Debut: Round 1, 2004 vs Fremantle, aged 24 years, 169 days
1074th Carlton Player
Last Game: Round 22, 2005 vs Kangaroos, aged 25 years, 322 days
Guernsey No. 3
DOB: 10 October, 1979
Digby "Diggers" Morrell was traded to Carlton by the Kangaroos at the end of the 2003 season, together with David Teague, for ex-Roo Corey McKernan who had just spent 2 years on the Carlton list.
Morrell's career at the Blues would echo that of Brett Johnson, who also was traded to Carlton in 2003 and also played 32 games for the Blues over 2004-2005. Morrell was a different type of player, a marking forward / defender with a clever touch to his game. At 191cm though, he was always going to be a third forward or defender, never quite key position height, despite his strong marking ability 1 on 1.
Given our struggling defence in the time period, with key position youngsters Livingston, Thornton and Norman all given a tough run at spots in the seniors given how much time the ball spent in our defensive 50, Morrell was often thrown back to assist. At times he was useful, others, much like the other defenders, he was soundly beaten.
On occasion it was as a third or fourth forward that Morrell would shine. However, 4.6 from 21 games in 2004 and 8.7 from 11 games in 2005 highlights his potential but also how much time he spent in defence.
Given the #3 guernsey, Morrell was a popular player at Carlton / Bullants and like Johnson, was a game winner at the lower levels. Unfortunately for Morrell, these performances did not translate to the highest level of the AFL.
He maintained his connection with Carlton following his delisting, both by playing at its VFL affiliate the Northern Blues, where he helped mentor Carlton's youngsters and as MC at various Club functions (where his use and support of the Blueseum is noted and appreciated). At the Bullants, in 2006 he was the Northern Blues leading goal scorer with 53 goals and finished 2nd in their Best and Fairest Award. In 20o7 Morrell continued to play with the Northern Blues and acted as playing assistant coach. Morrell spent the 2008 season at rival VFL club Box Hill Hawks and retired at the end of the season.
From 2009 until 2013, Morrell was the senior coach of the Strathmore Football Club in the Essendon District Football League, leading the club to the 2011 Premier Division premiership. Since 2014, he has coached the West Coburg Football Club (up until 2017), also in the EDFL.
Morrell currently teaches physical education at Parade College in Melbourne (2017).
Morrell was originally recruited from West Perth, WA.
Milestones50 AFL Games: Round 11, 2004 Vs Adelaide Crows
LinksArticles: Morrell to continue with the ‘Ants
Blueseum: Summary of playing statistics for Digby Morrell | Career Breakdown for Digby Morrell | Morrell's Blueseum Image Gallery