Carlton Football Club
The Carlton Football Club, nicknamed the Blues, is a professional Australian rules football club based in Melbourne, Victoria. Founded in 1864 in Carlton, an inner suburb of Melbourne, the club competes in the Australian Football League (formerly the Victorian Football League), and was one of the competition’s eight founding member clubs in 1897.
The club’s headquarters and training facilities are located in Carlton at Princes Park, its traditional home ground, and it currently plays its home matches at either Docklands Stadium (currently known as Marvel Stadium) or the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Carlton has historically been one of the AFL’s most successful clubs, having won sixteen senior VFL/AFL premierships, equal with Essendon as the most of any club; prior to this, it won six senior premierships, including two in the Victorian Football Association. The club has also fielded a team in the AFL Women’s league since its establishment in 2017.
Carlton has had a long and successful history, winning the most premierships of any club in the VFL era. Together with fierce rivals Collingwood, Richmond and Essendon, Carlton was considered historically to be one of the league’s “Big Four” clubs, and enjoys a healthy rivalry with all three others. Since winning its last premiership in 1995, Carlton is experiencing its longest ever premiership drought, and has finished bottom of the ladder (i.e. ‘won’ the wooden spoon) the most of any club since the competition became known as the AFL.
The Carlton Football Club was formed in July 1864. In the early days, Carlton became particularly strong and having grown a large supporter base. It became a fierce rival to the Melbourne Football Club in early competition, including the South Yarra Challenge Cup, which it won in 1871. Carlton won four premierships during the pre-VFA era in the 1870s (1871, 1873, 1874 and 1875). In 1877, Carlton became one of the foundation clubs of the Victorian Football Association, and was a comfortable winner of the premiership in the competition’s inaugural season.
Carlton was one of the first clubs to have a player worthy of the superstar tag: champion player George Coulthard, who played for Carlton between 1876 and 1882, and was noted by The Australasian as ‘The grandest player of the day’. He died of tuberculosis in 1883, aged 27.
The club won one more VFA premiership, in 1887, but after that, particularly during the 1890s, the club went from one of the strongest clubs in the Association to one of the weaker, both on-field and off-field. In spite of this, the club was invited to join the breakaway Victorian Football League competition in 1897. The club continued to struggle in early seasons of the new competition, and finished seventh out of eight teams in each of its first five seasons.
Jack Worrall to World War I
Carlton’s fortunes improved significantly in 1902. The Board elected the highly respected former Fitzroy footballer and Australian test cricketer Jack Worrall, then the secretary of the Carlton Cricket Club, to the same position at the football club. As secretary, Worrall slowly took over the managing of the players, in what is now recognised as the first official coaching role in the VFL. Under Worrall’s guidance in the latter part of the 1902 season, Carlton’s on-field performances improved, and in 1903 he led Carlton to the finals for the first time.
Carlton built a strong reputation and financial position, and was able to convince many great players to shift to the club from other clubs, or even (in the case of Mick Grace) out of retirement. Worrall led the club to its first three VFL premierships, won consecutively, in 1906, 1907 and 1908. Carlton became the first club in the VFL to win three premierships in a row, and its win-loss record of 19–1 in the 1908 season (including finals) was a record which stood for more than ninety years.N 1
Following these premierships, Carlton went through a tumultuous period off-field. Some players had become frustrated by low payments and hard training standards, and responded by refusing to train or even play matches. The club removed Worrall from the coaching role (he retained the role of secretary), and after significant changes at board level after the 1909 season, Worrall left the club altogether. Many players who had supported Worrall left the club at the end of the season. Then, in 1910, several players were suspected of having taken bribes to fix matches, with two players (Alex Lang and Doug Fraser) both found guilty and suspended for 99 matches. Despite this backdrop, Carlton continued its strong on-field form, reaching the 1909 and 1910 Grand Finals, but losing both.
Carlton fell out of the finals in 1913, but returned in 1914 under coach Norm Clark, and with many inexperienced players, to win back-to-back premierships in 1914 and 1915 VFL seasons. Most football around the country was suspended during the height of World War I, but Carlton continued to compete in a VFL which featured, at its fewest, only four clubs. Altogether, between Jack Worrall’s first Grand Final in 1904 and the peak of World War I in 1916, Carlton won five premierships and contested nine Grand Finals for one of the most successful times in the club’s history. The only success which eluded the club was the Championship of Australia; Carlton contested the championship three times (1907, 1908 and 1914), with its South Australian opponents victorious on all three occasions.
Between the wars
Through the 1920s and the Great Depression of the 1930s, Carlton maintained a strong on-field presence. The club was a frequent finalist, contesting fourteen finals series between the wars. However, premiership success did not follow, and the club contested only three Grand Finals for just one premiership during this period, and endured the second longest premiership drought (23 years) in the club’s history. The drought was broken with the club’s sixth VFL premiership in 1938, when former Subiaco and South Melbourne champion Brighton Diggins was recruited by the club to serve as captain-coach.
On-field, Carlton’s inter-war period was highlighted by two of its greatest goalkickers: in the 1920s, Horrie Clover (396 goals in 147 games), and in the 1930s, Harry “Soapy” Vallence (722 goals in 204 games), both of which were Carlton career records at the time.
The VFL continued to operate through World War II. With the retirement of Diggins, Carlton secured the services of former Richmond coach Percy Bentley, who coached the club for fifteen seasons. Carlton continued to finish in or near the finals without premiership success through the war, before winning the premiership in 1945, one month after peace. In a remarkable season, Carlton languished with a record of 3–6 after nine weeks, but won ten of the remaining eleven home-and-away matches to finish fourth; Carlton then comfortably beat North Melbourne in the first semi-final, overcame a 28-point deficit in the final quarter to beat Collingwood in the preliminary final, then beat South Melbourne in the notoriously brutal and violent Bloodbath Grand Final.
Carlton contested two more Grand Finals in the 1940s, both against Essendon, winning the 1947 Grand Final by a single point, and being comfortably beaten in 1949. Thereafter followed what was Carlton’s weakest on-field period since Worrall’s appointment in 1902, with the club reaching the finals only four times between 1950 and 1964. Finishing tenth out of twelve and winning only five matches, 1964 was Carlton’s worst VFL season to that point in its history.
