10 Blues who will define Silvagni’s legacy
Carlton couldn't miss with Sam Walsh.
Even though Steve Silvagni was in charge when the Blues secured a player who should one day be a 200-game captain of the Blues, every AFL club would have taken the bulletproof Victorian midfielder.
But as Carlton fans assess the legacy of their departing list manager, there are a long list of Carlton margin calls that will define his legacy at the club.
If the list collectively booms then Silvagni will be remembered as a management genius who put together the list that might break Carlton's premiership drought.
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Yet if too many of this list of 10 players flop, then Silvagni's contribution will be questioned as the club embarks upon yet another long-term rebuild.
The good news is that under coach David Teague's tutelage they have the opportunity to play fast, attractive footy that maximises their talents.
If Liam Stocker can explode in his second year at Carlton it will be the Silvagni masterstroke that Blues fans will never forget.
In order, here are the players who can have the most impact in determining Silvagni's contribution as the Blues' list manager.
1. Paddy Dow
The No.3 pick in the 2017 draft was considered an all-round package when selected but despite 39 games in his first two years and breakaway speed, has arguably gone backwards as a player. If he can find his composure and start to hit targets - his overall kicking and kicking inside 50m were rated poor this year - he can still be a star of the competition.
2. Liam Stocker
Inside Carlton there are still massive raps on Stocker. A 200-game career would vindicate a contentious swap that eventually turned one first-round pick into three picks in the first round.
He is hard, he kicks the ball well, he is developing a tank and he can play in the midfield or half back. He would be Silvagni's legacy pick if he succeeds.
3. David Cuningham
After four seasons he has just 25 games, a long list of injuries and has teased with flashes of brilliance. This year's Pies contest - 23 touches, two goals, 108 ranking points - was the highwater mark. He's still only 22 and has massive upside.
4. Will Setterfield
It was just a year that he rebounded from an ACL tear but the best of Setterfield - 24 possessions, 554m gained against Adelaide in Round 19 - was easily good enough. He has returned with a chiselled frame and, at only 21 and as a 192cm mid, can show why he was taken as a No.5 draft pick.
5. Caleb Marchbank
He is an elite intercept marker who averaged 6.1 intercept possessions this year, highlighted by nine intercept possessions and three intercept marks in the win over Fremantle in Round 15. He and Jacob Weitering could form a dynamic intercepting presence for the next decade.
6. Matthew Kennedy
Can the ex-GWS mid become the tough, big-bodied inside mid SOS recruited - or will he remain the player without a tank who has had to find chances at half forward? Averaged a goal a game in 10 matches but needs to be a wrecking ball, not just a forward scrounging chances.
7. Sam Petrevski Seton
The No.6 pick missed just two of 66 games in his first three years and after a flat second year thrived when put to half-back under Teague's reign. He has that rare blend which mixes a hard edge, quality disposal and a high possession rate (19.1 per game this year). But can he turn into an elite matchwinner over the next five years?
8. Lochie O'Brien
Taken at pick 10 by Silvagni, who believed his left foot would overcome a lack of ruggedness in the contest as a quality wingman. The Blues believe he started to back himself late in his second year and hit those targets as he did in his TAC Cup days. Will he float in and out of games or become a hard-running wingman who relentlessly hits Curnow/McKay/McGovern in stride?
9. Tom Williamson
Showcased his thumping left foot with 15 games in 2017 but since then back injuries have cut him down. The Blues dumped Dale Thomas in part because of Williamson's potential as a 190cm backman but will his body allow him to strut his stuff on the big stage?
10. Tom de Koning
Blues fans are giddy about the potential of the 203cm forward/ruck, believing he can be Matthew Kreuzer's successor. He's still only 20 but if he can flourish, then the No.30 pick in 2017 adds valuable depth as a key position player - and would show Silvagni can maximise the mid-tier picks as well as top-15 selections.