Career : 1935 - 1938
Debut : Round 17, 1935 vs North Melbourne, aged 19 years, 143 days
Carlton Player No. 523
Games : 17
Goals : 8
Guernsey No. 13
Last Game: Round 3, 1938 vs Essendon, aged 22 years, 67 days
Height : 187 cm (6 ft. 1 in.)
Weight : 84.5 kg (13 stone, 4 lbs.)
DOB : 29 February, 1916
After being recruited by Carlton from Bendigo League club Sandhurst in 1935, George Collard spent three and a bit seasons at Princes Park trying to cement a permanent place in the senior team as a follower-forward. Although he was physically impressive at 187 cm and 84 kg, he managed only 16 senior matches between 1935 and 1937.
In 1938, former South Melbourne champion Brighton Diggins was appointed captain-coach of the Blues and was ruthless in his appraisal of the Carlton list. It seems that Collard was offered one final opportunity to impress when he was included in the team to play Essendon at Windy Hill on the first Saturday in May, but didn’t do enough to convince Diggins of his long-term worth.
Therefore, Collard was quickly ushered off to South Melbourne, where it was hoped that his arrival might help soothe ongoing bitterness in the wake of Diggins’ departure. And that is exactly what happened. Encouraged by the Bloods’ iconic coach Roy Cazaly, Collard quickly transformed himself into a capable, dangerous half-forward flanker who kicked 42 goals in 56 games for the Southerners between 1938 and 1942.
By then, with World War II at its most intense, George had enlisted for military service. But the authorities deemed that his skills as an electrical lineman were more valuable at home, so he spent the latter part of the war working to maintain the defences of northern Australia. Although he was still only 28 when he was discharged from the army in November 1944, he didn’t play football at VFL level again.
Collard also wore Guernsey No. 19 during the 1935 season whilst playing with Carlton's reserves team.
LinksArticles: Every Picture tells a story - Signatures from 1935
Blueseum: Summary of playing statistics for George Collard | Collard's Blueseum Image Gallery