Ron Barassi to 1973
A change of president at the end of 1964 heralded the most successful period in the Carlton Football Club’s history. Between 1967 and 1988, Carlton missed the finals only three times, contested ten Grand Finals, and won seven premierships.
The period of success began when George Harris replaced Lew Holmes as president of the club, after the 1964 season. Harris then signed Melbourne legend Ron Barassi serve as coach from 1965. Barassi was a six-time premiership player and two-time premiership captain at Melbourne during its most successful era, and at the age of 28 was still one of the biggest names in the game. His shift to Carlton remains one of the biggest player transfers in the game’s history. Also contributing to Carlton’s success was the strength of the Bendigo Football League, to which Carlton gained recruitment access through the VFL’s country zoning arrangements.
Under Barassi, Carlton reached three consecutive Grand Finals between 1968 and 1970, resulting in two premierships: 1968 against Essendon and 1970 against traditional rivals Collingwood. The 1970 Grand Final remains one of the most famous matches in football history. Played in front of an enduring record crowd of 121,696, Collingwood dominated early to lead by 44 points at half time, but Carlton kicked seven goals in fifteen minutes after half time to narrow the margin to only three points; after a close final quarter, Carlton won its tenth VFL premiership with a ten-point victory. Carlton won its first and second Championship of Australia titles in 1968 and 1970, beating the SANFL‘s Sturt Football Club in both seasons.
Carlton missed the finals in 1971, and Barassi left the club at the end of the season, but Carlton returned to prominence the following year, and contested back-to-back Grand Finals. Both matches were against Richmond, with Carlton recording a high-scoring victory in 1972, and losing a rough, physical encounter in 1973.
Of the legendary players from the Barassi era, none was more important than John Nicholls, who captained all three premierships and took over as captain-coach upon Barassi’s departure. Nicholls, a ruckman and forward, had played at Carlton since 1957, and he and Graham Farmer (who played with Geelong and in the WAFL during the same era) are regarded as the greatest ruckmen in the league’s history. Midfielders Sergio Silvagni and Adrian Gallagher, half-forward Robert Walls, and ruckman Percy Jones were also prominent throughout the Barassi era, and in 1970, Alex Jesaulenko became the first (and to date, only) Carlton forward to kick 100 goals in a season.
Carlton continued to play finals through the 1970s without premiership success, and went through several coaches in a short period of time: Nicholls (until 1975), Ian Thorogood (1976–77), Ian Stewart (for only three matches in 1978), and Alex Jesaulenko as playing coach after Stewart’s departure. It was not until 1979 that Carlton again reached the Grand Final, defeating Collingwood by five points in a close match best remembered for the late goal kicked by Ken Sheldon, after Wayne Harmes tapped the ball into the goalsquare from the boundary line.
After the 1979 season, there was off-field instability at the board level. Ian Rice replaced George Harris as president,N 2 and many of Harris’ supporters left the club, including Jesaulenko, who went to St Kilda. Percy Jones replaced Jesaulenko as coach in 1980, before Hawthorn coach David Parkin was recruited in 1981, Carlton’s sixth coach in eight seasons.
Despite the off-field troubles, Carlton continued to thrive on-field, and Parkin led the team to back-to-back premierships in 1981 and 1982, with victories in the Grand Finals against Collingwood and Richmond respectively. With its fourteenth premiership in 1982, Carlton overtook Collingwood to become the most successful club in the league’s history, based on premierships won – a position it has held either outright or jointly with Essendon since.
Starring on-field during this period for Carlton was Bruce Doull, regarded as one of the best half-back flankers in the history of the league. Wayne Johnston was a prominent centreman/forward, and Carlton had great success recruiting high-profile Western Australian footballers to the club, including Mike Fitzpatrick, Ken Hunter and Peter Bosustow.
In 1983, John Elliott took over the presidency from Ian Rice. On-field, the club endured three consecutive unsuccessful finals campaigns under Parkin before he was replaced by Robert Walls in 1986. Also in 1986, Carlton lured three of South Australia’s top young players to the club: Stephen Kernahan, Craig Bradley and Peter Motley. The club reached the next two Grand Finals, losing in 1986 and winning in 1987, both times against Hawthorn. Kernahan went on to become the club’s longest serving captain and leading career goalkicker (738 goals), and Bradley became the club games record holder (375 games); Motley’s career was unfortunately cut short by a non-fatal car accident in 1987. Carlton had also recruited Stephen Silvagni (son of Sergio) in 1985, who is now recognised as one of the greatest fullbacks of all-time, and secured the league’s star player Greg Williams in a trade in 1992.
David Parkin returned to coach the club from 1991 until 2000, and Carlton was a mainstay of the finals throughout most of this time. In 1995, Carlton became the first team to win twenty matches in a home-and-away season (finishing with a record of 20–2), and won the Grand Final against Geelong to claim its sixteenth premiership. Carlton reached two other Grand Finals during the 1990s, losing to Essendon in 1993 and to the Kangaroos in 1999; in 1999, Carlton had come from sixth on the home-and-away ladder to qualify for the Grand Final, famously beating its rival Essendon (the minor premiers) by one point in the preliminary final.
Period of struggle (2002–2007)
In 2002, Carlton swiftly fell from being one of the most successful clubs, both on-field and off-field, to one of the least successful. The club had been much slower than others to embrace the AFL Draft as a means for recruitment, so when its champion players from the 1990s began to retire in the early 2000s, on-field performances fell away quickly, and in 2002, the club won the wooden spoon for the first time in its VFL/AFL history; it was the last of the twelve Victorian clubs to win the wooden spoon. At the same time, the club was starting to struggle financially, due to unwise investments under John Elliott – most significantly, building a new grandstand at Princes Park during the 1990s, at a time when other clubs were finding it more profitable to play at the higher-capacity central venues. Then, at the end of 2002, it was revealed that Carlton had been systematically cheating the league salary cap during the early 2000s. The scandal resulted in the loss of draft picks and a fine of $930,000, which exacerbated the club’s poor on-field and off-field positions.
