Team of Origin – Carlton Blues

Updated: May 6, 2018

Everyone knows the rules behind State of Origin. It’s unlikely ever to happen again, so what if we take an even more unbelievable premise and see what happens.

Team of Origin is pretty straight forward. The idea is that every player is sent back to the club that originally drafted them. What would that team look like, and how would they perform?

A couple of quick notes, this assumes that Dumbledore has waived his magic wand across the AFL, and everyone is magically 100% healthy. A player also does not need to have played for their original team to qualify. It is simply who drafted them first.

Next in this series of articles, we look at at Carlton Blues. A team that has struggled for over a decade, and in recent years seems to have been using GWS Giants cast offs as their recruiting strategy. One benefit of their inability to win games has been that they have received a lot of high end draft picks. Let’s have a look at what their team would look like if they all played together.

Back Line

Carlton lose their ‘quarterback’ Sam Docherty to the Brisbane Lions, however Irishman Zach Tuohy returns from his stint at Geelong to unite with countryman Ciaran Byrne. Not really a like for like swap. Tuohy is a good player, but is nowhere near the quality of Docherty. The remainder of the Blues back line looks very similar to the team that steps on to the park each week in the AFL. A largely inexperienced back 6, with the exception of Tuohy and the evergreen Kade Simpson. There is hope for the future however, with youngster Zac Fisher finding his feet at the top level, and the potential of former number 1 draft pick Jacob Weitering.


The shortfalls of the Carlton back line may not be an issue however, given that the ball may never get down there. The midfield group is stacked with top end draft picks and elite talent. Bryce Gibbs (pick 1, 2006) returns from a brief stint at the Crows to join Matthew Kreuzer (pick 1, 2007), Marc Murphy (pick 1, 2005), Patrick Cripps (pick 13, 2013), Sam Petrevski-Seton (pick 6, 2016) and Paddy Dow (pick 3, 2017). This would be almost the perfect blend of inside grunt, outside running, veteran leadership and youthful aggression.

The only question around this midfield would be if they could put it all together. The only difference between this midfield, and the one actually playing for Carlton is Bryce Gibbs. Well, and a bunch of injuries. If Brendan Bolton could get this midfield group to work together cohesively (and if the medical staff could keep them healthy) they would be next to unstoppable.

Forward Line

The biggest issue with the current Carlton team is their inability to kick a winning score. They have yet to kick 100 points in the 2018 season. In fact, they haven’t kicked over 110 points since Round 11, 2016

This would NOT be a problem for this team. The biggest question would be how they would share out the goals. Josh J Kennedy and Charlie Curnow provide the tall targets, whilst Eddie Betts and Jeff Garlett would mop up anything that hits the ground. Mitch Robinson would provide the forward tag if needed, and if not, he would be the inside muscle in the forward line.


One thing this team would not be short on is leadership. Current Carlton captain Marc Murphy retains the captaincy, and is joined by current All-Australian Vice Captain Josh Kennedy. The leadership group is rounded out with Bryce Gibbs, Kade Simpson and captain-in-waiting Patrick Cripps. Between them, this group has seen the highs and the lows of AFL, and would be able to get the best out if this team.


I don’t think there is any doubt that this team would be significantly better than the current Carlton team. The deficiencies in the back line would be largely overcome by an elite midfield and a gun forward line. It has a good mix of youth and experience, and would be in a ‘premiership window’.

Ladder Prediction – Top 8

If you enjoyed this article, why not read previous Club of Origin Teams – Adelaide and Brisbane

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Written by Archie Keeler (@OTLSArchie)

Header graphic by Corey Wade Media (@CoreySWade)

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