Career : 2016 -
Debut : Round 1, 2016 vs Richmond, aged 26 years & 100 days
Carlton Player No. 1171
Games : 138 (44 at Carlton)
Goals : 115 (52 at Carlton)
Guernsey No. 46
Height : 178 cm ( 5 ft. 10 in.)
Weight : 76 kg ( 12 stone, 0 lbs.)
DOB : December 14, 1989
Continuing an extensive turnover of the club’s player list, Carlton recruited 25 year-old former Adelaide Crow Matthew Wright as a delisted free agent in November, 2015. A lively midfielder-forward, Wright had played 94 games in six years with the Crows, before falling out of favour and being told that his services were no longer required.
Originally from Walkerville in Adelaide’s outer north, Wright enjoyed a bright start to his career in the SANFL with North Adelaide before he was picked up by the Crows with selection 33 in the 2009 Rookie Draft. He made his senior debut against Port Adelaide early in 2011, and by the end of that season had racked up 19 games and kicked 18 goals. The Crows elevated him to their senior list at that year’s National Draft, and he was an integral member of their first 22 for the next four years.
In 2015 however, Wright’s impact on games fell away. He kicked only five goals in 19 games, and by year's end was back in the SANFL. In October, the Crows delisted him – despite the fact that he was on the verge of playing his 100th game.
A month later, Carlton’s list Manager Stephen Silvagni announced that the Blues had thrown Matthew a life-line, and that he would be wearing guernsey number 46 at Princes Park in 2016. “Matthew is an inside midfielder-forward with clean hands. He’s a good set shot, and quick around the packs,” Silvagni said. “Importantly, he’s also a quality person who will bring experience and leadership to our team.”
Those words rang true when Wright turned out for the Blues for the first time against Richmond in round 1, 2016 at the MCG. Lively in attack all match, he kicked three goals as Carlton went down swinging by 10 points in front of 75,000 on Easter Thursday night. From then on, although the team endured a lacklustre second half of the season and won only 7 games, Wright justified the decision to recruit him and quickly became an on-field leader.
Playing all 22 matches for the year, Matt averaged a tick under 4 inside-50 entries, 4 tackles and 3 clearances per game. He kicked 22 goals to win the Blues’ Leading Goalkicker Award, and finished equal sixth Best and Fairest (alongside Sam Rowe).
Milestones100 Games (AFL)): Round 6, 2016 vs Essendon
100 Goals (AFL): Round 12, 2017 vs GWS Giants.
50 Goals (Carlton): Round 20, 2017 vs Essendon
Career Highlights2016 - Club Leading Goalkicker
2016 - Equal 6th Best and Fairest