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  1. #1
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    Stephen Silvagni

    Interesting article and a clear sign of disrespect for Stephen Silvagni

    If pinpointing the time when Stephen Silvagni’s tenure with Carlton became irreversibly strained, look no further than earlier this season when Brandon Ellis and Tom Papley were first sought by the Blues.

    Ellis, who ultimately left Richmond for the Gold Coast, and Papley, who remained with Sydney, were identified as key components in Carlton’s planning for next year.

    They were feverishly targeted by the Blues earlier this year, a courting that was said to have gone as far as tours of Ikon Park.

    But problems arose because Silvagni, the General Manager of List Management and Strategy, was not part of the process, leaving him “bitterly disappointed”, according to one Carlton insider.


    Once that trust had been broken, something or someone was going to give.

    And that someone is expected to be Carlton Hall of Fame Legend Silvagni, who was lured back to the club in 2015 to help rebuild a basket case.

    Silvagni typically declined a request to be interviewed yesterday.

    He began by drafting Jacob Weitering (pick No.1), Harry McKay (No.10), Charlie Curnow (No.12), David Cunningham (No.23) and his son Jack (No.53) as a father-son selection.

    Four years on and it’s looking more and more likely that the 2015 national draft haul will be looked back on as a catalyst for future success.

    In the same period Silvagni has overseen the transformation of an ugly salary cap to one that currently has room to comfortably include a high-priced recruit.

    So what has changed since Silvagni was seduced by Carlton president and friend Mark LoGiudice to return home after a successful tenure as the architect of GWS’s initial AFL forays?

    It began when Cain Liddle was appointed CEO and Brad Lloyd was recruited to become head of football.

    Liddle and Lloyd are no different than most people in business, expressing a desire to put their own people in place.

    Their “own people” included Mick Agresta as list manager — a title perhaps dangerously close to that of Silvagni’s General Manager of List Management — and football operations boss Len Villani.

    The positive view is that Liddle has constructed a harmonious team working towards a common goal.

    The opposite view is that it creates a group of “yes” men.

    Sydney’s recruiting and list manager Kinnear Beatson is another name recently linked to the Blues.

    Naturally enough it has produced a different environment than 2016 when Silvagni worked with relative freedom alongside 1995 premiership teammate and head of football Andrew McKay as well as Sam Power, who now runs recruiting and list management with the Western Bulldogs.

    As a result Silvagni’s power base has steadily eroded, and reports concerning his future continue to surface.

    It will see the likely departure of Silvagni after this year’s national draft, despite a reported contract having been put to him, albeit at a reduced rate.

    He is believed to have been in discussions with LoGiudice concerning an exit plan, which initially was aimed for 2020.

    Back to Brandon Ellis — a name that repeatedly crops up when 2019 politics at Carlton are discussed.

    Silvagni was said to have been open to Ellis joining the club, but only at the right price, which was a fair way short of the $550,000 Gold Coast is alleged to be paying him.

    When Ellis went north, Silvagni signed St Kilda’s Jack Newnes on a base salary at a third of the cost.

    Josh Deluca, who played six games after being taken in the 2019 mid-season draft, may well have been another bone of contention.

    Deluca, who has since been delisted, was not believed to have been on Silvagni’s wishlist as a senior player.

    Eddie Betts was another case in point, with Silvagni’s interest said to be warm, and that was based more on what he could bring to develop Carlton’s indigenous program rather than the goals and tackling pressure his 32-year-old legs would provide.

    In the cases of Betts and Deluca, Silvagni was effectively overruled, whereas the attempted recruitment of Ellis and Papley may well be looked back upon as the straws that broke the camel’s back, and ended over 20 years of service from the man known as SOS.

    What next for Silvagni?

    There will be interest given his recruiting track record with both GWS and Carlton matches up against most in the past decade, but one source close to the family suggested he is unlikely to be involved in football next year other than watching his sons Jack and Ben play for the Blues.