In the immediate fall-out from 2002, president John Elliott was voted out by the members, and was replaced with Docklands Stadium CEO Ian Collins. Under Collins, the club shifted its home stadium from Princes Park to Docklands, with the final match played at Princes Park in 2005. Additionally, coach Wayne Brittain was sacked, and replaced with Kangaroos coach Denis Pagan. On-field performances did not improve under Pagan, and overall the club won three wooden spoons and finished in the bottom two five times between 2002–2007.
Recent history (2008–present)
Carlton’s overall position began to improve in 2007, when businessman Richard Pratt, Steven Icke and Collingwood’s Greg Swann came to the club as president, general manager of football operations, and CEO respectively; although Pratt’s presidency lasted only sixteen months, after which he was replaced by Stephen Kernahan, the new personnel stabilised the club’s off-field position. Pagan was sacked as coach mid-season after a string of heavy defeats, and was replaced by former club captain Brett Ratten. Then, prior to the 2008 season, Carlton was able to secure a trade for West Coast‘s Chris Judd, one of the league’s best midfielders, to join the club as captain. The time spent at the bottom of the ladder also allowed Carlton to secure three No. 1 draft picks – Marc Murphy, Bryce Gibbs and Matthew Kreuzer – who helped the club’s on-field position. Brett Ratten led Carlton to the finals from 2009 until 2011, but was sacked with a year remaining on his contact after the club missed the finals in 2012, and was replaced by former West Coast and Collingwood premiership coach Mick Malthouse. Under Malthouse, the club returned to the finals in 2013, but fell to thirteenth in 2014. Kernahan and Swann stepped aside in mid-2014, and were replaced by Mark LoGiudice as president and Steven Trigg as CEO.
The club’s on-field performances deteriorated drastically in the early part of 2015, and after eight weeks it was bottom of the ladder. The relationship between Malthouse and the club’s new board began to deteriorate publicly; and on 26 May, after giving a radio interview critical of the board, Malthouse was sacked; the club went on to finish last. Former Hawthorn assistant coach Brendon Bolton took over as coach from the 2016 season, taking Carlton to 14th in his first year, but seeing the team decline again over the next two years to another wooden spoon in 2018 with a 2–20 record, the worst win-loss record in its VFL/AFL history.
The current Carlton guernsey is plain navy blue, emblazoned with a white CFC monogram (which stands for “Carlton Football Club”) on the front, and white numbers on the back. Other than changes to the font of the monogram, this has been Carlton’s guernsey continually since 1909. The club has worn navy blue in its uniform since 1871, when colour of the team’s caps was changed from orange/yellow. The club’s on-and-off field apparel have been manufactured by Nike since 1998.
The team wears navy-blue shorts in home games, and white shorts in away games. Since 2013, Carlton’s clash guernsey has been predominantly white, with navy blue monogram, numbers and some trimmings.
Carlton’s official nickname is the ‘Blues’. Since the addition of navy blue to the playing uniform in 1871, the club has been known almost universally in print media as the Blues, Dark Blues or Navy Blues. Other colloquial nicknames include Bluebaggers or ‘Baggers.
Prior to 1871, when the uniform was predominantly chamois, the club was known informally as the Butchers. After World War II, the club briefly considered changing its nickname to the Cockatoos, but this never formally eventuated; even so, the push was serious enough that newspaper cartoons depicting a Carlton cockatoo were printed around that time.
- Club song
Carlton’s club song is We Are the Navy Blues. The song is sung to the tune of the chorus of “Lily of Laguna” by Leslie Stuart.
- Home ground
The club’s traditional home ground is Princes Park (currently known as Ikon Park), located in North Carlton. After struggling to find a permanent home venue during its time in the VFA, Carlton established Princes Park as its home venue when it joined the VFL in 1897. The club played most of its home matches at Princes Park every year between 1897–2004 (except for 2002, when it played only four home games there), and a single farewell game was staged at the venue in 2005. It was the last of the suburban home groundsN 3 to be used in AFL competition. The venue remains Carlton’s training and administrative base, and the club’s current 40-year lease on the venue with the City of Melbourne runs until 2035.
Since 2005, Carlton has split its home games between Docklands Stadium and the Melbourne Cricket Ground, with matches expecting to draw higher crowds usually played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. From 2005 until 2014, Docklands Stadium was the club’s primary home ground and hosted the majority of Carlton’s home games in those years, under a ten-year deal established during Ian Collins‘ presidency. The Melbourne Cricket Ground became the club’s primary home ground from 2015, and has hosted the majority of the club’s home games.
