The Carlton Football Club is one of the oldest and most successful clubs in the Australian Football League (AFL). Founded in 1864, the Blues have won 16 premierships, the most of any club in the league. In 2023, the club will celebrate its 160th season of competition, and will look to build on its impressive performance in 2022, when it reached the preliminary finals for the first time since 2000.
In this article, we will take a look at some of the key aspects of the club in 2023, such as its player salaries, coaching staff, schedule, and more. We will also answer some of the most frequently asked questions about the club and its history.
One of the most interesting topics for any AFL fan is the player salaries. How much do the players earn? Who are the highest and lowest paid players? How does the club manage its salary cap?
Carlton’s total wage bill for 2023 is £5,102,760 per year, or £98,130 per week. This is slightly lower than the average wage bill of £5,256,000 per year, or £101,077 per week, for all AFL clubs in 2023.
The highest earning player in the squad is Charlie Curnow, who earns £15,200 per week. Curnow is a star forward who kicked 81 goals in 2022, leading the club’s goalkicking and finishing second in the Coleman Medal. He signed a seven-year contract extension with the club in 2021, which will keep him at Carlton until 2029.
The lowest earning player in the squad is Alex Cincotta, who earns £1,200 per week. Cincotta is a rookie midfielder who was drafted by the club with pick No. 77 in the 2022 AFL Draft. He is yet to make his senior debut for the club.
The club has several players who are free agents or restricted free agents at the end of 2023. These include Edward Curnow, David Cuningham, Lachlan Plowman, Sam Durdin, Marc Pittonet, Matthew Kennedy, Nic Newman, Tom De Koning, Zac Fisher, and Patrick Cripps. The club will have to decide whether to re-sign these players or let them explore their options elsewhere.
The coaching staff of Carlton is led by Michael Voss, who is in his second year as the senior coach. Voss was appointed as the head coach of Carlton in September 2021, after serving as an assistant coach at Port Adelaide for six years. He replaced David Teague, who was sacked after three seasons in charge.
Voss is a former AFL player who played 289 games for Brisbane Lions from 1992 to 2006. He captained the Lions to three consecutive premierships from 2001 to 2003, and won the Brownlow Medal in 1996. He also coached Brisbane Lions from 2009 to 2013, before joining Port Adelaide as an assistant coach.
Voss is assisted by a team of experienced and qualified coaches, who are responsible for different aspects of the game plan and player development. These include:
- Luke Power (Development and Reserves Coach): Power is a former AFL player who played 302 games for Brisbane Lions and Greater Western Sydney from 1998 to 2012. He was a part of Brisbane’s premiership teams from 2001 to 2003, and also served as an assistant coach at GWS from 2014 to 2018.
- Tom Lonergan (Development and Talent Manager): Lonergan is a former AFL player who played 209 games for Geelong from 2005 to 2017. He was a key defender who won a premiership with Geelong in 2011, and also worked as a talent manager at Geelong Falcons and Western Jets.
- Brad Ebert (Development Coach): Ebert is a former AFL player who played 260 games for West Coast and Port Adelaide from 2007 to 2020. He was a versatile midfielder who won Port Adelaide’s best and fairest award in 2012, and also served as a member of Port Adelaide’s football committee.
- John Barker (Forwards Coach): Barker is a former AFL player who played 168 games for Fitzroy, Brisbane Lions and Hawthorn from 1996 to 2006. He was a forward who kicked 199 goals in his career, and also served as an assistant coach at Hawthorn from 2007 to 2010 and at Carlton from 2011 to present. He was also Carlton’s interim coach for 14 games in 2015, after the resignation of Mick Malthouse.
- Brent Stanton (Midfield Coach): Stanton is a former AFL player who played 255 games for Essendon from 2004 to 2017. He was a durable and consistent midfielder who won Essendon’s best and fairest award in 2011, and also served as an assistant coach at Essendon from 2018 to 2020.
- Dale Amos (Defence Coach): Amos is a former AFL player who played 83 games for Carlton from 1991 to 1998. He was a defender who won Carlton’s best clubman award in 1996, and also served as an assistant coach at Fremantle from 2009 to 2011 and at Carlton from 2012 to present.
- Cameron Bruce (Stoppage Coach): Bruce is a former AFL player who played 224 games for Melbourne and Hawthorn from 2000 to 2012. He was a skilful and versatile midfielder who won Melbourne’s best and fairest award in 2009, and also served as an assistant coach at Hawthorn from 2013 to 2016 and at Carlton from 2017 to present.
The schedule for Carlton in 2023 is a mix of blockbuster games, tough challenges, and exciting opportunities. The club will play 22 home-and-away games, plus finals if it qualifies.
The club will kick off its season with a historic game against Adelaide at Adelaide Oval on Thursday, March 23. This will be the first game of the inaugural Gather Round festival, which celebrates the diversity and inclusiveness of the AFL community.
The club will then return to its traditional home ground, the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), to host Geelong in Round 2. This will be followed by a trip to Perth to face Fremantle at Optus Stadium in Round 3.
The club will play six home games at the MCG and six home games at Marvel Stadium in 2023. The club’s home opponents include Geelong, Collingwood, Essendon, Gold Coast, Melbourne, St Kilda, Brisbane Lions, Western Bulldogs, Port Adelaide, West Coast, and GWS.
The club will also travel interstate to face Adelaide, Fremantle, Richmond, Hawthorn, North Melbourne, and Sydney. The club’s bye will come in Round 15.
The club will feature in several marquee games throughout the season, such as:
- Good Friday game against North Melbourne at Marvel Stadium in Round 5. This will be Carlton’s first ever Good Friday game, and will support the Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday Appeal.
- Anzac Day eve game against Richmond at the MCG in Round 6. This will be a rematch of the thrilling preliminary final in 2022, when Carlton upset Richmond by four points to advance to the grand final.
- Queen’s Birthday eve game against Essendon at the MCG in Round 13. This will be a Sunday night clash between two fierce rivals, with both teams expected to be in finals contention.
- Indigenous Round game against Collingwood at the MCG in Round 10. This will be a showcase of the rich contribution of Indigenous players to both clubs and the AFL.
- Sir Doug Nicholls Round game against Sydney at the SCG in Round 11. This will be a tribute to the legacy of Sir Doug Nicholls, who was a champion footballer, pastor, activist, and governor of South Australia.
Carlton is one of the most storied and successful clubs in the AFL, with a proud history and a bright future. In 2023, the club will aim to build on its breakthrough season in 2022, when it reached the preliminary finals for the first time in over two decades.
The club has a talented and balanced list of players, led by stars like Charlie Curnow, Harry McKay, Patrick Cripps, Sam Walsh, and Zac Williams. The club also has a strong and experienced coaching staff, led by Michael Voss, who is in his second year as the senior coach.
The club’s schedule for 2023 is a mix of blockbuster games, tough challenges, and exciting opportunities. The club will play six home games at the MCG and six home games at Marvel Stadium, as well as travel interstate to face some of the best teams in the league.
The club’s fans can look forward to another thrilling season of football in 2023, as the Blues strive to add another premiership cup to their trophy cabinet.