Silvagni delights Blues fans in AFL debut

The Carlton crowd told a different story but Blues coach Brendon Bolton fell short of guaranteeing Jack Silvagni another AFL match after a spirited debut.

Silvagni, 18, was the youngest player on the field in Saturday night’s 12-point loss to Collingwood but wasn’t fazed by the occasion.

He leapt into action with a mark and pass to set up Jed Lamb for the first goal of the match.

It was a steadying moment for the baby-faced forward, who carried a weight of expectation into the game.

Jack ensured the Silvagni name represented Carlton on the field for seven straight decades with his debut, following on from premiership-winning grandfather Sergio and fullback-of-the-century father Stephen.

The crowd sensed whenever the teenage forward neared the ball in his long-sleeved guernsey as often favoured by his dad.

They roared whenever he touched it.

Two snaps for goal bounced into the arms of Collingwood defenders, meaning he would finish the night without a first major.

But that wasn’t entirely Collingwood’s fault.

Late in the final quarter, Silvagni showed his selflessness with a squaring pass after marking in the forward pocket, denying himself a chance to break the duck to give Bryce Gibbs an improved angle.

Bolton was torn between praising Silvagni’s 15-possession game and keeping a lid on it.

“It’s step one in hopefully a really long career,” he said.

“His workrate was solid. He’s running hard out the back, leading up to the ball carrier.

“In terms of a third generation at our club, it’s something to be excited about. I hope our members are excited about, but we still need to keep it really in perspective.”

To that end, Bolton wasn’t about to pencil in Silvagni for next Sunday’s meeting with Adelaide.

“We’re pleased with his first game … but I like to really dissect and have a look on every part of that,” he said.

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