Carlton’s season has been all about building for the future but coach Brendon Bolton remains adamant he won’t gift AFL debuts to players who haven’t earnt it.
Of the club’s most recent draft class, top pick Jacob Weitering, key forward Charlie Curnow and father-son pick Jack Silvagni have all built solid foundations at senior level this season.
That leaves tall forward Harry McKay and midfielder David Cuningham as the only untried players remaining from the last draft.
But even with just three games left in the season, Bolton isn’t tempted to have a look at them at senior level with an eye to next season unless they force his hand.
“You earn the opportunity, I’ve said that all year, and I won’t be changing that,” Bolton said.
“It would be great for our whole draft class to have played, but they’ve had a few niggling injuries as well.
“But (Cuningham) is a talented player, he’s really good in and around stoppages and we hope he’ll be a long-term player for us.
“Very similar (with McKay), he’s had some injuries … it’s just about the continuity and the timing of it.
“We’d like to think (he’ll debut) but we can’t be locked on that.”
The Blues are currently 15th with a 6-13 record, with games against Brisbane, Melbourne and Essendon to round out Bolton’s first season in charge.