2003 - 2006
Playing Career : Melbourne 1979-83 (66 games, 92 goals); Essendon 1984-87 (65 games, 75 goals); Collingwood 1988 (6 games, 4 goals).
Height : 178 cm ( 5 ft. 10 in.)
Weight : 72.5 kg (11 stone, 6 lbs.)
DOB : July 19, 1960
A former Premiership player at Essendon, Tony Elshaug was a close confidante and assistant coach to Denis Pagan for nine years at North Melbourne from 1994 to 2002. The Roos won two flags during those years, and were regular finalists. Therefore, when Pagan’s tenure at Arden St. ended and he was appointed to succeed Wayne Brittain as senior coach at Carlton in 2003, Elshaug switched clubs too. But this time around, successes were few, as the Navy Blues endured four of the worst seasons in a long and proud history.
A quick and hard-working rover, Elshaug made his League debut in 1979 with Melbourne, and by the age of 19 was representing Victoria in interstate football. By 1983 he had played 66 games for the Demons, but said later that he never really felt at home. So when Essendon approached him he wasn’t hard to recruit, and two years later in 1985, he stood on the podium at the MCG in a Bombers guernsey, and with a Premiership medallion around his neck.
Nicknamed “Trout,” Elshaug played 65 games for Essendon before crossing to his third club, Collingwood in 1988, to finish his AFL career with another 6 games in an injury-marred season. He then took on the task as captain-coach of Dandenong in the VFA, and steered the Redlegs to the 1991 flag. After hanging up his boots for good, Elshaug moved straight into the role of regional manager for the Eastern Ranges in the newly-established TAC Cup - which had replaced the former VFL/AFL Under 19s competition. Two years later he joined Denis Pagan at North Melbourne, before moving on to Carlton.
As previously stated, seasons 2003 to 2006 at Princes Park were the darkest of days. Many factors contributed, not the least of which were the harsh draft penalties and huge fines slapped on the club in 2002, after an AFL investigation into salary cap rorts found the Blues guilty. Two wooden spoons and a highest ladder position of eleventh plagued coaches, players and supporters alike, and it was perfectly understandable when Elshaug decided not to continue when his contract expired after four tough seasons.
In 2007, Elshaug joined St Kilda and served the Saints in a variety of roles including player development, senior assistant and reserves coach. He resigned suddenly in June 2010, claiming mental and physical burnout, but returned to the club as recruiting manager in 2011.