That Carlton team that I walked into in 1981, and went on to coach in two of the three premierships that they won over a four-year period, have not been recognised for the quality of team that they were; certainly not in comparison to the Brisbane, Hawthorns and Geelongs. They should go down, but don’t go down, as one of the greatest teams over a period of four years, yet no one talks about them. That was the most talented group of footballers I think I’ve ever seen in one team; they had everything. They were a bunch of wild buggers, but they worked extremely hard.” - David Parkin OAM (Carlton coach 1981-85, 1991-2000), February 2015
They were certainly a ragtag bunch men and they partied hard. But boy, could they play footy. In fact, over a four-year period, the team fielded by Carlton would win three premierships - winning 76 of its 98 matches for a winning percentage of 78 per cent - a feat which should surely rank the side next the modern-day powerhouses, The Brisbane Lions (2001-2004), Geelong (2007-2011) and Hawthorn (2012-2015) .
Remarkably, despite such outstanding successes, the Boys in Blue, as Parkin noted with his usual enthusiasm, are seldom mentioned when debate rages over who is the greatest football team in VFL/AFL history. Why is the side, which includes the likes of Mike Fitzpatrick, Rod Ashman, Peter Bosustow, Jim Buckley, Bruce Doull, Wayne Harmes, Ken Hunter, Wayne Johnston, Percy Jones, Mark Maclure, David McKay, Ken Sheldon, Geoff Southby and, of course, Alex Jesaulenko not included in the debate?
Author, Dan Eddy suggests that this is the greatest group of football’s forgotten champions. In this wonderful book, he sets the record straight.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
An Essendon supporter, Dan Eddy wrote his first book in 2014, King Richard: the Story of Dick Reynolds, Essendon Legend, which was the first biography on the football legend rated Essendon’s greatest player. He co-authored Champions: Conversations with Great Players and Coaches of Australia Football (Slattery Media Group 2016), authored Skills of Australian Football (Slattery Media Group 2016), and worked with Gold Medal-winning aerial skier, Lydia Lassila, updating her biography The Will to Fly (Slattery Media Group 2016)