SECOND CHANCE: Jack Silvagni has been called back into the Carlton line-up to take on Sydney Swans in Friday night's Marn Grook game.
SECOND CHANCE: Jack Silvagni has been called back into the Carlton line-up to take on Sydney Swans in Friday night's Marn Grook game. DANIEL POCKETT

Carlton youngsters learn in the Friday night lights

CARLTON coach Brendon Bolton is thrilled with his bottom-placed team's semi-regular slot on Friday night, saying the big stage will help the AFL club's youngsters develop.

The Blues face Sydney at the SCG in the third of four games they'll play this year on Friday night, the showcase that every club yearns for.

Many pundits have questioned why Carlton, who sit bottom on the ladder and are favoured to collect the wooden spoon in 2018, were treated so kindly in the fixture.

Bolton isn't complaining.

"I'd be careful using that sort of line - 'embarrassment'," Bolton said, when asked about the debate over whether Carlton deserve the coveted Friday night slot given poor on-field performances.

"What we've looked at is the opportunity it provides for so many of our youngsters on the big stage.

"What great learning opportunities.

"I know Richmond went through a bit of that early days.

"It pays you back, because you learn to play on the stage."

Carlton's match against Sydney will start the league's indigenous round, with the two clubs squaring off in the Swans' annual Marn Grook game.

The Swans have made two changes to the team that defeated Brisbane, recalling Gary Rohan and Nic Newman in place of Tom McCartin (dropped) and Tom Papley (managed).

The Blues recalled Jack Silvagni at the expense of fellow youngster Harry McKay.

"It's really rare in footy now that a young player is drafted, starts AFL and just stays there and doesn't have some exposure to VFL," Bolton said.

"I often reflect on my time at Hawthorn ... when a guy was drafted you usually thought 'I'll see him in the team in a year or two'.

"That's not the case at Carlton, they get exposure a little bit earlier because we've been on a reset."

- AAP

News Corp Australia


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