Carlton Debut: Round 1, 2000 vs Brisbane
1037th Carlton Player
Games: 54 (+ 181 with Geelong)
Last Game: Round 22, 2002 vs Essendon
Guernsey No. 10
DOB: 8 August 1971
After Carlton's surprise second place in 1999, particularly given the finish out of the 8 in the years before, the Blues set out to add some senior players to what appeared to be considered an emerging team. With a potent midfield of Camporeale, Koutoufides and Ratten, the Blues sought out 2 ex-Cats in high-priced trades (in terms of top draft picks) - both Stephen O'Reilly and Michael Mansfield were brought to the Club for 2000 in a sure sign of 'loading up' for a Flag. The Blues would give up pick 31 in the 1999 National Draft to secure Mansfield from Geelong. They would use that pick on Paul Chapman, who has gone on to play 100+ very good games for the Cats including the 2007 Premiership.
Mansfield had played 181 games with Geelong, and was twice All Australian in 1994 & 1995, the same year he would play against the Blues in the Grand Final. History will show that his opponent on the day, Brad Pearce, would kick 4 goals and be a key player in Carlton's great win, but as far as Cats fans would go, Mansfield was a keen competitor who provided much drive from half back. It is interesting to note that two of Geelong's better players that day ended up at the Blues, Adrian Hickmott and Mansfield.
Mansfield, who wore the #10, came over on a 4 year contract. Playing more as a utility across half back or half forward, Mansfield played 54 games in the first 3 of those contracted years. Mick's best year for the Blues was 2001, where he played 20 games and averaged 12.2 possessions a game. Never a star for the Blues, Mansfield played a number of serviceable games but was probably not well received by many Blues fans, as a product of the failure of our 'loading up' and our continued late 1990's fascination with mid-age players from other Clubs, which ultimately would fail to produce the intended results.
Perhaps sensing some years of pain ahead, Mansfield retired with a bit of grace at the end of 2002 as the Blues earned their first wooden spoon.
Mansfield's junior club was St Joseph's.
Milestones200 Games (AFL): Round 3, 2001 Vs Essendon
50 Games (Carlton): Round 12, 2002 Vs West Coast Eagles