Career : 2004
Debut : Round 10, 2004 vs St Kilda, aged 23 years, 39 days
Carlton Player No. 1080
Games : 2
Goals : 0
Last Game : Round 11, 2004 vs Adelaide, aged 23 years, 45 days
Guernsey No. 19
Height : 200 cm (6 ft. 7 in.)
Weight : 108 kg (17 stone, 0 lbs.)
DOB : 21 April 1981
A giant ruckman originally from WA, Ricky Mott played two successive games for Carlton in 2004, both of which were significant for totally opposite reasons. His debut ended in one of the worst defeats in Carlton’s history, while his second and last game is revered as one of the Blues’ best-ever interstate wins.
At 200cm and 108 kg, Mott was a hulk of a ruckman who had already played 17 AFL games with Sydney in 2002 – including a match at Princes Park during which he had dominated his duel against Carlton’s All Australian Matthew Allan. But homesick, and plagued by weight problems, he went back to WA at the end of that year, and rejoined his original WAFL club, South Fremantle.
While there, he was rookie-listed by the Fremantle Dockers, and his form was so good that he was selected in the WAFL representative team that was beaten by South Australia at Fremantle Oval in June, 2003. Meanwhile, on the other side of the continent at Princes Park, the struggling Blues were on the verge of a crisis. Matthew Allan had fallen out with the club, and by late in the season, was seeking a trade to Essendon.
Eventually, a deal was done, and Allan became a Bomber in exchange for National Draft selection 57, which Carlton in turn used to give Mott another shot at AFL football. Wearing guernsey number 19, Ricky made his debut for the Blues against St Kilda at Docklands Stadium in round 10, 2004. That clash began with a huge surprise when Blues’ coach Denis Pagan sent his star full-forward Brendan Fevola to play at full-back against the Saints’ Fraser Gehrig, and things just got worse from there. Gehrig finished the match with nine goals, and Carlton was thrashed by 108 points, plunging the Blues to second-last on the ladder.
The following week, Carlton travelled to Adelaide to take on the Crows on their home turf. Somewhat surprisingly, Pagan made only three changes to the side humiliated by St Kilda, with Mott retained to lead the ruck again, in a team that looked a whole lot better with 'Fev' back at full-forward.
Objective watchers of this game agreed that Carlton should never have won. Trailing by 25 points at three-quarter time, only the Blues’ accuracy in front of goal kept them in the contest. But in a thrilling last quarter fightback, the visitors got to within two points of the Crows deep into time-on in the last quarter. It was then that Fevola (who had kicked 6 goals) took another contested mark – right where the 50 metre arc joined the boundary line at left half-forward. As he lined up his kick, the siren sounded, but Fev composed himself, and his glorious right foot drop-punt split the uprights to give Carlton a famous victory.
Throughout all of this, it had become painfully clear that while Mott was a clever tap ruckman, the game at elite level was rapidly passing him by. He needed pace and endurance to go with his height and bulk, but they were qualities that he just couldn’t find. So by mutual agreement, Ricky went back to South Fremantle a few weeks later. He played out the season with the Bulldogs, then retired for good.
LinksArticles: Despised to Blue: Recruited for playing well against the Blues
Blueseum: Summary of Mott's playing career | Mott's Blueseum Image Gallery