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Why Carlton’s recruiting plans are immune from virus

Carlton are planning to be a strong bidder for mature recruits from other clubs this year, despite the uncertainty surrounding the size of the salary cap.

The Blues say they will stick to their plan to bring in mature recruits – as they did last year with Jack Martin (Gold Coast) and prodigal son Eddie Betts and attempted with Sydney’s Tom Papley – in the knowledge that they will have the salary-cap space to bring in seasoned players who fit their needs.

The Blues may make another bid for Tom Papley.

The Blues may make another bid for Tom Papley.Credit:AAP

While the AFL and the clubs do not know what the salary cap will be in 2021 and 2022, the Blues say that, whatever amount is cut by the AFL, it will be proportionate to the space clubs have already, and thus Carlton, with a significant amount of space, will still have room for acquisitions.

Carlton chief executive Cain Liddle said the Blues would have a key focus on “both player retention and acquisition”, with the club able to utilise an “underspend” in their salary cap from previous years for recruitment or retention of players. Under the rules, clubs can spend up to 5 per cent over the salary cap, if they have not spend that amount in the two previous seasons.

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