1993 SummaryIn a very even season, where Geelong would finish at 7th, be out of the finals but only be 6 points from top position, Essendon and Carlton would top the table and fight it out in the Grand Final. Unfortunately for Carlton, our first Grand Final since 1987 would go the wrong way for us, and the 'Baby Bombers' would romp home on a warm September afternoon by 44 points.
Essendon and Carlton would come first and second after the home & away rounds, displacing early season form teams North Melbourne and Adelaide as the season progressed. The Bombers would be thereabouts all season, but Carlton would fight through some early season form woes to hit their straps in the middle part of the year and equal the Bombers for points. The Bombers would take the top spot based on a minor lead in percentages (1.5%).
It would be a great performance for the Blues to hit second spot, in a year where the team that came 12th (St Kilda) only missing the finals by 2 wins. Strugglers Sydney, Brisbane, and Richmond would provide percentage boosts for the rest of the competition, with the gap between 12th and 13th a massive 24 points / 6 wins.
It was the clashes between Essendon and Carlton that would be most memorable to Carlton fans through the year. The first clash between these 2 teams was a draw, with Captain Stephen Kernahan having a chance to win the game after the siren, but missing. The Bombers would win the second match by 21 points. The 2 teams would meet again in the first round of the finals, with Carlton pulling away by 2 points to move straight into the semi-final. Our win against Adelaide in the Second Semi-Final would not only give us respite from Essendon, but create the magical memory of Justin Madden running down the wing and goaling from 50 at Waverley. But the Bombers, led by a brilliant Michael Long on the day, would jump us for passion and pace at the start of the game and go on to win by 44 points at the MCG. The scores were Essendon 20.13.133 to Carlton 13.11.89.
This was the season where Greg Williams should have won the Brownlow, but inexplicably didn't get 3 votes against the Demons in Round 10 after picking up over 40 touches. This is the year that brought young Andrew McKay to the team, and also saw the debuts of Jeremy Smith and Scott Spalding. Departures at the end of 1993 included 132 gamer Jon Dorotich and Mark Athorn.
The Blues would come second, and despite being soundly beaten in the Grannie, would be building the team that would come through for us in 1995.
Off the field and post-season, Ian Collins would move to become Director of Football Operations at the AFL, and Carlton would sign up a long-term sponsorship arrangement with Optus Telecommnications which would see our home ground known as Optus Oval thereafter.
People of 1993Captain: Stephen Kernahan
Coach: David Parkin
Leading Goal-kicker: Stephen Kernahan - 68 goals
MilestonesDebuts: Scott Spalding, Andrew McKay, Jeremy Smith
Debuts (Carlton): Tim Powell
50 Games: Fraser Brown, Brett Ratten, Michael Sexton
150 Games: Peter Dean
200 Games: Justin 'Harry' Madden