Some 19 winters came and went before Carlton, now competing in the Victorian Football League, again achieved Premiership greatness under the watch of the redoubtable Jack Worrall. When his players fell four goals adrift of Fitzroy in its first VFL Grand Final of 1904, coach Worrall –whose name would be forever linked with the history-making Premiership teams of 1906, ’07 and ’08 – sensed that Carlton was on the cusp of greatness.
As Worrall wrote in 1904: “There has been a progressive increase on the premiership ladder since 1902, but there is still a rung to climb”.
Worrall brought the Latin motto Mens Sana In Corpore Sano (A Sound Mind In A Sound Body) to Princes Park and with his influence “Jack’s Heroes” emerged as the competition’s first to take out the Premiership hat trick.
The Worrall legacy would endure for almost 20 years, during which time the Norman Clark-coached teams landed two more pennants in 1914 and ’15 and contest all but one finals series from 1903.
But not even the players were immune to war – and eleven of Carlton’s own would pay the ultimate price.
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