitch Robinson would miss two weeks for crossing the line.

The veteran coach reported Robinson had improved dramatically as a footballer but was "very remorseful" for letting his teammates down.

"He's worked it out that this is really hurting the team and that hurts him," he said.

Malthouse said Blaine Johnson, who debuted against Collingwood, would keep Jeff Garlett out of the side until he improved his output.

"If you kick enough goals and don't particularly defend, you can get away with it. But if you don't do either, you don't play."

He was even tougher on key forward Jarrad Waite.

"Jarrad needs to come to grips with what we're doing at Carlton and that is building a side that is massively competitive."

AAP 

8 comments so far

  • That's right Mick. It's the players lack of talent, not your own coaching ability to get the best out of what you have. I think it's time you start some inward looking too.

    Commenter
    Demon Supporter
    Date and time
    July 02, 2014, 3:28PM
    • I do not barrack for Carlton but I have to agree with Mick on the free agency issue. This development is great for well resourced clubs like Collingwood, Essendon and WCE but it does not help middle to lower clubs. In demand free agents will not choose clubs that are not deemed attractive because of lack of resources or being below a premiership window. They would have to offer an amount far, far higher to have any chance of getting a player in demand than one of these other clubs. It's a lever against a more even competition.

      Commenter
      Brendo
      Date and time
      July 02, 2014, 3:53PM
      • Maybe you shouldn't have gotten rid of such 'fringe' players as Jeremy Laidler then Mick. Sydney certainly sees his worth as a footballer...

        Commenter
        Really?
        Date and time
        July 02, 2014, 3:59PM
        • If free agents are only attracted to teams in a premiership window than why did daisy Thomas move to sliders Carlton, thereby giving up any hope of every playing in another premiership himself?

          The thing is that we all know that Ken Hinkley could easily get the current Carlton list, as weak as it is, into the finals. That said, not even Norm Smith could take them to a premiership.

          Commenter
          Viv
          Location
          Mitcham
          Date and time
          July 02, 2014, 4:36PM
          • Is this a set up? Is it just click bait? Is it the most hypocritical rubbish ever to come out of Mick's mouth, and he has a lot of competition for that honour?
            Mick free agencies will threaten the comp. Well I have only two words for you.........
            DALE THOMAS

            Commenter
            the spaniard
            Location
            perth
            Date and time
            July 02, 2014, 6:45PM
            • I agree with Mick that the AFL is clearly heading to a two tier league. It is not just Free Agency to blame though. The AFL have made a huge financial commitment to ensure Qld & NSW have highly competitive teams. They have ensured SA & WA are also highly competitive. The financial and competitiveness of those 8 teams is a critical KPI for all in AFL HQ. The Victorian clubs at present are only there to make up the numbers for TV broadcasting rights.
              Free agency is helping the AFL financially supported interstate clubs stronger (Franklin to Sydney, Ablett to Gold Coast) This is very clearly about buying premierships for the Northern States. Or allowing strong clubs to buy the missing link. (Lake to hawthorn for a premiership, Frawley to ??? for a premiership.)

              The current fixture and game scheduling is also very supportive of non Victorian teams.

              My gut feeling is the AFL would be far happier with a two tier league.
              Tier 1: All existing non-Victorian clubs plus the best two Victorian teams
              Tier 2: All remaining Victorian teams plus ACT, TAS and downstream NZ.

              Commenter
              Gerry
              Location
              melb
              Date and time
              July 02, 2014, 9:37PM
              • Mick,

                Is this not the same team that you say will be playing grand final footy? What happened to the clock being at 11 o'clock for the Blues? Suddenly, the same players who could land a premiership are now lacking in talent? You need a change of the players now?

                Or maybe Carlton just need a change of coach?

                Commenter
                george313
                Date and time
                July 03, 2014, 1:35AM
                • Mick,

                  Is this not the same team that you say can be playing grand final footy? What happened to being at 11 o'clock for the Blues? Suddenly, the same players who could challenge for the premiership are now lacking in talent? You need a change of the players now?

                  This was what you said back in March:

                  "The top four have got every right to think it's between 11 and one," Malthouse said on Saturday.

                  "The rest of us ... I would say we're approaching 11 o'clock. There's a lot of sides approaching 11 o'clock.

                  "We want to be progressing through 11 o'clock into it (a premiership window).

                  "I don't see any reason why that can't be the case.

                  "We've got a very good blend of senior players and we've got a good blend in the middle.

                  Maybe the fault lies not with the players but with the coach?

                  Commenter
                  George313
                  Date and time
                  July 03, 2014, 1:43AM

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