Club honour board
Year Finishing position President Coach Captain Best and Fairest Leading Goalkicker (Total) 1864 – R. McFarland – Harry Chadwick – 1865 – R. McFarland – Harry Chadwick – 1866 – J. Linacre – Theophilus Marshall – 1867 – G. Coppin – David Adamson – 1868 – G. Coppin – Jack Conway – 1869 – G. Coppin – Jack Conway – 1870 3rd G. Coppin – Jack Conway – 1871 Premiers G. Coppin – Jack Conway – 1872 Runners-up G. Coppin – Jack Donovan – 1873 Premiers J. Walls – George Kennedy – 1874 Premiers R. Robertson – Jack Donovan – 1875 Premiers R. Robertson – Harry Guy – 1876 Runners-up R. Robertson – Jack Gardiner – 1877 Premiers R. Robertson – Jack Gardiner – 1878 3rd R. Robertson – Jack Gardiner – George Coulthard (15) 1879 Runners-up R. Robertson – Jack Gardiner – George Coulthard (19) 1880 3rd R. Robertson – George Robertson – George Coulthard (21) 1881 3rd R. Robertson – George Robertson – 1882 4th R. Robertson – William Goer – 1883 3rd R. Robertson – Dick Frayne – 1884 6th R. Robertson – Jack Baker – 1885 4th R. Robertson – Jack Baker – 1886 3rd A. Gillespie – Sam Bloomfield – 1887 Premiers A. Gillespie – Tom Leydin – 1888 4th A. Gillespie – Tom Leydin – 1889 Runners-up A. Gillespie – Tom Leydin – 1890 Runners-up A. Gillespie – Bill Strickland – 1891 Runners-up A. Gillespie – Jack Lorraine – 1892 5th A. Gillespie – Bill Walton – 1893 8th A. Gillespie – Danny Hutchinson – 1894 10th A. Gillespie – Peter Williams – 1895 11th F. B. Bromby – Tom Blake – 1896 12th A.H. Shaw – Tom Blake – 1897 7th A.H. Shaw – Jimmy Aitken – Wally O’Cock (13) 1898 7th A.H. Shaw – Ernie Walton – Tommy O’Day (8) 1899 7th A.H. Shaw – Ernie Walton – Harry Thompson (8) 1900 7th A.H. Shaw – Will Stuckey – Joe Sullivan (18) 1901 7th Robert Heatley – Will Stuckey – Joe Sullivan (14) 1902 6th Robert Heatley Jack Worrall Joe McShane – Fred Webber (11) 1903 3rd Robert Heatley Jack Worrall Joe McShane – Joe Sullivan (27) 1904 Grand Finalist Henry Bourne Higgins Jack Worrall Joe McShane – Mick Grace (26) 1905 3rd W.F. Evans Jack Worrall Jim Flynn – Frank Caine (25) 1906 Premiers W.F. Evans Jack Worrall Jim Flynn – Mick Grace (50) 1907 Premiers J. Urquhart Jack Worrall Jim Flynn – Frank Caine (32) 1908 Premiers J. Urquhart Jack Worrall Fred Elliott – Vin Gardiner (34) 1909 Grand Finalist J. Urquhart Jack Worrall Fred Elliott – George Topping (36) 1910 Grand Finalist J. McInerney Fred Elliott Fred Elliott – Vin Gardiner (42) 1911 4th J. McInerney Fred Elliott Fred Elliott – Vin Gardiner (47) 1912 3rd D. Bell Norman Clark Jack Wells – Vin Gardiner (47) 1913 6th D. Bell Jack Wells Jack Wells – Vin Gardiner (27) 1914 Premiers Jack Gardiner Norman Clark Billy Dick – Bill Cook (27) 1915 Premiers Jack Gardiner Norman Clark Billy Dick – Herb Burleigh (46) 1916 Grand Finalist Jack Gardiner Norman Clark Billy Dick – Vin Gardiner (44) 1917 3rd Jack Gardiner Norman Clark Billy Dick – Billy Dick (22) 1918 3rd Jack Gardiner Norman Clark Rod McGregor – Ern Cowley (35) 1919 4th Jack Gardiner Viv Valentine Charlie Fisher – Charlie Fisher (36) 1920 3rd Jack Gardiner Norman Clark Paddy O’Brien – Horrie Clover 1921 Grand Finalist Jack Gardiner Norman Clark Gordon Green – Horrie Clover (58) 1922 4th Jack Gardiner Norman Clark Ernie Jamieson,
– Horrie Clover (56) 1923 7th Jack Gardiner Horrie Clover Horrie Clover – Horrie Clover (28) 1924 7th Jack Gardiner Percy Parratt Paddy O’Brien – Alex Duncan (27) 1925 9th Paddy O’Brien Jim Caldwell – Harvey Dunn (35) 1926 6th David Young Ray Brew Ray Brew – Horrie Clover (38) 1927 3rd David Young Horrie Clover Horrie Clover – Harold Carter (33) 1928 4th David Young Ray Brew Ray Brew – Horrie Clover (41) 1929 3rd Dave Crone Dan Minogue Ray Brew Horrie Clover Harry “Soapy” Vallence (64) 1930 3rd Dave Crone Dan Minogue Ray Brew – Les Allen (56) 1931 3rd Dave Crone Dan Minogue Ray Brew – Harry Vallence (86) 1932 Grand Finalist Dave Crone Dan Minogue Colin Martyn – Harry Vallence (97) 1933 4th Dave Crone Dan Minogue Frank Gill – Harry Vallence (84) 1934 5th Dave Crone Dan Minogue Maurie Johnson Creswell Crisp Creswell ‘Mickey’ Crisp (44) 1935 4th Dave Crone Frank Maher Charlie Davey Jim Francis Harry Vallence (66) 1936 4th Dave Crone Frank Maher Jim Francis Ansell Clarke Harry Vallence (86) 1937 5th Dave Crone Percy Rowe Ansell Clarke Don McIntyre Harry Vallence (39) 1938 Premiers Sir Kenneth G.Luke Brighton Diggins Brighton Diggins Creswell Crisp Harry Vallence (81) 1939 5th Sir Kenneth G. Luke Brighton Diggins Brighton Diggins Frank Gill Ken Baxter (65) 1940 5th Sir Kenneth G. Luke Brighton Diggins Brighton Diggins Jim Francis Paul Schmidt (55) 1941 3rd Sir Kenneth G. Luke Percy Bentley Jim Francis Bob Chitty Paul Schmidt (77) 1942 5th Sir Kenneth G. Luke Percy Bentley Jim Francis Jim Mooring Paul Schmidt (47) 1943 4th Sir Kenneth G. Luke Percy Bentley Jim Francis George Gneil Jack Wrout (33) 1944 5th Sir Kenneth G. Luke Percy Bentley Jim Francis,
