Pagan rapt with Lance on the boil - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Pagan rapt with Lance on the boil

By Adam Cooper 20/02/2005 09:51:46 PM Comments (0)

Carlton coach Denis Pagan says Lance Whitnall's best-on-ground effort in the 37-point AFL Wizard Cup win over an under-strength Essendon is the equal of any he has produced in the coach's time at the club.

Four goals and 15 marks from a streamlined Whitnall and two dynamic debuts were the highlights for Carlton, which won 2.13.11 (107) to 2.7.10 (70) to earn a second round pre-season clash against Melbourne next Sunday.

Only the report of veteran Scott Camporeale - for allegedly striking Bomber Andrew Welsh - marred Carlton's night.

Patchy form and questionable fitness marred Whitnall's 2004 and after starting the summer as a possible trade, ended it with signs he was close to returning to his early-career form.

"Probably not," Pagan said when asked if Whitnall had played a better game he had coached.

"He took 18 marks against West Coast once, but gee, Lance is our best recruit."

With Brendan Fevola also dangerous - although goalless - and Digby Morrell still to return, Pagan said the new-look Whitnall could spearhead Carlton to another year of improvement.

"If you watched him every day training you couldn't help be excited and be positive about it," he said.

"He can't afford to take his foot off the pedal ... and realise what he means to Carlton and what effect (he) has on the forward line."

Carlton dominated against an Essendon side missing captain James Hird, full-forward Matthew Lloyd, ruck David Hille and onballers Jason and Mark Johnson, who were all rested.

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