Carlton Career: 2006 (also listed in 2007)
Debut: Round 1, 2006 vs Melbourne, aged 23 years, 329 days
1090th Carlton Player
Games: 59 (13 Carlton)
Goals: 10 (4 Carlton)
Guernsey No. 10
Last game: Round 14, 2006 vs Geelong, aged 24 years, 61 days
DOB: 5 May, 1982
Dylan McLaren was recruited to Carlton with Pick #1 in the 2006 Pre-Season Draft. Previously McLaren had played 46 games with the Brisbane Lions, in various ruck and defence type roles after debuting in 2001 after being recruited from Sale via Gippsland Power.
McLaren's recruitment had a lot to do with providing support to #1 ruckman Barnaby French, for when French went down injured in 2005 the team suffered horribly. At 196cm, McLaren is relatively short for a ruckman, but plays a negating style which was effective at the Lions.
In 2006, McLaren managed 13 games including the first 10 rounds of the season (13 of the first 14 games that season). McLaren would play a variety of roles, from relief to #1 ruckman given injury to French, but also defensive roles against the resting ruckmen of the opposition. In Round 7, 2006 McLaren managed 12 stats and 19 hitouts in his best performance of the year. Dropped for Round 11, McLaren was recalled for Rounds 12-14 but fell out of favour as Chris Bryan and Adrian Deluca were given an opportunity in the ruck. He played for Carlton's VFL-affiliate, the Northern Bullants, for the remainder of the season, rotating through the ruck and forward line to kick fifteen goals.
He was expected to take the top ruck position at Carlton in 2007 but failed to play a senior game. With the complete change-over of Carlton's ruck stocks in 2007, with French, Bryan and Deluca all moving on, McLaren must have been hopeful that new opportunities awaited him. Unfortunately, a back injury sidelined him for most of the pre-season and further injuries during the year prevented him from managing any further senior games. With the prospect of several younger ruck men emerging in 2007 & 8, he was not retained on the club's playing list after 2007. His final game had been played in Round 14, 2006. All up he played a total of 59 AFL matches at Carlton and Brisbane. McLaren was delisted from the Carlton playing list on Thursday, 6 September 2007.
Dylan McLaren signed with Port Melbourne in the VFL in 2008, and played there for three years, retiring from the VFL at the end of 2010. He finished his playing career with his junior club, Sale, in the Gippsland Football League, also continuing on there in a coaching capacity following his retirement.
McLaren played 46 games and kicked 6 goals for the Brisbane Lions, he also played in their losing 2004 Grand Final.