Career : 1903 - 1904
Debut : Round 1, 1903 vs Collingwood, aged 27 years, 208 days
Carlton Player No. 149
Games : 36
Goals : 0
Last Game : Grand Final, 1904 vs Fitzroy, aged 28 years, 347 days
DOB : 6 October, 1875
One of the outstanding defenders of the early years of the VFL, Albert Trim was a member of Carlton’s first-ever finals team in 1903, and centre half-back in our beaten Grand Final side in 1904. Originally from Beechworth, he began his career at South Melbourne in 1898, and played 65 games over four seasons. During that time he represented Victoria, and captained the Bloods in 1901. However, during that same year he apparently fell out with South’s administration. As a result, he left the Lake Oval after only 12 months as captain, and didn’t play at all in 1902.
After a whole year away, Trim joined Carlton in 1903 and stepped back into the game with unaffected aplomb. His arrival immediately added starch to Carlton’s defence, and he missed only one match over the next two seasons. In fact, his form was so good he was recalled to the Victorian state team, and his steadiness across half-back in his debut season with the Blues was one of the factors in Carlton’s surge to third place on the ladder.
Carlton’s semi-final clash with Collingwood at the Brunswick St. Oval on the first Saturday in September, 1903 was an historic occasion – the first time in our history that the Navy Blues had reached the finals of the VFL Premiership. Despite the absence of three stars in George Topping, Billy Leeds and Charlie Roland, the plucky Blues were in contention for three quarters, in a hard, tight, low-scoring affair. There was a real chance of victory in the dying minutes too, when Carlton’s usually reliable full-forward Joe Sullivan was paid a mark out wide on a difficult angle, and his shot for goal just missed. Collingwood won by four points, and then went on to beat Fitzroy for the flag.
Inspired by the disappointment of that narrow loss, the Blues went one better in 1904 and wound up the home and away season runners-up on the ladder to Fitzroy, with Collingwood and Essendon making up the final four. By then, Trim had made centre half-back his position – for Victoria as well as for Carlton, and his coolness under pressure was a big factor as the Blues led by one point at half-time, two points at three-quarter time, and three points at the final bell in a gutsy ((Semi-Final, 1904| semi-final win over Essendon at Victoria Park. The most significant victory in Carlton’s history to that point, that win set up an eagerly-anticipated Grand Final meeting with Fitzroy at the MCG on the following Saturday afternoon.
A huge crowd of 32,600 (remember, this was 1904) packed into the ground to see the Blues led onto the arena by their big-hearted captain Joe McShane, who won the toss and kicked with the aid of a freshening wind. But Fitzroy were chock full of confidence after two convincing wins over the Blues earlier in the year, and although Carlton combined well at various intervals, the Maroons were never really threatened and ran out comfortable winners by 24 points in an entertaining, if low-scoring decider.
It was a bitter-sweet day for the Old Dark Navy Blues, and that mixture of joy and disappointment at finally making a Grand Final was tempered in the weeks afterwards when four stalwarts of the team in Joe and Henry McShane, Eddie Prescott and Albert Trim - all retired. Of the four, Trim would prove hardest to replace. Two weeks short of his 29th birthday on Grand Final day, he was arguably in the best form of his career.