The Blues need to let Bryce Gibbs walk. The Carlton utility has stated that if he could put pen to paper with the Blues now, he would. One of two things has happened here. Either Carlton has increased their offer to him, or he really wants to stay at the club. Many punters would have their bets on the first option.

Now, Gibbs is undeniably a good footballer. He has threatened to become an A-grade player for several years, and both Mick Malthouse and Brett Ratten took the right steps to get him there. He has all the skills, but he just struggles to do enough with the ball to become a game breaker. Putting him at half back should have allowed him to win plenty of the ball and damage the opposition, but it couldn’t. He also doesn’t break the 30-disposal barrier often enough.

Gibbs is a real asset to the club, but as commentator Jason Dunstall suggested on Triple M, “no club can afford to pay a utility over $600,000”. That kind of cash is for the star midfielders and key forwards.

Carlton may well finish in the bottom six and have a pick somewhere between five and eight. If they lose Gibbs to free agency, and don’t pick up Melbourne’s James Frawley as a free agent, then they will have a pick immediately after their first. Picks five and six are exactly what Malthouse needs to build the club.

Their first choice must be a key forward. If GWS, Melbourne, Brisbane and St Kilda finish below the Blues, the first few picks may look like this:

1. Melbourne – Peter Wright (Calder Cannons) – 203 cm key forward/ruck
2. Brisbane – Hugh Goddard (Geelong Falcons) – 196 cm utility
3. GWS – Christian Petracca (Eastern Ranges) – 186 cm midfielder /forward
4. St Kilda – Jake Lever (Calder Cannons) – 191 cm key defender
5. Carlton – Patrick McCartin (Geelong Falcons) – 193 cm key forward
6. Carlton – Angus Brayshaw (Sandringham Dragons) – 184 cm midfielder

Having watched these guys closely, McCartin is exactly who Carlton needs. He is a key forward who crashes packs and takes incredible marks in the Jonathan Brown mould. He is physically imposing, and has the ability to kick a bag every time he plays.

Brayshaw would be only second to Petracca in terms of consistently dominating and constantly showing improvement. James Brayshaw’s nephew is the guy who will average above 25 disposals and five clearances. He does all the in and under work, yet he also has incredible polish with his disposal. His vision and ability to execute when kicking to a lead in the forward 50 is freakish, and he is also one of the best on-field leaders in this year’s crop.

Those two players are the types who will command $600,000 or more at their peaks. They both break games open and fit the Carlton mould. Both are also very coachable types. Gibbs has been a great servant for Carlton, but if he walks for more money, the Blues would benefit far more than if he stays.


  1. This article is very much on the money and i totally agree.I am22yr mem and have watched bryce so if we can pick an early draft pick the club must have the agots and make the move.My concern is we will beat the average sides and finish out of the reach of the players mention in the article,

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