Carlton draftee Jesse Motlop puts hand up for Round 1 with two-goal effort in intraclub clash
Carlton football director Greg Williams expects draftee Jesse Motlop to gatecrash the senior side and make an early debut after an eye-catching intraclub performance.
The Blues snapped up the South Fremantle product at No.27 in last year’s draft and he finished with two goals in Friday’s hitout at Ikon Park.
Motlop, whose father Daniel played 130 games for North Melbourne and Port Adelaide, doesn’t lack any spunk on or off the field – and Carlton is crying out for a quality goalsneak.
Retired great Eddie Betts was the Blues’ most prolific small forward last year with 27 goals but the next-most were Matt Owies’ 15, so Motlop is sure to get an opportunity.
The 18-year-old kicked one of his goals from a set shot before smashing through another from close range after receiving a handball.
“He’s a classy little player,” Williams told 3AW.
“He’s talented – he really is – and he’s just fitted into the club.
“The first session he came and trained with the boys he just fitted in, didn’t make a mistake, and he’s just a classy little goalsneak.”
With club champion Sam Walsh (ankle syndesmosis) set to miss the first month of the season, captain Patrick Cripps and recruits Adam Cerra and George Hewett will have greater responsibility.
That trio caught Williams’ eye, along with Paddy Dow and the hard-running Lochie O’Brien, but the dual Brownlow medallist was particularly buoyant about Cerra’s display.
“I’m being positive, but he was unreal,” Williams said of the former Docker.
“He’s a pretty good player already – he’s class, he really is. I think Carlton supporters will be very happy with Cerra, put it that way.”
Williams was also optimistic that athletic forward Charlie Curnow could recapture the brilliant form he showed before knee injuries stalled his career.
“He’s been doing 100 per cent (training) for at least six weeks, or a few months probably,” he said.
“He’s said himself he’s in the best shape he’s ever been in. His knee feels great, touch wood, and I think it would be great for everyone if Charlie can get back to close to what he was.
“I think he can. Some of the stuff he’s done in training and match simulation; he’s moving as well as he ever has, I think.”
Tall utility Brodie Kemp spent time in attack and kicked a goal after playing as a defender last year.
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