Sunday, September 11, 2011

Pre-Elimination Final Training

Saturday was a very special day down at Carlton. Having been invited down to watch training as one of five 'official' bloggers during the finals series, the day began with a press conference given by coach Brett Ratten, followed by a tour of the facilities and inner workings of the club. Being a life-long Carlton fan, it was an exhilarating experience, as well as a wonderful trip down memory lane, as the five of us were guided through the dark and mysterious catacombs that once led to player meeting rooms, press boxes and recreational areas. Fantastic stuff!
But anyway, enough about me..

Sunday marks Carlton's attempt at a first finals win in 10 years, having endured a barren period since it's easy 68-point win over Adelaide back in the 2001 Elimination Final. Oh how we fans would love that kind of margin over the Bombers this time around!

Watching the boys in their final training session, there was a sense of steely calm and intensity amongst the playing group, which reflected the mood at the club. There were fewer jokes, and less casual conversations between players, compared to what I have witnessed previously. It appeared that the boys' minds were totally focussed on the importance of this massive game, and what it means to the club and fans. There was a real sharpness to the drills, and I left there feeling confident.

To end, I must say that the Carlton Football Club really is a family club. Putting on another sausage sizzle for any supporter who walked through the door at training, was a simple yet warmly welcoming gesture. This club has embraced it's supporters, and taken great strides in recent times to bridge the gap between the club and it's fans.

Win or lose Sunday's final - Carlton is once again a great place to be!

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