1903 SummaryUnder the disciplined coaching of Jack Worrall, the Navy Blues finished in the top four of the VFL competition in 1903 and qualified for the finals for the first time. This marked improvement in Carlton's fortunes led other clubs to examine the possibility of following our lead and appointing a coach. Up until then, it was traditional for the captain and vice-captain to supervise team training and tactics.
Having finished third, the Blues also came heartbreakingly close to a first VFL Grand Final appearance, going down to ladder-leaders Collingwood by 4 points in the first Semi Final at Fitzroy's Brunswick Street Oval.
A season of 11 wins, including victories over both Grand Finalists in Collingwood and Fitzroy, would show that the Blues were emerging at last from their rough initiation into the VFL. Our first Grand Final, and of course our first Premiership, was just a matter of time.
Readers may notice that the round order for this season are slightly out of order. Please click here to find out why.
Carlton v N.S.W. Wednesday 5 AugustAfter the rescheduled Rnd.2 Geelong match on the S.C.G. the Blues played N.S.W. at the same venue.
Weather fine and a good attendance.
Other players in the touring party;
H. McShane, Rowland, Leeds, Trim, Topping, Elliott, Smythe, McNamara, Barlow, Flynn.
Backs; J. McShane, F. Hince, C. Ross
Half backs; C.O'Connor, E. Walton, G. Ross
Centres; B.Jacobson, A.Ford, C.Tough
Half forwards; Neil, F.Scott, F.Webber
Forwards; G.Bruce, Mainwaring, J.Sullivan
Rucks; M.Grace, J.Opie
Goal umpires; D.L.Bennett, T.Sheeley
Carl; 2.2 4.6 7.13 9.15.69
NSW;2.3 4.7 5.10 6.13.49
Goals; Grace 2, Scott 2, Opie 2, Neil 2, Ross
Players mentioned; M.Grace, F.Scott, J.Opie, Neil, Ross, J.Sullivan, F.Hince
The Evening News (Sydney) August 06, reporting on this match said;
"That Carlton team would win was expected, and the Victorians knew it, for their team comprised several supporters who had come over with the team to witness the Carlton-Geelong contest."
Could Mainwaring and Neil be two of these supporters?
Carlton v Fitzroy Juniors at Princes Park on April 11Carlton team;
Backs; O'Connell, Hart, Sullivan
Half backs; Webber, Jacobson, Snell
Centres; O'Connor, Ford, Fenton
Half forwards; Ross, Walton, G. Ross (Capt)
Forwards; McDonald, Tough, Lazarus
Followers; Elliott, Richards
Carlton won by 55 points.
Carl; 1.7 3.8 7.11 10.14.74
F.Jnrs; 1.1 2.1 2.1 3.1.19
Goals; Sullivan 2, Webber 2, Walton 2, O'Connor, Richards/Rickards, Jacobson, Ford
Carlton v Preston at Preston Park on April 18Good weather, large crowd.
Backs; Opie, Lazarus, Orr
Half backs; Freame, Prim, Starke
Centres; Eades, Fort, Jacobson
Half forwards; O'Connor, Sullivan, McShane
Forwards; O'Neil, Walsh, McDonald
Followers; Elliott, Todd
Carlton won by ? (no final result available)
Carl; 4.5 7.11 10.11 ----
Pres; 1.0 1.2 2.3 ----
Carlton v Essendon Town on Princes Oval, April 25A fair attendance despite the wet weather.
Sullivan, Flynn, and McDonald played
Backs; McNamara, Tough, Trimm
Half backs; Orr, Walton, G. Ross
Centres; Stivey, Ford, Roland
Half forwards; H. McShane, Opie, Jacobsen
Forwards, Leeds, Elliott, Snell
Followers; J. McShane, Tenbrick
Carlton won by 74 points
Carl; 3.6 8.13 9.17 11.22.88
E.T; 0.1 0.2 2.2 2.2.14
Goals; Sullivan 3, Leeds 2, Flynn 2, Snell, McDonald, Jacobson, Walton.
People of 1903Captain: Joe McShane
Coach: Jack Worrall
Leading Goal-kicker: Joe Sullivan - 27 goals
MilestonesDebuts: Jim Marchbank, John T Stephenson, Alex Prentice, Bert Lithgow, Norm Hogg, Alf Gough, Matt Crowe, Frank Hince, George Bruce, Billy Orr, Mick Grace, Jim Flynn, Arthur Ford, Bob Jacobson, Billy Leeds, Albert Trim