Carlton Football Club

Carlton Football Club

Infobox australian football club
clubname = Carlton Football Club

fullname = Carlton Football Club
motto = Mens Sana In Corpore Sano
season = 2008
position = 11th
topgoalkicker = Brendan Fevola
bestandfairest = Chris Judd
founded = 1864
colours = Navy Bluecolor box|DarkBlue
league = Australian Football League
chairman = Stephen Kernahan
coach = Brett Ratten
captain = Chris Judd
ground = Telstra Dome
ground2 = Visy Park
ground3 = MCG
capacity = 56,000
capacity2 = 28,000
capacity3 = 100,000
url = []

Carlton Football Club, nicknamed The Blues, is the third oldest club in the Australian Football League and one of the oldest Australian rules football clubs. They were the first premiers of any Australian rules competition in 1877, [ Official Website of the Carlton Football Club] [ History of the Blues] Retrieved on 2007-04-15.] and share the most premierships of any VFL/AFL club. [ AFL Tables] [ Finishing Summary 1897-2006] Carlton and Essendon listed with most premierships at 16 each. Retrieved on 2007-04-15.] The club originally represented the inner city Melbourne area of Carlton and its nickname comes from the navy blue colour of its uniform. Also on its uniform is the club's insignia which consists of three alphabetical letters – CFC superimposed on each other.

Club history

Early history

Formed in 1864, it originally played in the Victorian Football Association competition. It was invited to join the breakaway Victorian Football League in 1897. The competition was renamed to the Australian Football League in 1990 and is where the club currently resides.

Carlton made its first VFL grand final in the year of 1904 to be defeated by Fitzroy. Two years later in 1906, it was to enter the first of five consecutive grand finals. The first three were all premierships and Carlton became the first team in the history of the VFL/AFL to win three-in-a-row. The fourth grand final in 1909 made Carlton the closest team to attempt to win four-in-a-row, as it was narrowly beaten by just 2 points to South Melbourne (now Sydney Swans). Had it not been for the political trouble that plagued the club early in the season, the result could well have been different. However, this remarkable feat was subsequently surpassed during the Great Depression by the club's greatest rival - Collingwood (which became famous as 'The Machine') in 1927-30. In Carlton's fifth grand final in 1910, they were defeated by Collingwood and this was the beginning of a strong rivalry between the two clubs that would endure for more than a century. Collingwood's working-class supporter base, close geographic proximity, and many historic on-field (and occasional off-field) tussles mark the rivalry as one of the strongest in the AFL. 1910 had been a controversial year for the club, two players including Alex Lang were banned for 99 games (approximately 6 years) after being found guilty of accepting bribes to play poorly.

Carlton has traditionally been in the top 2 most powerful on-field clubs, [ AFL Tables] [ Team Win-Loss Records] Carlton Win Percentage - 61.19%, second to Collingwood. Retrieved on 2007-04-15.] boasting a winning record over 11 of the 15 other clubs currently in the competition, including all the VFL teams such as notable rivals Collingwood, Essendon and Richmond. [ AFL Tables] [ Carlton Win-Loss Records] Retrieved on 2007-04-15.] Many memorable battles have been contested against them, most notably in a thriller in the 1947 Grand Final when Carlton beat Essendon by one point, and again in the 1968 Grand Final when Carlton beat Essendon to win by 3 points. In the Grand Final of 1972, Carlton defeated Richmond in a goal kicking spree that saw fifty goals kicked - the highest number of goals ever kicked in a Grand Final. [ [ MCG Football] [ Footy Highlights, Lowlights and Memorable Moments] "The 1972 Grand Final resulted in one of the highest aggregate scores in League history. Carlton 28.9.177 beat Richmond 22.18.150." Retrieved on 2007-04-20.]

Recent history

The development of the game becoming a national league has impacted on Victorian-based clubs and the consequential success of interstate clubs have had an impact on Carlton's current success record.

Changes within the rules of the national competition meant that Carlton and other Victorian teams cannot, as easily, recruit the best players from across Australia because many non-Victorian players can now be recruited by home-town clubs. The recruiting mechanism of all such players is now part of the draft pick process. [ [ Official Website of the AFL] [ NAB AFL Draft] Retrieved on 2007-04-15.] In addition all teams are confronted by the rules of the salary cap which is designed to limit the funds spent of players in any given season, in an attempt to create a level playing field. Prior to the salary cap, rich Victorian clubs such as Carlton were able to attract prospective players to the club by offering more money than the less successful clubs. Perhaps the sorest point in the club's history was when long time great Jamie McCarney defected to the Hawthorn Football Club.

