Blues lick wounds after record AFL loss

Coach John Barker is sure that Carlton’s record AFL loss is far more Hawthorn 2005 than Fitzroy 1996.

Friday night’s 138-point disaster against Hawthorn is the biggest losing margin in their 151-year history.

The timing was also dreadful, with captain Marc Murphy playing his 200th game and Carlton this weekend commemorating the 20th anniversary of their most recent premiership.

But after the match, Barker and Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson separately remembered the Hawks’ massive 2005 loss to Port Adelaide.

In Clarkson’s first season as Hawthorn coach and Barker’s second-last season as a player at the club, the Power won by 117 points.

It was Port’s biggest win over Hawthorn and the fifth-biggest loss in the Hawks’ history.

“We got smacked and it was a bit deja vu tonight,” Barker said.

“It’s a good learning experience, but we have a way to go.”

Clarkson also vividly remembered the heavy loss to Port.

“They’ll probably speak about this being Carlton’s worst loss in their history, but I’d reckon it’s the most inexperienced side they’ve put on the park in their history too,” he said.

“We all go through it.

“(It was) A really, really experienced Port Adelaide side, a really, really inexperienced Hawthorn side.

“I don’t think it’s any surprise that Carlton are in rebuild mode and they’re giving exposure to a lot of kids.”

Barker was also a player at Fitzroy when they folded in ’96.

“Fitzroy, in those last couple of years, had absolutely no future,” he said.

“We have future, we have upside.

“It’s going to take time, but we have upside.”

He added there would be no easy fixes, noting Carlton had played collectively about 1500 less games than Hawthorn.

“It’s not going to happen overnight,” Barker said.

“There’s no magic dust we can pull out of our pockets and sprinkle it and all of a sudden things are rosy.”

Asked if Friday night had shaken his confidence as a coach, Barker replied “absolutely not”.

But he would not be drawn on how the record loss would affect his chances of staying coach for next season.

This is the first time since Barker replaced Mick Malthouse two months ago that the Blues have been so uncompetitive.

“I have a few more pressing matters at the moment with what we need to do than to worry too much about that,” the interim coach said of his chances for the permanent job.

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