Grand Final, the Carlton Brains Trust felt that the Blues were close to Premiership number 17 and topped up with experienced players Michael Mansfield and Stephen O'Reilly rather than draft youth.
Unfortunately, this strategy failed to pay off. Although second on the ladder at year end, who would not be able to win the flag. For sure, there were some highlights, with three 10 goal quarters or more during the year in Rounds 6, 13 and 18, but there was one rather large obstacle in the way.
The Blues would take on the rather unstoppable Bombers, who had lost only 1 match all year, and were hell bent on avenging the 1999 Preliminary Final, and would knock us out of the finals race at that stage before going on to win the Big One. In doing so, the Bombers would match our 16 Premierships and share bragging rights over the rest of the competition.
But one big story for the year was the irrepressible form of a dominant Anthony Koutoufides, who would achieve an honour only twice won by Blues. Kouta would be unstoppable all year, including a golden series of performances mid-year, and would win the AFL Players Association Most Valuable Player Award. Kouta came close in the Brownlow as well, but was pipped by Demon Shane Woewodin.
Coach: David Parkin
Leading Goal-kicker: Lance Whitnall - 70 goals
Best & Fairest: Scott Camporeale and Brett Ratten (tied)
Adam Chatfield, Andrew Merrington, Ryan Houlihan, Scott Freeborn
Debuts (Carlton): Stephen O'Reilly, Michael Mansfield, Trent Hotton
AFLPA MVP: Anthony Koutoufides