Photo credit: Carlton Football Club
Photo credit: Carlton Football Club

“He’s home.”

Those were the words used when Stephen Silvagni made his long-awaited return to Carlton today. And they could not be any more appropriate.

Silvagni has worked at five different clubs since his retirement some 13 years ago, but he has not been involved with Carlton in an official role since then.

He was announced this morning as the GM of List Management and Strategy, the role he had held at Greater Western Sydney since 2011.

Having been named as Carlton’s fifth greatest ever player in their 150th year celebrations, Silvagni’s inevitable return was formally announced this morning.

“We’re on a mission to get Carlton back to where it belongs,” Silvagni said.

The appointment comes after Carlton also signalled their intentions throughout the year to bolster their drafting and development stocks, which had come under scrutiny in recent seasons.

While Andrew McKay and Shane Rogers have done their best to reverse the negative stigma, having more hands on deck – and those of a club legend at that – definitely won’t hurt.

It is alongside McKay and Rogers where Silvagni will head the next stage of Carlton’s list rejuvenation, where they have already made significant changes in the past two seasons.

Silvagni spoke of his delight at being back at the club where he played 312 games, saying that he felt “ready for this opportunity”.

“I’m ready for the challenge and I’m excited by it. It’s going to take some time, but we’re ready for it.”

A fortnight after reverting back to the heritage jumper in which they had their most success, the appointment was another example of the new Carlton hierarchy giving back to the fans.

New president Mark LoGiudice and CEO Steven Trigg have highlighted the need to give back to the Carlton faithful, after a particularly unfruitful decade. In a nostalgic sense, the move is sure to warm the hearts of the Carlton masses.

“We’re on a mission to get Carlton back to where it belongs,” Silvagni said.

“I love wearing the navy blue.”

The Silvagni name has been synonymous with Carlton ever since Sergio Silvagni made his debut in 1958. The name was further etched in Carlton history when Stephen was named at full back in both the Carlton and AFL Teams of the Century.

Since the salary cap ordeal of 2002, there has been a distinct lack of success at Carlton, something which the Blues have been unable to amend to this day.

Blues fans will be hoping that the return of Silvagni will set the club on their way to returning back to the glory days: back to where Carlton were at their arrogant best.

Time will tell when it comes to the feasibility and success of the appointment. But, for now, the simple fact is that ‘SOS’ is back home on Royal Parade.

And, as most Carlton fans will attest to, it’s about time.