2023 Defence Ratings: Carlton
Points Against (Brennan Jakovich Shield): 1714 - 6th
Inside 50's Against Per Goal: 4.57 - 6th
Scarlett Silvagni Medal Votes: 80 - 1st
Keys: Domanic Akuei, Sam Durdin, Brodie Kemp, Caleb Marchbank, Jacob Weitering, Lewis Young
General: Jordan Boyd, Alex Cincotta, Lachlan Cowan, Sam Docherty, Mitch McGovern, Nic Newman, Adam Saad, Zac Williams
In: Alex Cincotta, Lachlan Cowan
Out: Oscar McDonald (delisted), Luke Parks (delisted), Liam Stocker (delisted)
Carlton had a remarkable run of bad luck with injuries in 2022, which resulted in an incredible track record in finding replacements who not just performed, but flourished in their roles.
Heading into round one with injuries to McDonald and McGovern, Lewis Young was thrust into a key role at his new club and flourished, with the highest average spoils per game across the competition in 2022, and the third highest overall.
Later in the season Mid-Season Draft Pick Sam Durdin came in and played an important role, and Sam Docherty played mister fix-it, rolling through the backline and midfield with his partner in crime and deserving All-Australian Adam Saad.
In 2023, the major hope will likely be to keep their best players on the park, and to hold on in close games, as they recorded the 6th best points against score, as well as the 6th best rate at preventing scores from inside 50's conceded.
The bad news is that Zac Williams has already been ruled out for the season, which only paves the way for exciting draftee Lachie Cowan to cement a place in the team. Carlton's track record of making defenders out of nothing looks to continue also, as Alex Cincotta looked a solid pick down back after being nabbed in the Supplemental Player Period.
On paper, Carlton's backline rivals that of Fremantle and Melbourne, with a great balance of lockdown, intercept and run, and much like their season overall, it's just about getting everything right at the same time, and making the most of close games against fellow finals hopes.
Back Pocket Rating: A