    If Silvagni ever does speak, and don’t hold your breath as he has been famously publicity shy throughout his career, he would certainly point to a breakdown in trust as the critical component in his departure from a club that first boasted a Silvagni when his father Sergio debuted 61 years ago.
    Tough times don't last, tough people do
    "He'll accumulate and be involved, but we're looking a qualitative sheen on his game that we need, and it is part of our scope to score"

  2. #2
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    Re: Stephen Silvagni

    2nd article

    Why Stephen Silvagni’s tenure as Carlton list manager will be remembered as a success

    Few list managers have had their fingerprints over a more comprehensive overhaul of a non-expansion list than Steven Silvagni.

    As he approaches the November 27-28 national and pre-season draft period many believe will be his last at Carlton, the change in five seasons is nothing short of extraordinary.

    Of the 44 players on the Carlton list — including two of his sons — only seven of them were at Carlton before he arrived in 2015.

    Those players are Liam Jones, Sam Docherty, Ed Curnow, Patrick Cripps, Matthew Kreuzer, Levi Casboult and Kade Simpson.

    There are plenty of misses in his list of trades and the question of whether this side will become a premiership contender depends on turning potential into reality.

    Can Charlie Curnow become great or just merely good, can No. 3 pick Paddy Dow blossom, can Jacob Weitering elevate into an All Australian defender after this year’s sixth in the John Nicholls Medal?

    But if this is Silvagni’s curtain call after exactly five seasons at Ikon Park, only the churlish would begrudge the job he has done.

    A million five-year plans at clubs like Melbourne, Richmond and St Kilda have turned into the punchline for a sick joke, as clubs bottom out only to realise they are no closer to the promised land than when they started.

    The Carlton team that will run out for David Teague next year is stacked with A-grade talent, has depth to burn in every position bar small forward and should legitimately believe finals are a realistic starting point.

    He could scarcely have done more to maximise what should be a five-to-seven year window of opportunity.

    Silvagni’s demise has been predicted for months, with CEO Cain Liddle failing to guarantee his job as far back as June.

    If he does leave Carlton as predicted, it will be because he and the club have simply worn on each other.

    Silvagni and sacked coach Brendon Bolton butted heads over the game plan and selection integrity.

    His son Jack Silvagni was out of Bolton’s team for the first month before putting together his best season.

    List management decisions on Brandon Ellis and Eddie Betts came with plenty of internal argy bargy.

    And with Mick Agresta the official list manager but Silvagni his boss with a fancier title but still effectively the list boss, tension bubbled to the surface.

    But the sum of the parts of Silvagni’s overhaul has to be a massive tick.

    Few clubs have stockpiled such an array of 24-and-under talent as Carlton’s enviable list: Patrick Cripps, Caleb Marchbank, Curnow, Weitering, Harry McKay, Sam Walsh, Sam Petrevski-Seton, Zac Fisher, Paddy Dow, Liam Stocker, Lochie O’Brien.

    The failures have stood out: Carlton traded Zach Tuohy to Geelong where he has played 66 exceptional games (and is still only 29), with Billie Smedts quickly long gone.

    In truth many of the GWS arrivals got to Carlton before Silvagni arrived, but on the whole the Blues haven’t struck paydirt.

    Marchbank could yet be a star, Lochie Plowman finished third in this year’s b-and-f, while Matt Kennedy and Will Setterfield have promise.

    But none of Jarrod Pickett, Liam Sumner, Jed Lamb, Rhys Palmer or proved anything close to game-changers for the Blues.

    So if Silvagni walks away having secured another young star with pick nine and Jack Martin as a pre-season pick, he will feel vindicated in the decisions he has made.
    Tough times don't last, tough people do
    "He'll accumulate and be involved, but we're looking a qualitative sheen on his game that we need, and it is part of our scope to score"

  3. #3
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    Re: Stephen Silvagni

    Interesting.

    Seems he's been undermined and now pushed out. Fairly solid record at the draft table but a number of high selections. Dow is the one that needs to develop into another complimentary A grade mid who can win the ball in the clearance.
    #bemorebulldog

    Men of Mayhem

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