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President's speech - Round 6

Ding Dong it's Dennis | Episode 1 Dennis Armfield pays a visit to Fay Esakoff, who has been a Carlton member for 72 years, in the first episode of his new series.
President Mark LoGiudice. (Photo: AFL Photos)
President Mark LoGiudice. (Photo: AFL Photos)

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I needn’t remind you that the Carlton versus Essendon clash represents one of the fiercest rivalries in the AFL competition. 

The tribal nature of our rivalry dates back to 1897 when both clubs joined the VFL.

In my lifetime, memorable games tend to be simply marked by years:

  • 2012 (Carlton Elimination final 10 goal win – and Andrew Walker’s mark over Jake Carlisle)
  • 1999 (Carlton Preliminary final win 1 point – and Fraser Brown’s tackle on Dean Wallis)
  • 1993 (Essendon Premiership – remember Dean Wallis’ bump on Mil Hanna?)
  • 1981 (Essendon 28 point comeback at Princes Park to win by 1 point)
  • 1968 (Carlton’s 3 point win to claim our 8th premiership)

Win or lose these games have ascended into AFL folklore.

To Essendon Chairman Lindsay Tanner and CEO Xavier Campbell welcome today.

I am also pleased to be welcoming you today as President of a winning AFL Club!

Last week’s clash against Fremantle was not a classic but it was great to experience some emotional nourishment for the club – players, coaches, support and admin staff alike. Not to mention our loyal members and supporters!

While it wasn’t the most attractive game you can tell we have a solid game plan, coupled with relentless effort and we are making progress each week. There is no doubt the Carlton team is playing with great spirit – bit by bit we look to be improving.

In terms of Carlton spirit and culture, I was extremely proud to be part of the induction of our latest cohort of Hall of Famers on Friday night. 

While the focus of Carlton has to be on our future, it was an honor to witness great Carlton people being recognised for their exceptional service to the Club.

Our Hall of Fame was launched in 1987.  Since then, we have inducted 77 Carlton people into this esteemed group.

We have also elevated a further 15 players to Legend status.

Our latest Hall of Fame inductees are:

  • Scott Camporeale
  • Mil Hanna
  • an Robertson
  • The Late Jack Wrout 

Each player with their own story to tell, each left an imprint on our club that will forever be remembered.

Between them we have Six premierships, Multiple All-Australian’s and Best and Fairest wins.

Jack Wrout also served Vice-President for twenty years. Throughout that time, which saw the 1968, ’70 and ’72 flags unfurled at Princes Park. 

Additionally we elevated our newest Legend, who joins us tonight with his wife Rita – the great Serge Silvagni:

  • Patriarch of a Carlton dynasty – Serge, Stephen and now Jack
  • 239 games
  • 1968 and 1970 Premiership Player
  • Part of the most famous on ball division imaginable - Nicholls, Silvagni, Gallagher
  • Carlton Captain
  • Best & Fairest Winner – 1964 and 1968
  • 2 time Victorian representative
  • Leading Goal kicker 1959
  • Reserves Coach, Stand-in Seniors Coach, Chairman of Selectors and Committeeman
  • Carlton Team of the Century – Ruck Rover

On Thursday we officially submitted our Womens team application to the AFL. 

As I put in my letter to the commission - Carlton is serious about growing women’s football and has been genuinely active in this area for some time.

At Carlton, we see the new national women’s league as an opportunity to increase and inspire female interest in Australian Rules Football. 

It’s an opportunity for more women to take up the sport and for more women to be involved our club – which is vital as we work to grow Carlton.

We understand completely the fact we must treat our female players as elite athletes and professionals; and we know that the AFL and clubs can be leaders in diversity, in what looms as a ground breaking way.

Our club has created a ‘Bound By Blue’ strategy that, at its heart, is about inclusion and diversity. The strategy is real and already unfolding successfully. 

Being granted a licence will help us accelerate our ‘whole-of-club’ strategy, which will in turn help us to grow Carlton financially, as well as our membership base.

Today we play in a guernsey made up of the names of Members, players and staff all whom are Bound by Blue.

Joining us today as a special guest is Ms Fay Esakoff, a member since 1945 – that’s  72 Years consecutive membership! Fay is 81 years young and attends all the games with her children and grandchildren.

During the week Dennis Armfield presented Fay with her member jumper and today was chauffeur driven to the game thanks to Hyundai. Accompanying her was another Carlton great who is in the room Peter “The Buzz” Bosustow.

The Buzz 

  • 65 games
  • 146 Goals
  • In 1981 kicked the goal of the year and won the mark of the year!
  • Premiership player in our Back to back 81 / 82 premiership teams

The Buzz was a brilliant, mercurial match-winner – a freakish high mark, a magical ball-handler, and a deadly sharpshooter at goal, and today’s he will ring the bell and be inducted into the match day ring of honor.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Carlton and Essendon always play memorable game. I am sure today’s game will be no different. Enjoy it and Go Blues!