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Bound by Blue, 15 decades apart

Parkin's stirring launch speech Carlton Coach of the Century David Parkin was on hand as the Blues' AFLW team held their first ever training session last night.

Almost 150 years separates these two team images – and yet the subjects of both are inextricably Bound by Blue. 

Pictured here is what has been acknowledged as the oldest known image of an Australian football team, the Carlton Football Club’s men’s outfit of 1868.

Alongside is an equally historic combination – the inaugural Carlton AFL Women’s combination, pictured on the grounds flanking the old ground where team members run out for the first time on Friday night.

Carlton's 1868 team pictured at Royal Park. (Photo: Carlton Football Club)

Carlton's inaugural AFLW team poses for a photo at Princes Park. (Photo: Carlton Media)

The original men’s team photograph was almost certainly captured at Royal Park, the club’s first home ground for a 10-year period from 1865, which in part took in the pre-VFA seasons. In those days the players sported the blue band and orange cap. 

Regrettably, this historic image does not carry the name of the photograph or the names of the Carlton players and officials. But club records attest that Jack Conway was captain of the Carlton team in 1868, with Dave Adamson the vice-captain. Other luminaries of the 1868 team included the Club’s first captain Harry Chadwick, 'Lanty' O’Brien, Col. Robert Robertson and Charles 'Chubby' Forrester.    

The women’s team, pictured for posterity on Monday, January 30, comprises all 27 members of the senior list including the captain Lauren Arnell as well as vice-captains Brianna Davey and Madeline Keryk.

On the eve of the landmark match with Collingwood at Ikon Park on Friday night, Arnell and co. are presented with the opportunity to uphold the grand Carlton tradition.

To quote the captain herself: “We get the chance to create our own history”.