Career : 1992 - 1994
Debut : Round 1, 1992 vs Brisbane, aged 20 years, 196 days
Carlton Player No. 979
Games : 35
Goals : 9
Last Game : Semi Final, 1994 vs Geelong, aged 23 years, 10 days
Guernsey No. 9
Height: 188 cm (6 ft. 2 in.)
Weight: 82 kg (12 stone, 13 lbs.)
DOB: 7 September, 1971
A right-footed wingman or half forward, Brett Sholl was recruited by the Carlton Football Club in 1991 after spending five seasons at North Melbourne without breaking into their senior team. Originally from Irymple via Mildura in far-northern Victoria, Sholl had arrived at Arden Street as a 15 year-old in 1987. He went on to captain the Kangaroos Under-19 team under the coaching of Denis Pagan, but afterwards was starved of senior opportunities and delisted by the ‘Roos in 1991.
At the time, Carlton’s match committee believed that Sholl – whose cousins Craig* and Brad* were both destined for illustrious AFL careers – had the potential to claim a regular place on the wing in Carlton’s senior team, and gave him every encouragement. Wearing guernsey number 9, Brett joined five other first-gamers* for his senior debut against the Brisbane Bears at Carrara on the Gold Coast in round 1, 1992. Patrolling centre wing alongside Craig Bradley and Fraser Brown, he was solidly effective in a four-goal win. By mid-season, Scholl had played 12 of a possible 13 senior games and kicked his first two career goals, before a heavy collision at training resulted in a broken collarbone, and he didn’t return until the following year.
Fully recovered and benefitting from an uninterrupted pre-season program, Sholl had his best year in 1993 as the Blues swept back into finals contention by finishing second on the ladder to Essendon after the home and away rounds. Contesting his first final series, Brett experienced a roller-coaster of emotions, as the Navy Blues fought their way through to yet another Grand Final, only to be blown away by the Bombers in a deeply disappointing, one-sided affair.
In 1994, injury struck again during the early-season practice games, and a groin complaint sidelined Brett for most of the year. He got back onto the field for three games at the tail-end of the season, as the Blues once again wound up second. He was left out of the Qualifying Final against Melbourne – another awful, mystifying defeat – but included for the following week’s cut-throat Semi Final against Geelong. In what turned out to be his last outing for Carlton, Brett was switched through a number of positions on the way to yet another awful defeat by 33 points.
Some 18 years after his last match – in June, 2012 - Brett was featured in an interview on Carlton’s website, and had this to say in an effort to ensure all former players that the doors at Princes Park are always open to them. “My message to the players and to the club itself is this - re-engage,” Brett said. “To the past players who wore the guernsey and played one, two, three, 40 or 50 games and who because they didn’t participate in a Premiership may not have felt a part of it, it’d be great to see you back at Carlton. To the club, it’s important that it realises - and I’m sure it does realise - the significance of the contributions of all those players who wore the guernsey, and in their own way, help set up the premierships for those others who actually played in them.”
Brett's son Lachlan was drafted by the Adelaide Cows at pick 64 in the 2018 National Draft.
- Craig Sholl played 235 games and kicked 165 goals for North Melbourne between 1987 and 2000. He was a member of the Kangaroos 1996 and 1999 Premiership teams, and Best and Fairest in 1991.
- Brad Sholl played 171 games and kicked 46 goals for North Melbourne and Geelong from 1993 to 2002.
- The other five first-gamers for Carlton in round 1, 1992 were Ron De Iulio, Steven Oliver, Paul McCormack, Mark Athorn and Earl Spalding.