Outside the Centre SquareBy: The Blueseum Writing Crew on: Sat 19 of Nov., 2011 07:40 AEDT (12046 Reads)
Article published: October 2011. New Concepts to be added over time
2. The first ever Senior Coach
The enormous contribution by Jack Worrall to both the Carlton Football Club and the VFL/AFL dates back to 1884, when he made his playing debut with Fitzroy to begin a much-vaunted on-field career that continued until 1893. During that time, he also played test cricket for Australia.
In 1902 he was appointed Carlton Secretary, but in fact was the first-ever coach of a VFL club. He was a brilliant leader, coaching the Old Dark Navy Blues in 144 games for 100 wins, 1 draw and 43 losses, including the 1906, 1907 and 1908 Premierships.
From his appointment in 1902, Worrall immediately lifted the team's performance, winning seven games for the season. Beforehand, the Blues had won only two games for the whole of 1901. He demanded strict discipline, teamwork and insisted that football and beer were a bad mix. His tough methods alienated some within the club, but further improvement was made in 1903 when Carlton won 11 of its 17 games.
By 1904, Carlton was the favourite to take out the flag, until the club sensationally sacked Worrall due to irregularities in his accounting methods - even though there was no accusation of dishonesty on his part. Despite finishing second, the club would lose the Grand Final to Fitzroy. However, the players backed Worrall, and after a winning a vote against the club's old guard, he was reinstated for 1905. The bickering affected the club's performance, and the Blues finished third after losing to eventual premiers Fitzroy in the Preliminary Final.
Worrall would taste great success, leading the Blues to become the first club to win three consecutive flags between 1906 and 1908.
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