Carlton caretaker coach John Barker says Chris Yarran remains in the Blues’ long-term plans despite copping a club-imposed ban recently.
Yarran missed the round 10 loss to Adelaide as he served a one-match suspension for failing to live up to club standards.
The dashing defender has struggled for consistency in a season where he also served a three-match ban for striking Essendon’s Paul Chapman.
Carlton are embarking on a well-publicised rebuild of their playing list but Barker dismissed the notion that Yarran would be used as trade bait or that he was eyeing an exit from the club.
“There’s never been any question about whether Chris wants to be a Carlton player long-term,” Barker said on Friday.
“He’s a quality player. He played really well in the VFL – gave effort.
“What we stand for, he delivered on.
“Absolutely Chris Yarran is an important part of this club going forward. Like everybody – as long as they stand for what we stand for, they’re important to us and he’s definitely important to us.”
Barker expressed similar confidence that Lachie Henderson would remain at the club despite the in-demand forward’s desire to wait until later in the season to decide his playing future beyond this year.
Yarran returns to the side to face Port Adelaide at the MCG on Saturday along with Bryce Gibbs, who has recovered from a back injury.
Barker said last week’s bye helped mentally refresh his players after a horror 10-game stretch where Carlton managed just one win, sacked coach Mick Malthouse and lost veteran star Chris Judd to a career-ending knee injury.
“He’s a larger than life figure and he’s a great champion of the game and our club,” the coach said of life after Judd.
“Obviously we’re going to miss his experience, his professionalism and the standard he sets but we’re keen for young guys to step into the breach in regard to those standards.”
The much-improved Blues led the Crows late in their last match before the bye and Barker said that level of effort must become the baseline for his players as they look to salvage something from their season.
“That’s the challenge going forward and we know that good teams give that effort consistently,” he said.
“The boys have trained really well this week coming off the bye, they’ve had a bit of a spell and rejuvenated, so hopefully we get that (effort).”