Bob Chitty Jim Mooring (42) 1945 Premiers Sir Kenneth G. Luke Percy Bentley Bob Chitty Ron Savage Lance Collins (49) 1946 6th Sir Kenneth G. Luke Percy Bentley Bob Chitty Jack Howell Ken Baxter (46) 1947 Premiers Sir Kenneth G. Luke Percy Bentley Ern Henfry Bert Deacon,
Ken Baxter (42) 1948 6th Sir Kenneth G. Luke Percy Bentley Ern Henfry Jack Howell Ken Baxter, Ray Garby (39) 1949 Grand Finalist Sir Kenneth G. Luke Percy Bentley Ern Henfry Ern Henfry Ken Baxter (46) 1950 8th Sir Kenneth G. Luke Percy Bentley Ern Henfry Arthur Hodgson Ken Baxter (43) 1951 7th Sir Kenneth G. Luke Percy Bentley Ern Henfry Jim Clark Keith Warburton (48) 1952 4th Sir Kenneth G. Luke Percy Bentley Ern Henfry,
Ollie Grieve Jack Howell (42) 1953 5th Sir Kenneth G. Luke Percy Bentley Ken Hands Ken Hands (32) 1954 8th Sir Kenneth G. Luke Percy Bentley Ken Hands Bill Milroy Noel O’Brien (45) 1955 7th Sir Kenneth G. Luke Percy Bentley Ken Hands John James Noel O’Brien (73) 1956 5th Horrie Clover Jim Francis Ken Hands Doug Beasy Kevan Hamilton (22) 1957 4th Horrie Clover Jim Francis Ken Hands Bruce Comben Gerald Burke (34) 1958 7th Lew Holmes Jim Francis Bruce Comben Bruce Comben John Heathcote (19) 1959 3rd Lew Holmes Ken Hands Bruce Comben John Nicholls Sergio Silvagni (40) 1960 7th Lew Holmes Ken Hands Bruce Comben John James Leo Brereton (44) 1961 8th Lew Holmes Ken Hands Graham Donaldson John James Tom Carroll (54) 1962 Grand Finalist Lew Holmes Ken Hands Graham Donaldson Sergio Silvagni Tom Carroll (62) 1963 6th Lew Holmes Ken Hands John Nicholls John Nicholls Tom Carroll (27) 1964 10th Lew Holmes Ken Hands Sergio Silvagni Gordon Collis Ian Nankervis (18) 1965 6th George Harris Ron Barassi Ron Barassi John Nicholls Bryan Quirk (29) 1966 6th George Harris Ron Barassi Ron Barassi John Nicholls Adrian Gallagher (24) 1967 3rd George Harris Ron Barassi Ron Barassi John Nicholls Brian Kekovich (38) 1968 Premiers George Harris Ron Barassi Ron Barassi,
Sergio Silvagni Brian Kekovich (59) 1969 Grand Finalist George Harris Ron Barassi John Nicholls Garry Crane Alex Jesaulenko (66) 1970 Premiers George Harris Ron Barassi John Nicholls Adrian Gallagher Alex Jesaulenko (115) 1971 5th George Harris Ron Barassi John Nicholls Geoff Southby Alex Jesaulenko (56) 1972 Premiers George Harris John Nicholls John Nicholls Geoff Southby Greg Kennedy (76) 1973 Grand Finalist George Harris John Nicholls John Nicholls Peter Jones Brian Walsh (60) 1974 7th George Harris John Nicholls,
Bruce Doull Craig Davis (45) 1975 4th Ivan Rohrt John Nicholls Alex Jesaulenko Alex Jesaulenko Robert Walls (59) 1976 3rd Ivan Rohrt Ian Thorogood Alex Jesaulenko Trevor Keogh Robert Walls (55) 1977 6th Ivan Rohrt Ian Thorogood Robert Walls Bruce Doull Mark Maclure (39) 1978 4th George Harris Ian Stewart,
Trevor Keogh Rod Galt (49) 1979 Premiers George Harris Alex Jesaulenko Alex Jesaulenko Mike Fitzpatrick Ken Sheldon (53) 1980 4th Ian Rice Peter Jones Mike Fitzpatrick Bruce Doull Wayne Johnston (51) 1981 Premiers Ian Rice David Parkin Mike Fitzpatrick Ken Hunter Peter Bosustow (59) 1982 Premiers Ian Rice David Parkin Mike Fitzpatrick James Buckley Ross Ditchburn (61) 1983 5th John Elliott David Parkin Mike Fitzpatrick Wayne Johnston Ken Hunter (43) 1984 4th John Elliott David Parkin Wayne Johnston Bruce Doull Warren Ralph (55) 1985 5th John Elliott David Parkin Wayne Johnston Justin Madden Mark Maclure (48) 1986 Grand Finalist John Elliot Robert Walls Mark Maclure Wayne Johnston,
Stephen Kernahan (62) 1987 Premiers John Elliot Robert Walls Stephen Kernahan Stephen Kernahan Stephen Kernahan (73) 1988 3rd John Elliot Robert Walls Stephen Kernahan Craig Bradley Stephen Kernahan (54) 1989 8th John Elliot Robert Walls,
Stephen Kernahan Stephen Kernahan Stephen Kernahan (59) 1990 8th John Elliot Alex Jesaulenko Stephen Kernahan Stephen Silvagni Stephen Kernahan (69) 1991 11th John Elliot David Parkin Stephen Kernahan Justin Madden Stephen Kernahan (46) 1992 7th John Elliot David Parkin Stephen Kernahan Stephen Kernahan Stephen Kernahan (83) 1993 Grand Finalist John Elliot David Parkin Stephen Kernahan Craig Bradley Stephen Kernahan (68) 1994 5th John Elliot David Parkin Stephen Kernahan Greg Williams Stephen Kernahan (82) 1995 Premiers John Elliot David Parkin Stephen Kernahan Brett Ratten Stephen Kernahan (63) 1996 6th John Elliot David Parkin Stephen Kernahan Stephen Silvagni Stephen Kernahan (56) 1997 11th John Elliot David Parkin Stephen Kernahan Brett Ratten Anthony Koutoufides (28) 1998 11th John Elliot David Parkin Craig Bradley Fraser Brown Lance Whitnall (46) 1999 Grand Finalist John Elliot David Parkin Craig Bradley Matthew Allan Lance Whitnall (55) 2000 3rd John Elliot David Parkin Craig Bradley Brett Ratten,
