1989 SummaryCarlton endured a tumultuous year, with the sacking of a Coach and a horror start (including 5 straight losses) to start the season, and only 9 wins all year despite being Premiers only 2 years beforehand. Perhaps the biggest story of 1989 was the sacking of Robert Walls as Coach of Carlton. Walls, a Champion Centre Half Forward and Premiership Coach only 2 years beforehand, is said to have savaged the team after a Preliminary Final loss to Melbourne in 1988. The players seemed to stop playing for him in 1989, losing eight of their first 10 games. After a round 10 loss to Brisbane, club powerbroker Wes Lofts sacked Walls and replaced him with another club legend, Alex Jesaulenko. For more on this event in Carlton's history, please check out the details on this link - the Sacking of Robert Walls.
Jesaulenko was more successful than Walls had been in 1989, managing a 7 win, 1 draw, 4 loss record to lift the club from 13th when he took over to 8th by the end of the season. Carlton would finish the season with a 9 win, 1 draw and 12 loss record, the first team the team hadn't had a winning record since 1974 and the first time the club had missed out on finals action since 1977.
1989 was also the 125th anniversary of the Carlton Football Club, but ended up being the club's worst result since 1964. This year was also the last of the Victorian Football League (VFL), with the competition being named the Australian Football League (AFL) in 1990.
People of 1989Coach: Robert Walls / Alex Jesaulenko
Captain: Stephen Kernahan
Vice Captain: Justin Madden
Leading Goal-kicker: Stephen Kernahan - 59 goals
MilestonesDebuts: Ashley Matthews, Simon Minton-Connell, Peter White, Dom Fotia, Andrew Phillips, Paul Payne, Simon Verbeek, Andrew McKinnon, Fraser Brown
Debuts (Carlton): Glenn Hawker