In the year of its last premiership in 1995, Carlton set a new AFL/VFL record by losing only two games for the entire season having been beaten by the Sydney Swans and St. Kilda. [ [ AFL Tables] [ 1995 Season Scores] Retrieved on 2007-04-15.] This record stood until 2000 when rivals Essendon went through the entire season losing only one game against the Western Bulldogs. [ [ AFL Tables] [ 2000 Season Scores] Retrieved on 2007-04-15.] Carlton went on to defeat Geelong comfortably in the 1995 Grand Final, with Stephen Kernahan kicking 5 goals.

In 2002 the club was in great turmoil. Off-field the club had mounting financial losses and accounting irregularities which ultimately caused the club president John Elliott to resign from office and the subsequent removal of his name from the John Elliott Grandstand. [ Enough Rope with Andrew Denton] [ John Elliot Interview - 7 April 2003] John Elliott: Let's get it right. Wooden spoon, I resigned. Salary cap breach came after that because some people thought they might not get paid by the new regime] He was succeeded by Ian Collins as president in 2003. On-field the team went through the entire season without winning a single game on its home ground, which culminated in the club claiming the wooden spoon for finishing last on the AFL ladder for the first time in its history. Carlton was the last club of the original AFL/VFL teams to 'win' its first wooden spoon.

Under the new Collins administration, it was discovered that the club's previous administration had been making extra, secret payments to certain players. [ABC News [ ABC Radio Transcript] "The Australian Football League today charged Carlton with two salary cap breaches in the season 2000" Retrieved on 2007-04-15.] This violattion of the AFL salary cap resulted in the club receiving a record total fine of $980,000 and being banned from first and second round picks in the annual player draft for two years, hampering attempts to rebuild the club's player group. Brendan Goddard and Daniel Wells, who respectively went to St. Kilda and North Melbourne at picks 1 and 2, were two players who possibly would have been selected by Carlton. [ [ Ethical Sports Business Practices] "...a deliberate, sophisticated and elaborate scheme implemented by some former directors of the Carlton Football Club to breach the total players payments provisions of the AFL's Rules'... This cost the club a fine of $930,000 plus an additional fine of $50,000 recently incurred for another salary cap breach and Carlton were also stripped of their draft choices."]

Its coach Wayne Brittain, who had taken over the coaching duties in 2001, had his contract terminated and was replaced by Denis Pagan for the 2003 season. Brittain's arrival couldn't have come at a worse time since he took over a club on the verge of collapse which severely damaged his AFL coaching career prospects and he remains a potential coach who was never given a proper coaching opportunity at this level.

The appointment of Denis Pagan as senior coach in 2003 was an attempt to turn the club around. However, Carlton's predicament was clearly underestimated as even Pagan, with a reputation of being one of the best coaches in VFL/AFL history with his impressive long run of premierships with several clubs at several levels, [ [ Profile of Denis Pagan] "Pagan coached the team to the finals for a record 8 consecutive years (including the AFL record of 7 consecutive preliminary finals.)" Retrieved on 2007-04-15.] was unable to reverse Carlton's football plight in the short term. It had become apparent that the Carlton team had to be replaced with a more youthful lineup and this has developed over the past 3 years as the club's policy. Recruitment has centred on Carlton attempting to recruit players under 24 years old who are likely to have the capability to play at least 100 games.


) having done so in 1967.

In 2005 the club also became the last of the former VFL clubs to move away from its original home ground when it played its last match at Optus Oval against Melbourne in Round 9 of the 2005 season. [ [ Official Website of the Carlton Football Club] [ 1864-2005] "In round 9 Carlton plays its final game at Optus Oval, an 18-point loss to Melbourne." Retrieved on 2007-04-15.] Carlton had played at Princes Park for 108 years. Carlton now play half of their home games at the Telstra Dome and the other half at the MCG. (The games at the MCG are generally against traditional rivals Collingwood, Richmond, Essendon and Melbourne).


