Carlton to target blue-chip AFL forward - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Carlton to target blue-chip AFL forward

Justin Chadwick 18/09/2011 03:01:30 PM Comments (0)

Carlton coach Brett Ratten hopes to lure a "blue-chip forward" to the AFL club as he tries to find the missing piece to the premiership puzzle.

The Blues' 2011 campaign came to a heartbreaking end on Saturday night, as West Coast survived a frenetic Carlton comeback to post a three-point semi-final victory.

Ratten is certain to be offered a contract extension in coming weeks after guiding the Blues to fifth spot on the ladder and an elimination final win over Essendon.

But after relying on mid-size forward Andrew Walker (56 goals) and goalsneaks Eddie Betts (50) and Jeff Garlett (48) for the bulk of Carlton's scores, Ratten said a genuine spearhead was needed if the Blues were to become a genuine premiership threat.

"We'll be fairly active (during the trade period)," Ratten said after the 15.11 (101) to 15.8 (98) loss to West Coast.

"That playing group probably won't play together ever again because we need change to go forward and succeed.

"We've made some real inroads around that top-four area but we're still just a little bit short and, as a football club, we need to get there so we have a real chance of continuing in the finals series going forward.

"I think we missed that other tall down there and we have throughout the season.

"We've lost a lot of talls through injury or circumstances so we've had to make do. Most of our injuries and trying to cover players has been from the talls' point-of-view and that's something we haven't been able to cover and get consistency in that part.

"Jarrad (Waite) is really important, Matty Kreuzer is really important down there and to lose (Bret) Thornton (to injury against the Eagles) was pretty big.

"A blue-chip forward would be really good."

In the past three seasons, the Blues have lost tight finals games to West Coast (three points), Sydney (five) and Brisbane (seven).

Ratten said those defeats had left both him and his team hungry for finals success.

"I can honestly say I'm sick of being on the losing side of a final," Ratten said.

"I think the players have got a fair bit of ammunition over the past three years to be this close but yet so far.

"(Heath) Scotland had a great year this year and those types who are starting to get on a bit.

"They want to make sure that they get the opportunity to go further and have a chance of being there in the last Saturday in September, so that's something which will keep them driven."

Ratten said he was proud of his team's efforts this season, believing the foundations had been laid to achieve greater success in the future.

The Blues never gave up against the Eagles, booting the final three goals of the match to almost steal victory despite a quiet night from skipper Chris Judd (17 possessions).

Thornton was subbed out of the game at halftime and taken to a Perth hospital with suspected concussion after landing heavily on his head and neck in a marking contest.

But the veteran utility was cleared to fly home with his teammates on Sunday.

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