Carlton Senior Career: 2002 (On list 2001)
Debut: Round 1, 2002 vs St Kilda, aged 22 years, 337 days
1048th Carlton Player
Games: 18 (10 at Carlton)
Goals: 3 (2 at Carlton)
Last Game: Round 22, 2002 vs Essendon, aged 23 years, 127 days
Guernsey No. 18 (2001) and 15 (2002)
DOB: 27 April, 1979
Sam Cranage came to Carlton from St Kilda as part of the deal that saw Aaron Hamill famously walk out on the Blues (no one had ever voluntarily left Carlton before!) He had played just 8 games at the Saints between 1998 & 2000.
He was initially given the #18 guernsey, vacated by Justin Murphy, but when he returned to the club in 2002, allowed him to reclaim that guernsey and instead took number 15 after Ben Nelson was traded.
He spent the whole of 2001 in the VFL and was subsequently delisted. But he was given a second chance and redrafted with pick 75 in the 2001 draft. He played eight games for the Saints over three years, before being traded to Carlton as part of the deal that saw Aaron Hamill move to St Kilda. After spending 2001 in the reserves, Cranage was delisted but given a second chance through the national draft.
He played in the opening round of 2002 and made ten appearances for the season, but was delisted at the end of the year. With all Carlton's injuries, Cranage managed 10 games in 2002; 3 of which were as a late replacement. He had a career high 25 possessions in the round 19 game against Port Adelaide, which earnt him a Brownlow vote.
He paid the price for Carlton's first ever wooden spoon and was delisted at the end of 2002. He went on to be a key midfielder for Williamstown in the VFL. Cranage joined VFL club Williamstown where he spent the next three years (2003 - 2005), before moving into suburban football with Eastern Football League side Balwyn (2006 - 2009).
Cranage was recruited by the Saints from Ballarat Rebels U/19's, prior to that he had played for Monivae College and Hamilton.
Sam's father Paul played 48 games for the Collingwood Football Club and was a premiership playing coach for the Hamilton Football Club in 1981. They are still together today in business.
Career Highlights2001 - 5th Reserves Best & Fairest
2002 - 9th Reserves Best & Fairest