Career : 2002 - 2006
Debut : Round 7, 2002 vs Essendon, aged 18 years, 307 days
Carlton Player No. 1055
Games : 41
Goals : 20
Last Game : Round 22, 2005 vs North Melbourne, aged 22 years, 52 days
Guernsey Nos. 13 (2002-04), and 7 (2005-06)
Height : 184 cm (6 ft. 1 in.)
Weight : 73 kg (11 stone, 7 lbs.)
DOB : 7 July, 1983
Selected by Carlton at pick 39 in the 2001 National Draft, Justin Davies showed glimpses of real ability throughout his four seasons at Princes Park - but lingering episodes of self-doubt, and a string of injuries at the wrong time, prevented him from realising his full potential.
Davies’ pathway to Carlton led from Shepparton East , then Shepparton United through to the Murray Bushrangers Under 18’s. He was still a few weeks short of his 19th birthday when he made his senior debut (off the interchange bench) for the Blues against Essendon in round 7, 2002 at the MCG. Seen as a potential midfield regular by the Blues, he managed six games for the year, but just couldn’t string matches together because of illness, hamstring and quadricep injuries. It was a horror season for Carlton – the worst in our proud history – and Davies’ experience was typical of our younger brigade.
Justin’s second season began with greater promise. He played seven of the first ten senior games, before sparking speculation of a rift at Princes Park when he went home to Shepparton and decided that he wasn’t coming back. To its credit, the club allowed him time and space to decide his future, and he eventually returned to the fold.
Over 2004, Davies played a further 12 games, mainly up forward. Perhaps his most memorable moment came in round 7 against Collingwood, when he almost single-handedly dragged the Blues back into a game which was all but lost. He banged through three goals in six minutes during the last quarter, and Carlton snatched a team-lifting victory from the old enemy. By the end of the year, Carlton had shown real improvement in finishing 11th, and Davies was honoured by a change of guernsey number from 13 to 7 – apparently at the bequest of past great Brett Ratten.
Davies began 2005 strongly, kicking a couple of freak goals and providing some good assists in Carlton’s pre-season Wizard Cup win. But when the season proper began, he kicked 1 goal, 3 behinds in each of his first two senior games, and was promptly sent back into the midfield at Preston. One can only wonder what might have happened if he had managed 3.1 instead.
Although he spent much of the year with the Bullants, Davies still added another 10 senior games and five goals to his tally. He finished his season off particularly well with a big effort against North Melbourne in round 22 (17 possessions and 2 goals) and that performance clinched him another year on Carlton’s list.
Sadly, Davies suffered a debilitating back injury early in 2006, and this prevented him from playing any football at all for the entire season. On medical advice, the club decided not to retain him, and he was delisted at the end of that year.