News – AU – McGovern is fighting for the start of the season


A thigh complaint has left injured Mitch McGovern as one of several Carlton stars fit for the AFL season opener

The eclectic tall man had impressed the blues fitness staff over the summer before a recent thigh strain restricted him to jogging laps while training on Monday

He was excluded from Thursday’s training game against Essendon, as were Eddie Betts (calf) and Levi Casboult (knee)

All three remain opportunities for the second training game against St Kilda next week before the Blues take on traditional rivals Richmond in round one

Caleb Marchbank (calf) will kick off the season on 18 March, while another setback on the right knee threatens to exclude co-defender Nic Newman

Newman is incapacitated after developing a swelling in the same knee where he broke a patellar tendon last year

The news is better for young ruckman Tom De Koning, who suffered from mild bone stress in his spine this month but is now pain free and can walk again this week

The list of injury concerns related to striker Charlie Curnow’s serious knee problem did not affect key defender Jacob Weitering’s mood in the first round

The blues best and fairest winner was aided by the arrival of boom recruits Adam Saad and Zac Williams and has its sights set on a drought-breaking final in 2021

Carlton has not played a final since 2013 – two years before continuing as No. 1 arrived at Ikon Park 1 pick

But they have patiently rebuilt and do not shy away from external expectations before coach David Teague’s second full season

“I don’t think it’s a surprise that we’re looking to September and that’s what we’re aiming for,” said Weitering

“We want to continue what we built on last year and that creates a really strong, competitive football brand”

“We have a lot of people who are really motivated to play good football this year and it’s going to be really exciting””

Meanwhile, little striker Ben Crocker is one of four players fighting for last place on Carlton’s list as a complementary selection for the preseason

Former Collingwood and Adelaide scorer signed up for the Blues VFL team this year and kicked four majors last week as he competed for an intra-club match

Crocker competes with former Melbourne defender Oscar McDonald, youngster Zavier Maher and Callum Moore who were on Carlton’s rookie list last year

Australian Football League, Carlton Football Club, Jacob Weitering, Mitch McGovern, Adam Saad

News – AU – McGovern is fighting for the start of the season