Jolly could have a been a Blues 'giant' - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Jolly could have a been a Blues 'giant'

By Adrian Warren 17/04/2009 06:19:07 PM Comments (0)

Carlton's Baby Blues are set to take a step into the unknown on Saturday against a Sydney side featuring ruckman Darren Jolly, who has revealed he could have ended up playing for the opposition in their AFL clash at the SCG.

Carlton are on an 11-game losing streak against Sydney stretching back eight years and have been beaten in their last six visits to the SCG, where their most recent victory was 16 years ago.

If history wasn't daunting enough for the Blues, at least eight of their squad have never played a game at the SCG.

"There's a lot of guys who haven't even been to Sydney before who are in our squad, it's a continual education," said Carlton assistant coach Brett Montgomery.

"The traps here are not so much the ground being so short, as we see it, but it's how wide it is, that can be a trap for young, inexperienced players."

Montgomery said Carlton spearhead Brendan Fevola's wayward goal-kicking against Essendon last week was due to a "bad day at the office" rather than any fitness issue and predicted the usually prolific full forward could prosper on the short SCG outfield.

"Any guy that can kick a ball 65 metres on this ground, is gold, he can kick it from anywhere here and he knows that and he will be up for that," Montgomery said.

The fixture will be Sydney's first on a Saturday afternoon at the SCG and also the first time any AFL teams have played at the ground since the impressive new Victor Trumper Stand was completed late last year.

Montgomery said because neither side had played at the new-look ground, it holds no fears for the Blues.

"We don't take that as an advantage, but we look at that and think we are no worse off than they are ... and we will check it out as much as they have probably," Montgomery said.

Jolly makes his 100th appearance for the Swans on Saturday, having joined from Melbourne before the club's 2005 premiership-winning campaign.

The 200cm 27-year-old, who has missed just two games since joining the club, both in his first season, might well have ended up at Carlton rather than Sydney after he decided to move from the Demons.

"I had a few phone calls with Carlton and I had a few phone calls with Sydney, but at the end of the day the decision was pretty easy," Jolly said.

Only three games shy of his 150th senior game, Jolly felt he was at his peak.

He regarded his major opponent on Saturday, Carlton youngster Matthew Kreuzer, as one of the leaders of the new generation of emerging ruckmen, along with Brisbane's Matthew Leuenberger.

"Kreuzer I really rate as a young guy highly, he's up and coming and he's moving (around) the ground really, really well," Jolly said.

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