Lance Whitnall (70) 2001 6th John Elliot Wayne Brittain Craig Bradley Anthony Koutoufides Matthew Lappin (49) 2002 16th John Elliot Wayne Brittain Brett Ratten Corey McKernan Corey McKernan (40) 2003 15th Ian Collins Denis Pagan Brett Ratten,
Andrew McKay Brendan Fevola (63) 2004 11th Ian Collins Denis Pagan Anthony Koutoufides David Teague Brendan Fevola (66) 2005 16th Ian Collins Denis Pagan Anthony Koutoufides Anthony Koutoufides Brendan Fevola (49) 2006 16th Ian Collins,
Denis Pagan Anthony Koutoufides Lance Whitnall Brendan Fevola (84) 2007 15th Graham Smorgon,
Lance Whitnall Andrew Carrazzo Brendan Fevola (59) 2008 11th Richard Pratt,
Brett Ratten Chris Judd Chris Judd Brendan Fevola (99) 2009 7th Stephen Kernahan Brett Ratten Chris Judd Chris Judd Brendan Fevola (89) 2010 8th Stephen Kernahan Brett Ratten Chris Judd Chris Judd Eddie Betts (42) 2011 5th Stephen Kernahan Brett Ratten Chris Judd Marc Murphy Andrew Walker (56) 2012 10th Stephen Kernahan Brett Ratten Chris Judd Heath Scotland Eddie Betts (48) 2013 6th Stephen Kernahan Mick Malthouse Marc Murphy Kade Simpson Jeff Garlett (43) 2014 13th Stephen Kernahan
Mick Malthouse Marc Murphy Bryce Gibbs Jarrad Waite (29) 2015 18th Mark LoGiudice Mick Malthouse
Marc Murphy Patrick Cripps Andrejs Everitt (31) 2016 14th Mark LoGiudice Brendon Bolton Marc Murphy Sam Docherty Matthew Wright (22) 2017 16th Mark LoGiudice Brendon Bolton Marc Murphy Marc Murphy Levi Casboult (34) 2018 18th Mark LoGiudice Brendon Bolton Marc Murphy Patrick Cripps Charlie Curnow (34)
Carlton Team of the Century
Carlton’s Team of the Century: B: Bruce Comben Stephen Silvagni* Geoff Southby HB: John James Bert Deacon Bruce Doull* C: Garry Crane Greg Williams* Craig Bradley HF: Wayne Johnston Stephen Kernahan (Captain) Alex Jesaulenko* F: Ken Hands Harry Vallence Rod Ashman Foll: John Nicholls* Sergio Silvagni Adrian Gallagher Int: Robert Walls Mike Fitzpatrick Ken Hunter Trevor Keogh Coach: David Parkin.
Four emergencies were also named: (1) Laurie Kerr, (2) Bob Chitty, (3) Horrie Clover and (4) Rod McGregor. The five players with an asterisk(*) are also members of the AFL Team of the Century – the largest number of any AFL club.
Hall of Fame
The Carlton Football Club established its Hall of Fame in 1987, with nine inaugural inductees. As of May 2016, there have been 77 inductees.
The club added a Legends category to the Hall of Fame in 1997. There are currently thirteen Legends in the Hall of Fame: Craig Bradley, Bert Deacon, Bruce Doull, Alex Jesaulenko, Wayne Johnston, Stephen Kernahan, John Nicholls, Stephen Silvagni and Harry Vallence (all elevated in 1997); Ken Hands (2006); Robert Walls (2011); Geoff Southby (2013); and Sergio Silvagni (2016).
Current playing squad
Carlton’s current Senior Coach is Brendon Bolton, who takes over the team for the 2016 season. From the 2019 season, Sam Docherty and Patrick Cripps will serve as co-captains.Carlton Football Club
Senior list Rookie list Coaching staff
- 1 Jack Silvagni
- 2 Paddy Dow
- 3 Marc Murphy
- 4 Lochie O’Brien
- 5 Sam Petrevski-Seton
- 6 Kade Simpson
- 7 Matthew Kennedy
- 8 Matthew Kreuzer
- 9 Patrick Cripps (c)
- 10 Harry McKay
- 11 Mitch McGovern
- 12 Tom De Koning
- 14 Liam Jones
- 15 Sam Docherty (c)
- 16 Darcy Lang
- 20 Lachie Plowman
- 21 Jarrod Garlett
- 22 Caleb Marchbank
- 23 Jacob Weitering
- 24 Nic Newman
- 25 Zac Fisher
- 26 Harrison Macreadie
- 27 Matthew Lobbe
- 28 David Cuningham
- 29 Cameron Polson
- 30 Charlie Curnow
- 31 Tom Williamson
- 32 Alex Fasolo
- 33 Jarrod Pickett
- 34 Andrew Phillips
- 35 Ed Curnow
- 36 Patrick Kerr
- 39 Dale Thomas
- 41 Levi Casboult
- 43 Will Setterfield
- 40 Tomas Bugg
- 44 (B)
- 45 Hugh Goddard
- Brendon Bolton
- John Barker (head of strategy & high performance)
- Hamish McIntosh (Ruck coach)
- Cameron Bruce (defenders)
- Tim Clarke (midfield)
- David Teague (forwards)
- Shane Watson (head of development)
- Brent Stanton (development coach)
- Jason Davenport (development coach)
- Josh Fraser (development & VFL Northern Blues Football Club coach)
- Sav Rocca (Specialist Goal kicking part time)
- (c) Captain(s)
- (vc) Vice captain(s)
- (B) Category B rookie
Updated: 21 January 2019
Corporate and administration
The Carlton Football Club was founded in 1864, and since 1978 has operated as the incorporated company Carlton Football Club Limited.
Board of directors
Vice President – Jeannie Pratt
Board members – Marcus Clarke, Zac Fried, Kate Jenkins, Chris Judd, Craig Mathieson, Luke Sayers
Chief Executive Officers
CEOs since 1980.
