Bolton ponders winning Blues formula

A dilemma that Carlton coach Brendon Bolton will face time and again through his rebuilding journey at the sunken AFL giants has presented itself this week.


Stick with the kids or play each match to win?

Carlton face Fremantle on Sunday in a meeting of the AFL’s two winless clubs.

And at both ends of the ground, Bolton has food for thought on how he structures up against Ross Lyon’s side.

In defence, Blues debutant Lachie Plowman will continue for another week.

Plowman beat veteran defender Michael Jamison to a role in the Blues’ backline against the Western Bulldogs, holding livewire Dog Jake Stringer well.

Bolton said he thought the Blues had “found a player” in the 21-year-old, but Jamison could find another way back into the side in Perth.

“Jamison is strong in character,” he said.

“It’s about what mix we go with.

“He’s working extremely hard to improve his footy and at his age that’s great.”

Jack Silvagni will also contend to make his debut.

At the other end of the ground, one man who won’t be moving is Levi Casboult.

The Tasmanian 56-gamer has endured an erratic start to the season but was described as “the answer” to Carlton’s goalkicking problems by captain Marc Murphy.

On Wednesday, Bolton added his own praise of the forward, typical of the nurturing nature of his leadership.

“Levi is an exceptional contested mark and he’s giving us a great target,” he said.

“In fact, he’s as good as anyone in the competition in that area. He’s working really hard on his goalkicking.”

As the Blues look to increase their average score of just 61, he might be joined by Liam Jones.

The 25-year-old kicked a bag of five goals in the VFL on the weekend and Bolton said he “had to be considered”.

“He’s kicking goals … it’s about the mix of talls and small we go up forward but yes he’s in the conversation.”

Bolton also said Andrejs Everitt, the club’s leading goalkicker in 2015, would be up for selection despite a calf injury ruling him out the past two weeks.

And while skipper Marc Murphy trained with headgear on Wednesday after a gruelling match with the Bulldogs, he’s been cleared to return.

So while one club is set to break their 2016 duck on Sunday, Bolton insisted there was no special emphasis on this match given the Dockers’ 0-4 start.

“We go into every game thinking we’re a chance to win if we can execute for four quarters,” he said.

“But we’re under no illusions.

“It’s going to be a task.”