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.
"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."
Completely renovated using the best in materials and appliances, this very cute home is the ideal buy for a young couple. Features include 3 good sized bedrooms...
The location of this wonderful property is impeccable and is renowned as a peaceful street to raise a family with Eichelberger Park and the Frenchville walking...
This property gives you the complete package, a 3-bedroom home, outside living, in ground pool and a mans shed with plenty of room for the cars and caravans. Very...
Looking for a starter for the kids or a redevelopment project, then this quaint lowset weatherboard home maybe just what you are looking for. Features: * 3...
Enjoying exceptional elevation and city views with beautiful sweeping mountain backdrops. This 5 bedroom, 3 bathroom massive family home, is perfectly positioned...
Are you ready for a lifestyle change, this amazing home has been designed for privacy and space, the elevation and orientation of this block allows comfort in all...
You will fall in love with this beautiful home, large open plan design, cathedral ceilings, allowing the fresh breeze to filter through this amazing property.
Newly constructed and on a good size block with side access is where you will find this deceivingly large family home. Its quaint exterior certainly hides the...
You will love the amazing views and the massive deck this wonderful home has to offer, perfectly positioned in a peaceful cul-du-sac, in the heart of Frenchville.
This larger than average home needs to be seen to be believed! Recently renovated with air-conditioners and polished timber floors throughout, this homes features...
Join the Community.
Get your local news, your way.
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.