Sport

Carlton's ready to rumble

Blues ruckman Shaun Hampson.
Blues ruckman Shaun Hampson.

CARLTON ruckman Shaun Hampson believes the time is right for the Blues to send a shudder through the league.

The 23-year-old Queenslander, who is set to play in Saturday's NAB Cup round-three clash against the Brisbane Lions at Maroochydore, reckons his star-studded side has been building towards a big campaign in 2012.

>> Latest sport news

"We've made the finals in the last two or three years now, so it's our time to make our mark on the competition," he said yesterday.

"I think everybody at the club will be upset if we don't finish in the top four and get the home final and the second chance.

"So there is a bit of pressure, but everybody is looking forward to having a good season.

"I think we've got a really strong, diverse squad. If someone gets injured, someone else can take their place without looking out of place.

"We're probably known for our midfield strength, having Chris Judd, Marc Murphy, Bryce Gibbs, Kade Simpson and Mitch Robinson running through there ... but I think if we're going to be a legitimate finals team, we're going to have to get other teams and the public to know that we've got more than the midfield. We've got a very strong forward team and a much-disciplined backline."

Carlton, which last won a flag in 1995, started this year with a whimper, losing all three of its previous NAB Cup matches.

Hampson said, however, the results were not a true reflection of the team's ability.

"We haven't had any wins yet, but we're not too worried about that," he said.

"It's NAB Cup and a lot of teams play young, inexperienced players and experiment with things, so it's a hard one to get a gauge on."

Although Carlton is not going to field a full-strength team at Maroochydore, the Blues will start favourites and Hampson says they are intent on winning.

"We're all professional athletes at the club and you don't get that way unless you're super competitive, so we'll definitely be trying to win," he said.

The 201cm, 102kg follower is keen to make a mark of his own this year after three injury-plagued seasons, including posterior cruciate ligament damage in 2010.

He has also had corrective eye surgery during the off-season.

"It's really helped me judge the flight of the ball," he said.

"I'm fit and fresh and ready to go and looking forward to playing some good injury-free footy and showing them what I can do."

Topics:  afl, brisbane lions, carlton, nab cup


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Dingo bullrider looks to defend North Queensland title

Ryan Storey. Photo by: www.stephenmowbrayphotography.com

Storey won one of the open bull rides last year with a score of 80

March to end domestic violence

Snr Sgt Peter McFarlane speaking. Photo Kelly Butterworth / CQ News

YOU are invited to take a stand against domestic violence.

Avenger rides in to Emerald show

Golden Amusement's Caine Brown in front of the Avenger ride, new to the Emerald Show. Photo Rebekah Yelland / CQ News

“It’s like being in a washing machine that’s out of control.”

Latest deals and offers

Emerald show weather forecast; from sunshine to gumboots

Today will be dry, reaching a top of 28 degrees, perfect for those looking to check out the cotton picker pull and a full bill of entertainment tonight.

Dingo bullrider looks to defend North Queensland title

Ryan Storey. Photo by: www.stephenmowbrayphotography.com

Storey won one of the open bull rides last year with a score of 80

March to end domestic violence

Snr Sgt Peter McFarlane speaking. Photo Kelly Butterworth / CQ News

YOU are invited to take a stand against domestic violence.

Avenger rides in to Emerald show

Golden Amusement's Caine Brown in front of the Avenger ride, new to the Emerald Show. Photo Rebekah Yelland / CQ News

“It’s like being in a washing machine that’s out of control.”

Free skate day to celebrate new Blackwater PCYC position

Blackwater PCYC branch manager Sergeant Dominic Richardson.

Free skate day to celebrate new Blackwater PCYC position

Gymnasts qualify and improve, leading up to championships

The Emerald Gymnastics Club's ACRO group took part in the Central Queensland ACRO qualifier two in Emerald.

Gymnasts qualify and improve, leading up to championships

Things to do in Central Queensland this week

Capella Show. Photo Matthew Holdsworth / CQ News

Your guide to events this weekend and throughout the week

Bennett, Langer, Thurston and others talk Cam Smith

Broncos and former QLD coach Wayne Bennett.

Broncos and former QLD coach plus past and present players talk about Cameron...

Barnaby Joyce talks Johnny Depp's dogs in Tweed

Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce talks about Johnny Depp's dogs Pistol and Boo...

Billy Slater talks Origin Team

Queensland Origin great Billy Slater.

Queensland Origin great Billy Slater talks about this years team and his return to...

Own Sunshine Coast property? You’re about to make money

UP AND UP: Property owners are likely to win from rent and price increases but tenants and first home buyers might not be so happy. Photo: Brett Wortman / Sunshine Coast Daily

Good new for property owners, not so good for buyers and tenants.

Sale nears on last large block of land in Coolum

The 43.37ha property on South Coolum Rd has sold.

South Coolum Rd property to be land banked