CARLTON is not daunted by the prospect of facing premiership favourite Richmond in Thursday night's season opener at the MCG, veteran Dale Thomas has declared.
The Blues have lost their last seven games against the Tigers but will go into their round one match-up with an improved level of confidence following the inclusions of a couple of key players in the trade and draft periods.
Headlining that list of players are No.1 overall pick Sam Walsh and Adelaide recruit Mitch McGovern, alongside Michael Gibbons, Will Setterfield, Nic Newman and Alex Fasolo, who could all feature in the season opener.
"You never know until Thursday night but I think we are as prepared as we've ever been and looking forward to a good solid year and one we can improve on from last season," Thomas said.
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Bouncing back from a horrendous 2018 campaign, which saw the Blues win just two games for the season, was something that drove the group according to Thomas.
"Externally we'll surprise a few," Thomas said.
"You have to reflect on last year. It was disappointing. Winning two games really isn't good enough. We know that.
"The beauty of it is you have pre-season to work on that and it has probably driven a few of the boys. You have seen the way a few of them have come back. They are in really good form and have probably taken that step forward that they probably didn't take last year."
Thomas, 31, enters his sixth season at Carlton after joining the club as a free agent in 2014.