AFL: Leigh Montagna says Carlton can challenge for the FLAG this year

Forget making the eight… Carlton can challenge for the FLAG this year, says Leigh Montagna – as Blues’ Covid outbreak spreads with Jack Martin to miss Bulldogs game

  • Carlton have a strong chance of winning this year’s flag, Leigh Montagna says
  • The Blues finally ended their 10-year drought with a win against Richmond
  • The manner of Carlton’s victory has made fans and pundits sit up and take notice
  • Montagna claims the Blues have ‘all the ingredients’ to pose a real challenge

Leigh Montagna believes Carlton have ‘all the ingredients’ to challenge for the flag this year after Michael Voss’s side issued a statement of intent in their round one win.

The Blues finally ended their 10-year wait for a win over Richmond last Thursday, with spiritual leader Sam Docherty helping inspire a stunning turnaround to win the game by 25 points.

Carlton have been tipped as dark horses to disrupt the top eight this year but such was the manner of their victory at the MCG, the Blues fanbase have real hopes of threatening for the flag.

Carlton have a genuine chance of challenging for the Premiership, Leigh Montagna claims

Carlton have a genuine chance of challenging for the Premiership, Leigh Montagna claims

Now, St Kilda legend Montagna has backed Carlton to stamp themselves as one of the comp’s best teams this year, insisting that Voss has a plethora of tools at his disposal to really challenge.

‘Carlton have all the ingredients right now to not only be a top eight team but to be a real threat. He’s (Voss) got all the ingredients,’ he said on Fox Footy’s First Crack via Fox Sports.

‘We know about their list profile, but now they’ve bought the elements of the game that they needed. They’ve got system with the way they defend, they’re a team that now apply pressure and he’s picking players particularly the small forwards that can apply pressure, that will lay forward 50 tackles and their contest and clearance work, which needed improvement, has been significantly improved.

The Blues ended their 10-year wait for a win over Richmond to triumph in their round one clash

The Blues ended their 10-year wait for a win over Richmond to triumph in their round one clash

Michael Voss has taken charge of the club - who have been tipped as this year's dark horse

Michael Voss has taken charge of the club – who have been tipped as this year’s dark horse

‘Not only has it improved with Patrick Cripps being fit but of course we know about (Adam) Cerra and (George) Hewett, they’ve still got (Sam) Walsh to come in and Matt Kennedy has revitalized himself and his career.’

Walsh was Carlton’s standout performer last season and his absence from the team for round one was viewed as a potentially devastating blow.

Yet the likes of Matthew Kennedy, Adam Cerra and George Hewett stepped up for Voss and demonstrated that this Blues side are more than a one-man team.

Former St Kilda star Montagna says Carlton have 'all the ingredients' to pose a huge threat

Former St Kilda star Montagna says Carlton have ‘all the ingredients’ to pose a huge threat

‘The big bodies in the middle, there’s a change in methodology. The forward handball game is going to serve them so well,’ David King said on First Crack, pointing to passages of play where the Blues opted to take a handball first out of traffic rather than blindly boot the ball ahead of play.

‘That handball sets up everything and it was terrific for Carlton against the Tigers. It put the Tigers into a defensive mindset straightaway.

‘That’s normally a kick but because they want to delay, they want to get forward, it serves them really well getting the ball deep.

‘Vossy said this would be a change and we saw at night one and it was brilliant.’

Elsewhere, Jack Martin is in self-isolation and will miss the Western Bulldogs game with the club looking to limit the spread of Covid after Voss tested positive.

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