Carlton interim coach John Barker is holding out hope that Chris Yarran will remain a Blue next year and beyond, even after the enigmatic utility was dropped for the second time this season.
Speculation has surrounded Yarran’s future for much of 2015 and Barker was unable to put a timeframe on when the 24-year-old might return to Carlton’s AFL line-up.
Barker cited a lack of intent against North Melbourne last week as the main reason for Yarran losing his spot in the team ahead of the meeting with arch rivals Collingwood on Saturday at the MCG.
“He’s a good Carlton person and I hope he stays at Carlton,” Barker said on Friday.
“We need weight of numbers with intent with all of our players so we can’t be conditional on who it is or what the name is.
“We need to make sure that if we want to stand for something as a club and we want to move forward and give ourselves the best chance of being a really good team going forward, then we need to stand for strong four-quarter intent.”
Barker said Yarran was gutted with the way he had been playing recently and insisted he had no issue with being omitted along with Troy Menzel and Jason Tutt.
“He’s obviously concerned that he’s not providing Carlton with what he knows he can and he’s really keen to get some of that confidence back,” Barker said of Yarran.
“Sometimes that lack of intent is a lack of confidence and the way you grow out of that is not waiting for something to happen, you need to actually fight your way out of it.”
Menzel lost his spot in the side for similar reasons.
Barker said he was excited by the prospect of coaching the Blues against their biggest rivals Collingwood for the first time.
The Magpies’ season is hanging by a thread after six consecutive losses and they are playing for their finals survival this weekend.
Ben Reid will play his first game in nearly a year on Saturday after a dreadful run with soft-tissue injuries and Barker expected the Collingwood swingman to be at the top of his game.
With Travis Cloke and Jesse White missing again, four-gamer Darcy Moore looks set to shoulder much of the workload in Collingwood’s forward line.