Carlton lose Kreuzer, Thomas for Port game
Carlton will field one of its youngest AFL line-ups yet when they face Port Adelaide on Friday night, blooding youngster Cam Polson.
Carlton will run out under the Friday night lights of Adelaide Oval with one of its youngest AFL sides in recent memory when they take on Port Adelaide.
Experienced pair Matthew Kreuzer and Dale Thomas are "too sore" to take on the in-form Power, leaving coach Brendon Bolton again turning to youth.
Against Gold Coast last week, the Blues fielded nine players yet to have their 21st birthday - and against the Power they could hit double figures.
Off the back of strong reserves form, Cam Polson will become the sixth Blue to make an AFL debut this year.
The 19-year-old follows Harrison Macreadie, Jarrod Pickett, Sam Petrevski-Seton (round one), Tom Williamson (round three) and Zac Fisher (round four) as first-year players getting a guernsey.
And Bolton, casting aside any nerves, says he can't wait to see how they perform on the big stage.
"We don't get to play Friday nights very often and I'm sure there will be a huge crowd so what an opportunity for our guys to embrace that," he told reporters on Thursday.
"They'll be ready for the challenge."
A fixturing quirk means the Blues haven't played at Adelaide Oval since 2014 - when the Power dished out a 103-point belting on their way to the finals.
That means only a handful of Carlton players have played at the Oval in navy blue - and Thomas and Kreuzer won't be adding their names to the list.
Bolton said lingering effects of the club's round three win over Essendon, played in a torrential downpour, had claimed the pair - and their omission was not form related.
"We've had two six-day breaks ... they haven't come up. They're too sore and won't play footy at all this week," Bolton said.
Patrick Cripps was also backed in to continue his role as midfield warrior despite playing through an oblique strain.
"This game is brutal. He's had more knocks than he's had this year than he's had in other games. It's part of it," he said.
"Its take a fair bit to stop Patrick Cripps ... he'll be right to go."
Bolton said he expected Blues fans to take to Polson, a hard-running midfielder.
"There's another one for our Bluebaggers," he said.
"In the last few weeks he's had around 30 touches and hit the scoreboard at VFL level. He's earned his spot and he's a good little tackler. Just like Fisher last week, we can see upside for our future."
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