New Carlton recruit George Hewett says he wasn’t “at all” put off by the Blues’ turbulent year when making the decision to leave Sydney in favour of a move south.
The Swans opted not to match Carlton’s reported four-year contract offer to Hewett, a restricted free agent, and will receive an end-of-second-round draft pick as compensation.
The 25-year-old has therefore immediately joined the Blues after 120 AFL games for Sydney and will be new coach Michael Voss’ first recruit.
The Blues haven’t made the finals since 2013 and had a turbulent year off-field, sacking coach David Teague at season’s end following an external review.
“No to be honest (I wasn’t put off), not at all,” Hewett said on Saturday.
“You look at their list, there’s so much talent there – it’s very, very exciting to be honest with you. So that’s how I looked at it.”
Hewett expected the Voss’ “aura” as a former triple-premiership captain to immediately command respect at Carlton.
He also believed the Blues’ 8-14 win-loss record didn’t reflect the level of talent in their attack – and their defensive issues could easily be amended.
“We know how good they are on the attack so hopefully we can maybe just look into some team defence and that’s very fixable and we’ll see how it goes,” he said.
Hewett has averaged 17.8 disposals, 3.1 clearances and just under four tackles a game since his 2016 debut, and should add extra grunt to the Blues’ midfield.
“It’ll be good to learn off and compete against Patrick (Cripps) and Sam Walsh,” he said.
“They’re two top players of the competition that are elite at what they do.
“So it’ll be good to compete against them and hopefully we can all set a high standard for the group.”
Hewett will reunite with fellow former Swan Nic Newman when he travels down in late November, with his family to join him around Christmas.
Fremantle’s Adam Cerra is also set to join Carlton once the Blues seal a trade.