Carlton has confirmed it will take two debutants into Thursday night’s blockbuster AFL season opener against Richmond, blooding draftees Lachie Cowan and Ollie Hollands.
The duo were told they would play in round 1 in front of teammates on Monday, with both impressing in Carlton’s pre-season games against Collingwood and Sydney.
Hollands, the younger brother of Gold Coast’s Elijah, was recruited with pick 11 in last year’s draft and has been used on a wing over the pre-season, while Cowan was taken at pick 30 and has made an immediate impact across halfback in the absence of the injured Zac Williams.
Cowan, who like Hollands was a childhood Carlton supporter, was strongly sought after by the Blues in the draft, with a future second round pick offloaded to secure the long-kicking Tasmanian.
The announcement of the duo’s debuts means mature-age recruit Alex Cincotta may have to wait longer for his first AFL game after an impressive month since he was recruited from the Blues’ VFL side as a PSP selection.
It comes as Carlton extended Lewis Young’s contract for three more years on Monday, following the extension of former captain Sam Docherty’s deal until the end of 2025.