Carlton fans will hope Jarrad Waite stays on the park this season. Image courtesy of heraldsun.com.au/Michael Klein
He’s not quite the messiah that his former coach was made out to be, but it surely would have warmed the hearts of Carlton fans to see Dale Thomas and Mick Malthouse reunited for the first time when Carlton lines up against North Melbourne in the NAB Challenge on Saturday night. ‘Daisy’ played just five games last season thanks to an ankle injury, and he won’t be making his first appearance in the navy blue after he was laid low with a chest infection and withdrawn from the clash in Ballarat, with Dennis Armfield taking his place.
The Blues will unveil recruits Andrejs Everitt and Cameron Wood in the clash with the Kangaroos. Perhaps the most exciting news, though, is that enigmatic forward Jarrad Waite appears to be injury-free, for now, anyway. Waite’s presence changes Carlton’s attack markedly and if he can get through most of the season, the Blues will be in with a big sniff of returning to the finals again. Chris Judd is set to return to training in a fortnight, although former Lion Sam Docherty has gone in for surgery on his quad and will miss at least the next month.
A team which should have played September footy last season but for a number of near misses was North Melbourne. More composure and a better endurance level and the Kangas would have been a shot at a home final, but instead they went on their end-of-season trip a week or two early. Former Saint Nick Dal Santo makes his debut for the Shinboners, and he’ll have plenty to prove after looking a spent force at times in 2013. Robin Nahas gets another shot after falling out of favour at Punt Road last season, while exciting father-son selection Luke McDonald repeats the effort of his father Donald in wearing the blue and white.
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