Incumbent Term Jim Allison 1980–1981 Ian Collins 1981–1993 Stephen Gough 1994–1999 John Gurrieri 2000 Don Hanly 2001–2002 Michael Malouf 2003–2007 Greg Swann 2007–2014 2014–2017 Cain Liddle 2017–present
Year Total Members  1984 12,774 1985 13,317 1986 14,905 1987 9,227 1988 11,936 1989 10,060 1990 10,978 1991 12,736 1992 12,354 1993 14,445 1994 18,308 1995 18,032 1996 23,278 1997 24,984 1998 25,402 1999 25,719 2000 27,571 2001 27,725 2002 26,385 2003 33,525 2004 32,095 2005 33,534 2006 28,756 2007 35,431 2008 39,360 2009 42,408 2010 40,480 2011 43,791 2012 45,800 2013 50,561 2014 47,485 2015 47,305 2016 50,130 2017 50,326 2018 56,005
Records and achievements
- See Carlton Football Club premierships
Competition Level Wins Years Won Challenge Cup Seniors 1 1871 Pre-VFA era Seniors 4 1871, 1873, 1874, 1875 VFA Seniors 2 1877, 1887 VFL/AFL Seniors 16 1906, 1907, 1908, 1914, 1915, 1938, 1945, 1947, 1968, 1970, 1972, 1979, 1981, 1982, 1987, 1995 VFL/AFL Reserves 8 1926, 1927, 1928, 1951, 1953, 1986, 1987, 1990 VFL/AFL Under 19s 6 1948, 1949, 1951, 1963, 1978, 1979 Championship of Australia Seniors 2 1968, 1970 Australian Football Championships Night Premiership 1 1983 AFL Preseason premiership 3 1997, 2005, 2007 VFL/AFL McClelland Trophy 5 1969, 1979, 1985 (tied), 1987, 1995 VFL/AFL Minor Premiers 17 1906, 1907, 1908, 1910, 1914, 1916, 1921, 1932, 1938, 1941, 1947, 1972, 1976, 1979, 1981, 1987, 1995 VFL/AFL Wooden Spoons 5
2002, 2005, 2006, 2015, 2018
VFL/AFL finishing positions (1897–present)
Ladder Position Year (Finals in Bold) Tally 1st 1906, 1907, 1908, 1914, 1915, 1938, 1945, 1947, 1968, 1970, 1972, 1976, 1979, 1981, 1982, 1987, 1995 17 2nd 1904, 1909, 1910, 1916, 1921, 1932, 1949, 1962, 1969, 1973, 1986, 1993, 1999 13 3rd 1903, 1905, 1912, 1917, 1918, 1920, 1929, 1930, 1931, 1932, 1941, 1959, 1967, 1976, 1988, 2000 16 4th 1911, 1919, 1922, 1927, 1928, 1933, 1935, 1936, 1943, 1952, 1957, 1975, 1978, 1980, 1984 15 5th 1934, 1937, 1939, 1940, 1942, 1944, 1953, 1956, 1971, 1983, 1985, 1994, 2011 13 6th 1902, 1913, 1946, 1948, 1926, 1963, 1965, 1966, 1977, 1996, 2001, 2013 12 7th 1897, 1898, 1899, 1900, 1901, 1923, 1924, 1951, 1955, 1958, 1960, 1974, 1992, 2009 14 8th 1950, 1954, 1961, 1989, 1990, 2010 6 9th 1925 1 10th 1964, 2012 2 11th 1991, 1997, 1998, 2004, 2008 5 12th nil 0 13th 2014 1 14th 2016 1 15th 2003, 2007 2 16th 2002, 2005, 2006, 2017 4 17th nil 0 18th 2015, 2018 2
John Nicholls Medallists
Known as “Robert Reynolds Trophy” until 2003
No. Player Years Won 5 John Nicholls 1959, 1963, 1965, 1966, 1967 4 Bruce Doull 1974, 1977, 1980, 1984 3 Craig Bradley 1986, 1988, 1993 John James 1955, 1960, 1961 Chris Judd 2008, 2009, 2010 Stephen Kernahan 1987, 1989, 1992 Brett Ratten 1995, 1997, 2000
Player Year Won Bert Deacon 1947 John James 1961 Gordon Collis 1964 Greg Williams 1994 Chris Judd 2010
League leading goalkickers
VFL/AFL except where noted. Awarded the Coleman Medal since 1955.
Player Year Won George Coulthard 1878, 1879, 1880 (VFA) E. Brooks 1881 (VFA) Mick Grace 1906 Ern Cowley 1918 Horrie Clover 1922 Harry Vallence 1931 Tom Carroll 1961 Brendan Fevola 2006, 2009
Norm Smith Medallists
Player Year Won Wayne Harmes 1979 Bruce Doull 1981 David Rhys-Jones 1987 Greg Williams 1995
Mark of the Year winners
Player Year Won Alex Jesaulenko 1970 Peter Bosustow 1981 Ken Hunter 1983 Stephen Silvagni 1988 Matthew Lappin 1999
Goal of the Year winners
Player Year Won Peter Bosustow 1981 Eddie Betts 2006 Chris Yarran 2012
Leigh Matthews Trophy winners
Player Year Won Greg Williams 1994 Anthony Koutoufides 2000 Chris Judd 2011
Australian Football Hall of Fame inductees
Twenty-two people have been inducted into the Australian Football Hall of Fame for their services to football for careers which were either partially or entirely served with the Carlton Football Club. Of those, three have Legend status in the Hall of Fame.
Ron Barassi, Alex Jesaulenko, John Nicholls
Peter Bedford, Craig Bradley, Horrie Clover, George Coulthard, Bruce Doull, Ken Hands, Ern Henfry, Wayne Johnston,
Stephen Kernahan, Anthony Koutoufides, Rod McGregor, Peter McKenna, Stephen Silvagni, Geoff Southby, Harry Vallence, Robert Walls, Greg Williams.
