Carlton coach Brendon Bolton says the Blues must continue to be "physical and aggressive", as they seek to continue their mid-season surge against Richmond on Sunday.
Jon Pierik is a sports writer with The Age, focusing primarily on AFL football, cricket and basketball. He has won awards for his cricket and basketball writing.
The next crop of AFL draftees did not disappoint on Saturday in what was described as one of the best national championship games in years.
It's been one drama after another in a sometimes harrowing two-month stretch for the club.
Will Sutherland will start to have a better understanding of his place in football's emerging pecking order when he steps out for Vic Metro on Saturday.
Premiership coach Paul Roos says he would be "staggered" if the AFL's bumper pay deal and free agency did not have clubs and star players contemplating how they could form a "super team".
With off-contract stars Dustin Martin, Josh Kelly and Nat Fyfe already the focus of major offers, league boss Gillon McLachlan greeted the landmark collective bargaining agreement by suggesting the extra money should reward superstar talent.
Club recruiters are hopeful Will Sutherland, the talented teenager debating a cricket or football future, will make his debut for Vic Metro in the national under-18 championships on Saturday.
Western Bulldogs defender Fletcher Roberts has joined a growing list of teammates pledging their immediate futures to the club.
Midfielder wants his friend at GWS, the AFL's hottest uncontracted star, to join him at St Kilda.
Carlton expect Bryce Gibbs to fulfil his contract in a year when the veteran Blue is in career-best form.