New Carlton coach Brendon Bolton has warned Blues fans not to simply judge the development of the rebuilding AFL club on victories.
After winning only four matches in 2015 en route to the wooden spoon, the Blues have undergone a major overhaul of their playing list, which could see up to 15 new players at the club by the conclusion of the national and rookie drafts.
For Bolton – a former member of Alastair Clarkson’s multiple flag-winning coaching panel at Hawthorn – on-field success at his new club may not be as clear-cut as getting the four points.
“We know the wins aren’t always out there that you can see, but internally there are going to be a lot of wins because we are going to invest in people,” said Bolton.
He said the pre-season focus for the Blues would centre on uniting the new group and constant teaching.
“We have four picks in the top 20 (of the national draft) which has never happened before,” he said.
“We know it takes time – it’s a brutal industry and a tough competition – but we’re excited about that growth.”
Bolton said 2015 club champion Patrick Cripps, 20, had impressed in showing “absolutely no complacency” on return to the training track.
“He’s come back in outstanding nick,” said Bolton.
“Himself, Sam Kerridge and Dylan Buckley … came back in elite condition.”