Blues to unveil teen debutants in AFL season opener
Carlton are set to unveil two AFL debutants in their season-opening blockbuster against old rivals Richmond.
Ollie Hollands and Lachie Cowan - recruited with picks 11 and 30 respectively at last year's draft - were told of their selection at Monday's team meeting.
The teenagers, who both grew up barracking for the Blues, will line up in front of about 90,000 fans at a sold-out MCG on Thursday night.
"I don't think we're going in hoping," Carlton coach Michael Voss told Fox Footy.
"We've got a fair body of work that we've seen since December when they came on board and they've slowly been able to adapt to our way.
"They'll grow within the roles that they've been given but they're two exciting additions, for sure."
Voss has been buoyed by what he has seen from Hollands and Cowan in pre-season practice matches against Collingwood and Sydney.
"When you start playing against AFL opposition you start measuring them like for like and we've played against two quality opponents," Voss said.
"They're playing against some top-quality opposition, so you get to measure them against that and they've done pretty well."
Hollands was the Blues' first selection at last year's draft, having starred on a wing for the Murray Bushrangers and Vic Country.
He is the younger brother of Gold Coast midfielder Elijah Hollands.
Tasmania product Cowan, a tough half-back who runs well, will be asked to step up as a replacement for Zac Williams, who will miss the entire season with a knee injury sustained last month.
"(Cowan) is really calm, really collected, nothing seems to faze him too much," Voss said.
"He'll handle it really well."
Carlton and Richmond will name their full round-one teams on Wednesday, with former Fremantle and St Kilda wingman Blake Acres also set to play his first game for the Blues.
Meanwhile, Carlton defender Lewis Young has signed a three-year contract extension with the club.
The 24-year-old emerged as a regular lockdown defender last season and led Carlton for intercept marks.