Career: 2001 - 2006 (Originally listed 1999)
Debut: Round 17, 2001 vs Hawthorn, aged 20 years, 330 days
1046th Carlton Player
Last Game: Round 11, 2006 vs West Coast, aged 25 years, 281 days
Guernsey No. 28
DOB: 2 September, 1980
Ian Prendergast was drafted with Pick 58 in the 1998 National Draft from Kerang Rovers and Oakleigh Under-18s. After a few injury-riddled years he was de-listed, then rookied by the Blues. Back on the senior list, he played the last 8 games of 2001, including both finals. Eventually, "Prenders" started to make his mark in the 2002 season, playing 11 matches in a variety of positions. He managed another 13 appearances in 2003, (missing a number of games with a foot injury), and 17 in 2004, although he was kept out of the last 5 games by a damaged shoulder.
He played just 13 games in 2005, and began to struggle to maintain his place in Carlton's senior team. He played another three matches in 2006, taking until Round 9 for a string of good performances at VFL level to earn him promotion. He had a 23 possessions in his first game back, but just 6 in Round 11. Injury again sidelined him for Round 12, and sent him back to the VFL, where he did recover in time for Preston's finals campaign. Fit at last, Prenda had a consistent season with the Northern Bullants in 2006, finishing third in their Best and Fairest Award. However, he was not retained on Carlton's list after that year.
A tall, athletic utility, Prendergast was capable in a number of positions, including wing, forward, back and in the ruck. He was constantly asked to pinch hit to fulfill a variety of Carlton's needs during his time, though he never really seemed to have a set position in the seniors. A purple patch as a run-with ruckman in 2004 saw some impressive performances from Prenders, who could run all day. But at 192cm it was a tough ask for him to ruck in the modern day AFL.
A popular player and keen trainer, Prendergast was always very fit despite the injury tolls incurred. He was probably more of an athlete than a true footballer, but always gave his all. He also managed to study law off the field and prepare for a good post-football career. He continued playing football at a high level after leaving Princes Park, and in 2008 turned out with South Adelaide in the SANFL,
He is perhaps best remembered for kicking a 'supergoal' in the final quarter of Carlton's 2005 Pre-Season Wizard Cup Grand Final - a goal which sealed victory for the Navy Blues over the West Coast Eagles.
Milestones50 Games: Round 1, 2005 Vs North Melbourne
Career Highlights2001 - Best First Year Player Award
2004 - Best Clubman Award
2005 - Pre-Season Premiership Player