CARLTON will parachute mid-season recruit Sam Durdin straight into its team for Thursday night's blockbuster against Richmond, just 15 days after the key defender arrived at the club.
Durdin was recruited to the Blues with pick No.13 in this year's NAB AFL Mid-Season Rookie Draft, held just a fortnight ago, with his club debut to come after just one VFL hitout in his new colours.
The 26-year-old's inclusion will aid Carlton's severely depleted backline group, which has already lost Jacob Weitering (shoulder), Mitch McGovern (hamstring), Caleb Marchbank (knee), Oscar McDonald (back) and Luke Parks (foot) to long-term injuries.
"What a story that is," Carlton coach Michael Voss said on Wednesday.
"Second chance ... playing at Glenelg a couple of weeks ago and now he's going to play against Richmond in front of a massive MCG crowd, so it will be a great occasion for him.
"The fact that he has been able to come in and he will have an impact pretty soon, it's a credit to him and it's a credit to the way the boys have been able to support him the last couple of weeks.
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"The first day he got in, he sat in front of the computer for three-and-a-half hours trying to learn what our style was.
"I just want him to go and back himself.
"He has been exposed to this level before, he knows what it's about ... he has built the craft over a long period of time in the position he plays and that goes a long, long way.
"There will be some minor adjustments to how we ask him to do that but in the end it's down to winning your battle, and if he can win his battle that puts us in a really good position."
A former first-round pick at North Melbourne, Durdin played 22 games across six seasons for the Kangaroos before he was delisted from the Arden Street club at the end of its 2020 campaign.
The 199cm lockdown defender has since spent the last two seasons playing for Glenelg in the SANFL, earning a second chance on an AFL list after averaging 14.9 disposals and 5.4 marks per game to start this season.
Durdin will likely accompany Lewis Young in Carlton's undermanned backline, with the pair set to be tasked with thwarting a Richmond forward line that could be bolstered by Tom Lynch's return from a hamstring injury.