The 2006 season saw Carlton win back-to-back wooden spoons for the first time in its history. At season's end, this led to widespread unrest within the club whose board had initially voted to terminate Denis Pagan's contract, but subsequently overturned the vote on a second ballot. [ The Australian] [,20867,20371959-12270,00.html Losers all round as Carlton stumbles into spring] "Initially Pagan was to be sacked... The board met again on Wednesday and by 7pm announced that Pagan would retain his position." Retrieved on 2007-04-15.] A group of out-spoken and disgruntled former players who were part of the clean-out a few years earlier, lead by Fraser Brown and Barry Mitchell, wanted to have Pagan replaced by Mitchell as coach for the 2007 season. Brett Ratten was mooted as a replacement coach as well. The board decided to allow Pagan to coach for the next two seasons through to season 2008.


2007 began on several bright notes for Carlton. The appointments of Richard Pratt as President, [ [] [ King Richard of Carlton] "Richard Pratt has been appointed the new president of the beleaguered Carlton Football Club" Retrieved on 2007-04-15.] Steven Icke as Football Manager [ [ Official Website of the Carlton Football Club] [ Steven Icke joins Carlton] "Mr Steven Icke has been appointed the General Manager Football Operations with the Carlton Football Club." Retrieved on 2007-04-15.] and Greg Swann as CEO [ [ Official Website of the Carlton Football Club] [ Greg Swann Joins Carlton] "The Board of the Carlton Football Club today announced that it has appointed Mr Greg Swann as CEO." Retrieved on 2007-04-15.] have calmed the off-field controversy. These events have also been reflected in growing membership numbers, with the club almost reaching a previously hopeful target of 30,000 members before the start of the season. Carlton made a good on-field start to the year, defeating Essendon, Hawthorn and the Kangaroos in the knock-out NAB Cup competition to reach the Pre-Season Grand Final. On 17 March 2007 Carlton defeated the Brisbane Lions to win the NAB Cup by 25 points in front of over 46,000 fans at the Telstra Dome.

On 24 July 2007, following a loss to the Brisbane Lions by 117 points, Denis Pagan was sacked as coach and replaced on an interim basis by Brett Ratten. [ [ "Out of the Shadows", AFL Official Website, 24 July, 2007] "Retrieved on 24 July 2007"] On 20 August 2007, the club announced that Ratten would become full time coach for the 2008 and 2009 seasons.

On 11 October 2007 during the AFL trade week, Chris Judd was officially traded to Carlton along with a third round selection in the 2007 AFL Draft (#46 overall) for Carlton's first and second round selections (#3 and #20) and Josh Kennedy.

On 15 October 2007, Carlton announced it had delisted its captain, Lance Whitnall, after receiving medical reports that his knee injury would affect his ability to train in 2008.


Carlton began its pre-season with an exhibition match in South Africa against the Fremantle Dockers. Carlton won its first round NAB Cup match against Port Adelaide before losing to Hawthorn the next week.

Carlton showed noticeable improvement during the 2008 Home & Away season, boasting an 10-11 win-loss record after Round 21. Notable wins came against arch-rival Collingwood in round 4 to snap a 14 match losing streak that dated back to mid 2007. There was also a memorable come from behind victory over 2007 runners-up Port Adelaide at AAMI stadium in round 11. The Blues trailed by 30 points at three quarter time and had registered just three goals before piling on seven goals to none in the last quarter to snatch victory. Carlton backed up their early season victory over Collingwood with another come from behind win over the Magpies in Round 12. The Blues spent a week inside the eight after the match, the first time since 2001 that this has occurred in the second half of the season.

The Blues finished their 2008 season with 10 wins and 12 losses to equal their 2004 season.

=Princes Park=

The club is based at Princes Park oval (officially known now as Visy Park in a sponsorship deal) in northern Carlton. [ [ Australian Stadiums] [ Princes Park] Retrieved on 2007-04-20.] The suburb combines the academic air of the nearby University of Melbourne with a large quotient of immigrants from Southern Europe, and both groups still leave their mark on the Carlton supporter base. In 2004, then Carlton President Ian Collins began the process with Vice-President Graham Smorgon of reviewing Carlton's continued presence at the ground. It was decided that six home games be played at Telstra Dome (Docklands Stadium) and five at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. A "farewell" game was played at Princes Park on Saturday 21 May in 2005. [ [ Optus] [ Carlton and Optus Take Sponsorship into 2005] "Carlton's final home game at Optus Oval on 21 May 2005 when Carlton play Melbourne in round nine of the AFL season." Retrieved on 2007-04-20.] Despite an overwhelming majority of members voting for the home ground move, it was not altogether popular with all club supporters. Training and social club facilities at Princes Park remain. Carlton became the final suburban club to move away from its original suburban home ground. It also ended the only unbroken playing venue link throughout the entire 108 year history of the VFL/AFL.