David Parkin, Jack Worrall
Sir Kenneth Luke
Most career goals
Player Career Years Goals Stephen Kernahan 1986–1997 738 Harry “Soapy” Vallence 1926–1938 722 Brendan Fevola 1999–2009 575 Alex Jesaulenko 1967–1979 424 Horrie Clover 1920–1924,
Most career games
Player Career Years Games Craig Bradley 1986–2002 375 Bruce Doull 1969–1986 356 John Nicholls 1957–1974 331 Stephen Silvagni 1985–2001 312 Kade Simpson 2003– present 307
VFL/AFL match records
- Most goals in a game: 13 by Horrie Clover vs. St Kilda in 1921
- Highest score: 30.30 (210) vs. Hawthorn on 12 April 1969
- Lowest score: 0.6 (6) vs. Collingwood on 4 June 1898
- Greatest winning margin: 140 points vs. St Kilda on 8 April 1985
- Greatest losing margin: 138 points vs. Hawthorn on 24 July 2015
- Highest losing score: 22.13 (145) v North Melbourne on 15 April 1985
- Lowest winning score: 3.6 (24) v South Melbourne on 24 June 1899
- Record attendance (home and away game): 91,571, 21 July 2000 at MCG v Essendon
- Record attendance (finals match): 121,696, Grand Final, 26 September 1970 v Collingwood.
Carlton operated its own reserves team from 1919 until 2002. From 1919 to 1991 the VFL/AFL operated a reserves competition, and from 1992 to 1999 a de facto AFL reserves competition was run by the Victorian State Football League. The Carlton Football Club fielded a reserves team in both of these competitions, allowing players who were not selected for the senior team to play for Carlton in the lower grade. During that time, the Carlton reserves team won eight premierships (1926, 1927, 1928, 1951, 1953, 1986, 1987, 1990). Following the demise of the AFL reserves competition, the Carlton reserves team competed in the new Victorian Football League for three seasons from 2000 until 2002.
The reserves team was dissolved at the end of 2002, and Carlton entered a reserves affiliation with existing VFL club, the Northern Bullants. Under the affiliation, reserves players for Carlton play VFL football with the Northern Bullants. The partnership between the two clubs was strengthened in 2012, when the Northern Bullants were renamed the Northern Blues and they adopted Carlton’s navy blue colours. The club now splits its home games between the VFL club’s traditional home, the Preston City Oval; and Carlton’s traditional home, Ikon Park.
Next Generation Academy
Under the AFL’s plan (released in February 2016) to establish club-branded Next Generation Academies across Australia to give all AFL clubs a more active role in junior development, Carlton was allocated the northern metropolitan zone of Melbourne. The academy will be linked to the Preston-based Northern Knights in the TAC Cup system.
The Carlton Football Club operates two women’s teams: one team in the AFL Women’s competition, which it has fielded since the 2017 AFLW season; and one team in the VFL Women’s competition, which will be fielded for the first time in the 2018 VFLW season.
Carlton was a key cog in the establishment of Women’s football in the state of Victoria. In August 1933 the club hosted the first ever VFL/AFL sanctioned match between women’s teams, with sides representing Carlton and Richmond. Though Richmond’s side was not associated directly with the VFL club of the same name, the Carlton side was picked and trained by the club with VFL players Mickey Crisp and Ray Brew as coaches. The match, played at Carlton’s home Princes Park drew an estimated crowd of 10,000 and raised funds as part of a VFL bye-week carnival for The Royal Melbourne Hospital.
The club next fielded a women’s team more than a decade later when it competed in a 1947 charity exhibition series raising funds in support of food shortages in post-war Commonwealth countries. The club’s team played multiple matches in multiple series that season including a match against Footscray in July and a subsequent series against Hawthorn, South Melbourne, St Kilda and Footscray in August 1947.
AFL Women’s team
In June 2016, Carlton was granted a licence to establish and field a team in the eight team AFL Women’s league, which is set to stage its inaugural season in February–March 2017. The team will be run and fully integrated within the Carlton Football Club, with football operation overseen by existing Head of Football Andrew McKay. Damien Keeping signed on as the team’s inaugural head coach, the club’s Female Football Ambassador, Lauren Arnell, served as the inaugural captain, She, along with Marquee players  and Darcy Vescio and Brianna Davey were the club’s inaugural marquee signings. Existing club sponsors Hyundai and Visy committed as sponsors in April 2016 prior to the club being awarded a license. The team is yet to reach the final in its two seasons in the competition.
Carlton Football Club (AFL Women’s)
- Current squad
Senior list Rookie list Coaching staff
- 1 Brianna Davey (c)
- 2 Katie Loynes (vc)
- 3 Darcy Vescio
- 6 Gabriella Pound
- 7 Tayla Harris
- 8 Amelia Mullane
- 9 Kerryn Harrington
- 10 Sarah Hosking
- 11 Jess Hosking
- 12 Lauren Brazzale
- 13 Kirby Bentley
- 16 Breann Moody
- 17 Courtney Webb
- 18 Tilly Lucas-Rodd
- 19 Georgia Gee
- 21 Nicola Stevens
- 23 Bridie Kennedy
- 24 Reni Hicks
- 26 Shae Audley
- 30 Alison Downie
- 32 Natalie Plane
- 15 Chloe Dalton
- Daniel Harford
- Steven Salopek (backline)
- Shannon McFerran (midfield)
- Brad Fisher (forwards)
- (Skill Acquisition and Development Coach)
- (c) Captain(s)
- (vc) Vice captain(s)
Updated: 21 January 2019
Best and fairest winners
Season Recipient Ref. 2017 Brianna Davey  2018 Katie Loynes  Breann Moody
VFL Women’s team
Prior the 2018 season, Carlton was granted a licence to field a team in the VFL Women’s competition. The VFLW team will operate under a separate program to the club’s AFLW team. Further details about how the VFLW team will operate are yet to be released.
- Wikipedia listing of Carlton players
- List of Carlton Football Club coaches
- Sport in Australia
- Sport in Victoria
- 1.^ Specifically, Carlton’s 19–1 record set a record for the best win-loss percentage across a full season, including finals, which stood until Essendon broke it in the 2000 AFL season with a record of 24–1. The record was matched twice before it was broken: by Collingwood in 1929, and Essendon in 1950.
- 2.^ Harris had served two tenures as Carlton president: from 1965–1974, then from 1978–1979.
- 3.^ The “suburban grounds” is a collective term generally understood to mean all venues in Melbourne, except for the Melbourne Cricket Ground, Docklands Stadium and Waverley Park.
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Richard Pratt has been appointed the new president of the beleaguered Carlton Football Club
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- All Time Player List Retrieved on 25 June 2012
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