The 1900's: A SummaryCarlton would emerge from our underwhelming start to our VFL / AFL career and demonstrate the powerhouse that it would become in the first 'full' decade of the competition. Carlton would play in the 1904, 1906, 1907, 1908 and 1909 Grand Finals, and come away with our first 3 Premierships. At the time, the only Club ahead of us for Premierships was Fitzroy, our next-door neighbours.
The biggest news of this period was connected with Jack Worrall, the Carlton Secretary and the league's first coach. After his appointment in 1902, Worrall immediately improved club performance, winning seven games for the season after only winning two games for the whole of 1901. His methods included training for discipline, teamwork and dedication, and further improvement was made in 1903 with the club winning 11 of its 17 games.
By 1904, Carlton was the favourite to take out the flag, but the club sacked Worrall due to irregularities in his accounting methods, even though there was no accusation of dishonesty on his part. Despite finishing second, the club would lose the Grand Final to Fitzroy. However, the players backed Worrall, and after a winning a vote against the club's old guard, he was reinstated for 1905. The bickering affected the club's performance, and the Blues finished third after losing to eventual premiers Fitzroy in the Preliminary Final.
Worrall would taste great success, leading the Blues to become the first club to win three consecutive flags between 1906 and 1908. Sadly, in 1909, the same players who had backed Worrall in 1905 now complained that his training methods were too hard, and Worrall tendered his resignation on July 29th "for the sake of the club". The Blues subsequently lost the Grand Final in 1909 by only 2 points, ending its chance to become the first team to win 4 consecutive flags.