Andrejs Everitt started his AFL journey at the Western Bulldogs. The 194 cm utility, who was a first-round draft pick, played eight games in his first season and was touted as a star of the future. However, despite his flexibility and raw talent, the young Bulldog only played 10 games in a season once.
Everitt’s flaw was always consistency, showing plenty of promise but not able to impact games week after week. He was traded to the Sydney Swans in 2011 but consistency would once again be his undoing and, despite playing 20 games in 2013, he was never really in the Swans’ best side.
The trade period came into its last day and rumours circulated that Everitt wanted out. Overnight, West Coast seemed his likely destination but soon it would be Carlton locked in talks with the Swans until the dying moments of the trade period. Carlton eventually secured the 24-year-old for a second-round pick.
Everitt is a great pick up for the Blues because of his ability to play in multiple positions. The Sydney Swans had enormous depth in the tall department. Carlton, on the other hand, do not have this problem; as long as Everitt stays fit, he should be given consistent opportunity for the Blues in 2014.
Carlton’s defence seems fairly set with Michael Jamison and Matthew Watson likely to have the first crack at the key position posts with Zach Tuohy and Andrew Walker taking the smaller forwards. The main hole they have is the lack of a developed third tall in defence.
Jeremy Laidler was traded to the Swans, Andrew McInnes doesn’t really have the size for the role just yet and Josh Bootsma has struggled adapting to the AFL system. Everitt, who is in fact taller than Jamison, could fill this role. Even if it is only for parts of quarters, his size and speed makes him ideal for that role.
Everitt could also be used as a half back flanker. He has a penetrating right foot that’ll give the Carlton forwards the best possible chance, whether it is Jarrad Waite in a contested situation, or allowing the likes of Chris Yarran and Jeff Garlett to run onto the ball. The main benefit of Everitt playing half back is it would free up Andrew Walker or Kade Simpson to add to Carlton’s midfield rotations, which was a problem the Blues had in 2013.
Everitt could also be used up forward. He has already shown in the NAB Challenge a good goal sense and will be an awkward match up for opposition teams. This highly depends on who else Carlton play up forward. With the likelihood of Waite, Lachie Henderson and Matthew Kreuzer starting forward, Everitt may be better utilised down back rather than having a fourth tall up forward.
Carlton picked Everitt up for a second round draft pick – the pick they received from Richmond after trading Shaun Hampson. His versatility will be a great benefit for the Blues who will be looking to finish in the top eight and push for top four this year.