Blues not over-celebrating AFL win

Ben McKay

How do you celebrate an AFL win 266 days in the making?

A firm handshake if you're Brendon Bolton.

Carlton earned their first win of the season on Saturday afternoon, showing more passion and drive to get past a laconic Essendon by 13 points at the MCG.

The Blues' faithful in the 44,669-strong crowd erupted with joy on the final siren.

And the relief in the Carlton rooms was plain to see.

In waiting until round eight to earn their first premiership points, the Blues set another record in the 122-season history of the club.

It had been so long that the tradition of first-time winners going in the middle of the circle during the singing of the club song had to be abandoned.

There were simply too many first-time winners.

Paddy Dow, Matthew Kennedy, Harry McKay, Aaron Mullett, Lochie O'Brien, Cameron O'Shea and club debutant Darcy Lang all sang the song for the first time, with their 15 teammates finding they couldn't link arms around them.

Bolton watched on in the rooms as his players embraced, but said he'd put a limit on the celebrations.

"We're all human. They've got to go away and enjoy it for day or two," he said.

"It's important they smile. It's a hard grind.

"Now they've experienced it, they need to understand not to get too high on that ... you don't want to get too high after a win (but) they've got to keep chasing that feeling."

As for the coach, he said he'd celebrate with his backroom staff.

"Maybe it's to just be with them and shake their hand. That's the best way to properly celebrate," he said.

"With coaches, when it's not working, the first thing you do is look at self (and ask) 'is there something else we can do for players?'.

"Often, you can bash yourself up in your mind. Our coaches are not doing that but it's been hard yards."