There are proposals to redevelop the ground to make it into an elite training facility for the players. The project would see the currently dilapidated facilities to be replaced with a high-tech gym, indoor swimming pool and medical centre that would rival the facilities of Collingwood's Lexus Centre. The project will commence when it receives Melbourne City Council approval which is estimated to be early to mid 2008. The Blues currently have an arrangement that allows the Melbourne Storm NRL club to train, and base its administration offices, at Princes Park. The Storm, 2007 NRL Premiers, hosted a well-attended fan day there after their premiership win. Many Carlton Blues players and officials attended this day, and there is a close relationship between the Blues and Storm administrations and playing staff.

Current playing list


Senior Coach - Brett Ratten

Assistant Coaches - Gavin Crosisca, Mark Riley, Brett Montgomery, Robert Harvey

VFL Affaliate - Northern Bullants and Development Coach - David Teague

Development Coach - Matthew Lappin

Part-time Coaches - Craig Bradley(Midfield Coach), Steve McKee(Ruck Coach)

High Performance Manager - Justin Cordy

Assistant Strength & Conditioning Coach - Noel McCarthy

Club jumper

The current jumper design consists of a navy blue backing, CFC monogram and AFL logo on front, and bold white numbers on back. The club's current major sponsors are Optus, Hyundai and Nike. For home games, the Hyundai sponsoring is displayed on the front, while Yes Optus sponsoring is beneath the player numbers on the back. The sponsors change positions when the club is playing away.

In April 2006, the club announced a "clash" jumper in accordance to the AFL's request that each club have an alternative jumper to be worn against other clubs in similar design. The jumper consists of inverted colours from the regular home season outfit, complemented by blue stripes on the sides. This white jumper was first worn on Friday, 4 May 2007 in the club's 43 point loss to St Kilda at Telstra Dome.

Club song

"We are the Navy Blues" is the official club song of the Carlton Football Club. It is sung to the tune of "Lily of Laguna" by Leslie Stuart.


:We are the Navy Blues:We are the old dark navy Blues:We're the team that never lets you down:We're the only team old Carlton knows

:With all the champions:They like to send us:We'll keep our end up:And they will know that they've been playing:Against the famous old dark Blues!

[ Club Song]

Club mascot

The club mascot is known as 'Captain Carlton' and appears as a superhero dressed in blue.The same person behind the mask has been Captain Carlton for many years. He used to stand on top of 'Optus Oval' and watch the match.

Club Honour Board

Carlton's Team of the Century

Aussie rules team | title = Carlton's Team of the Century:
backpocket1 = Bruce Comben
fullback = Stephen Silvagni*
backpocket2 = Geoff Southby
halfbackflank1 = John James
centrehalfback = Bert Deacon
halfbackflank2 = Bruce Doull*
wing1 = Garry Crane
centre = Greg Williams*
wing2 = Craig Bradley
halfforwardflank1 = Wayne Johnston
centrehalfforward = Stephen Kernahan (Captain)
halfforwardflank2 = Alex Jesaulenko*
forwardpocket1 = Ken Hands
fullforward = Harry Vallence
forwardpocket2 = Rod Ashman
ruck = John Nicholls*
ruckrover = Sergio Silvagni
rover = Adrian Gallagher
interchange1 = Robert Walls
interchange2 = Mike Fitzpatrick
interchange3 = Ken Hunter
interchange4 = Trevor Keogh
interchange5 = Four Emergencies: (1) Laurie Kerr, (2) Bob Chitty,
interchange6 = (3) Horrie Clover and (4) Rod McGregor
coach = David Parkin.
The 5 players with an asterisk(*) are also members of the AFL Team of the Century, the largest number of any AFL Club, with Richmond close behind with 4 players.

Individual records

Most career goals

Norm Smith Medallists

Allen Aylett Medallists

Leigh Matthews Trophy winners

Club records


:See Carlton Football Club premierships

Finishing positions (1897-2008)

(*as of 23 September 2008)

ee also

*List of Carlton Football Club coaches


External links

* [ Official Website of the Carlton Football Club]
* [ "Around the Grounds" - Web Documentary - Princes Park]
* [ Blueseum - History of the Carlton Football Club]

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