1985 SummaryAnother disappointing season for Carlton in 1985 finishing 4th after the Home & Away season, although there was definite improvement in the consistency of the team over 1984, with the Blues only losing two games in a row once (as opposed to 4 times in 1984). While the club's 15 win, 7 loss record was 2 wins better than the previous year, the competition was also more even at the top, with Footscray also improving. This led to Carlton missing out on third place on the ladder by 2 points and second place by only 4 points. Our fourth place finish cost us a double chance in the finals, which would be significant.
A bright spot to the season was the debut of the son of former Blues champion Sergio Silvagni. Stephen Silvagni played his first game in Round 7 against the Swans in Sydney. Lining up in the Back pocket, symbollically alongside Bruce Doull as he would take over his mantle as the elite defender in the traditionally strong Carlton backline.
An early season highlight included a 140 point belting of St Kilda at Moorabbin, with the Blues kicking 25 goals and holding the Saints to just 2. Through the first 12 rounds Carlton wasn't in particularly impressive form, winning only 6 of their 12 games, holding onto fifth place on the ladder by percentage only.
Carlton's improvement in 1985 came in the second half of the season, winning eight games in a row and nine of their last ten. This form saw them through to their fourth place finish and an Elimination Final against North Melbourne. The Blues late season form included a 76 point thumping of North in Round 14 and saw the club going into the finals as clear favourites. We led at every change, and but for inaccurate kicking in the first half the game would have been won (Carlton led 10.10 70 to 6.3 39 at half-time). The Blues failure to ice the game would prove costly, the Kangaroos kicking 8.1 to 2.1 in the last quarter to win the game by 19 points.
After failing in the finals for a third successive year, the end of season would see many changes at Carlton. Another former legend of the club, Robert Walls, would replace David Parkin as senior coach. Ironically Parkin would be Walls replacement at Fitzroy. Mark Maclure was rewarded for years of tremendous service by taking over the captaincy from Wayne Johnson, a move which would see The Dominator relish being freed of the captaincy and share the Best & Fairest award in 1986.
The most significant moment of the 1985 off-season occurred when Glenelg finally triumphed in the SANFL league, allowing Stephen Kernahan to fulfill his vow to see the Tigers win a flag before travelling over the border to join the Blues. He was joined by fellow South Australians Craig Bradley and Peter Motley and Jon Dorotich from Western Australia.
People of 1985Captain: Wayne Johnston
Coach: David Parkin
Leading Goal-kicker: Mark Maclure - 48 goals
Best & Fairest: Justin Madden
MilestonesDebuts: Warren McKenzie, Michael Aitken, Neil Gaghan, Stephen Silvagni, Darren Ogier, Peter Rohde, Rhett Baynes, Brad Shine
Debuts (Carlton): David Rhys-Jones