2011 Carlton Football Club season
|Home ground||Etihad Stadium
(Training and administrative: Visy Park)
|AFL season||5th (14-7-1)|
|Best and Fairest||Marc Murphy|
|Leading goalkicker||Andrew Walker (56)|
|Highest home attendance||85,936 vs. Collingwood (Round 17)|
|Lowest home attendance||37,607 vs. Adelaide (Round 5)|
- 1 Club summary
- 2 Squad and player statistics for 2011
- 3 Playing list changes
- 4 Season summary
- 5 Ladder
- 6 Leading Goalkickers
- 7 Team awards and records
- 8 Individual awards and records
- 9 Northern Bullants
- 10 Notes
- 11 References
The 2011 AFL season was the 115th season of the VFL/AFL competition since its inception in 1897; and, having competed in every season, it was also the 115th season contested by the Carlton Football Club.
Former club champion Stephen Kernahan continued as club president in the 2011 season, a position he has held since August 2008. The club's two joint major sponsors, car manufacturer Hyundai and confectionery company Mars, were unchanged from 2010. As in previous years, the club's primary home ground was Etihad Stadium, with home games expecting to draw larger crowds played at the M.C.G., and with traditional home ground Visy Park serving as the training and administrative base. As has been the case every year since 2003, Carlton has a full alignment with the Northern Bullants in the Victorian Football League, allowing Carlton-listed players to play with the Bullants when not selected in AFL matches.
Carlton set a new club record by selling 43,791 memberships for the 2011 season. The previous high of 42,408 members, set in 2009, was surpassed on 9 June. The club had the fourth-highest membership in the league, and the second-highest of clubs who play home games only in Victoria, behind only Collingwood.Note 1,  The club's membership campaign slogan for 2011 was "No passengers."
Brett Ratten and Chris Judd continued in their respective roles as senior coach and captain of the club, each entering his fourth season appointed to the job.Note 2 Kade Simpson continued in the role of vice-captain, and Michael Jamison and Andrew Carrazzo retained their places in the club's leadership group from 2010. Bryce Gibbs, Marc Murphy and Jordan Russell were elevated into the expanded leadership group for 2011, replacing Heath Scotland, who stepped down, and Simon Wiggins, who retired from the AFL at the end of 2010.
There was a substantial number of changes to Brett Ratten's senior coaching panel between 2010 and 2011. The contracts of forward-line assistant coach Matthew Lappin and defensive assistant coach Brett Montgomery were not renewed, with the pair taking assistant coaching roles at Collingwood and the Western Bulldogs respectively. Midfield assistant coach Robert Harvey, and development coach/VFL senior coach David Teague also left to pursue assistant coaching roles at St Kilda and West Coast respectively. The three vacant assistant coaching positions were filled by Alan Richardson from Essendon, John Barker from Hawthorn, and Gavin Brown from Collingwood. Darren Harris, who had been serving as development manager since 2009, stepped into Teague's role as development coach and VFL senior coach, and Luke Webster also joined the club as a development coach.
Carlton adopted a new 'clash guernsey' design for the 2011 season. The new design was predominantly sky blue, with navy blue CFC monogram, numbers, trimming and side-panels. The sky blue guernsey replaced a predominantly white clash guernsey which had been in use since 2007. The guernsey was worn with new sky blue shorts, and the traditional navy blue socks (with a white hoop added in the event of clashing socks). The clash guernsey was first worn in Round 7 against St Kilda.
Squad and player statistics for 2011
Flags represent the state of origin, i.e. the state in which the player played his Under-18s football.
|No.||State||Player||Age||AFL Debut||Recruited from||Career (to end 2010)||2011 Player Statistics|
|1||Andrew Walker||24||2004||Bendigo (U18)||103||37||24||56||27||349||238||111||111||62||1|
|2||Jordan Russell (lg)||24||2005||West Adelaide||93||15||16||3||2||267||164||103||73||55||–|
|3||Marc Murphy (lg)||23||2006||Oakleigh (U18)||102||82||24||22||13||699||391||308||109||108||1|
|4||Bryce Gibbs (lg)||21||2007||Glenelg||89||40||23||21||18||548||381||167||174||82||3|
|5||Chris Judd (c)||27||2002||Sandringham (U18), West Coast||198||179||24||14||16||633||301||332||69||148||–|
|6||Kade Simpson (vc)||26||2003||Eastern (U18)||133||79||24||17||18||536||361||175||147||79||5|
|8||Matthew Kreuzer||21||2008||Northern (U18)||56||31||12||7||7||140||66||74||27||44||148|
|9||Kane Lucas||19||2010||East Fremantle||8||0||2||–||–||28||17||11||10||4||–|
|10||Matthew Watson||18||2011||Calder (U18)||–||–||3||–||–||38||29||9||9||2||–|
|11||Robert Warnock||23||2007||Sandringham (U18), Fremantle||33||8||20||4||8||229||86||143||42||51||591|
|12||Mitch Robinson||21||2009||Tasmania (U18/VFL)||26||19||23||10||21||517||304||213||121||97||15|
|13||Chris Yarran||20||2009||Swan Districts||22||23||23||8||8||409||296||113||77||76||–|
|14||Brock McLean||24||2004||Calder (U18), Melbourne||100||41||4||1||2||62||23||39||13||23||–|
|15||Jeremy Laidler||21||2009||Geelong (U18, AFL)||2||0||19||2||1||300||195||105||110||42||–|
|16||Andrew Collins||22||2009||Bendigo (U18), Richmond||25||23||2||–||3||18||11||7||11||5||–|
|17||Setanta Ó hAilpín||27||2005||Cork GAA||72||56||8||11||10||104||72||32||33||10||59|
|19||Eddie Betts||24||2005||Calder (U18)||120||165||24||50||22||297||176||121||90||84||–|
|22||Shaun Hampson||22||2007||Mount Gravatt||35||11||9||3||5||74||29||45||21||17||185|
|23||Lachlan Henderson||21||2007||Geelong (U18), Brisbane||34||28||15||3||2||173||103||70||70||34||1|
|25||Luke Mitchell||18||–||Calder (U18)||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–|
|26||Andrew McInnes||18||–||Dandenong (U18)||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–|
|27||Dennis Armfield||24||2008||Swan Districts||45||2||15||7||1||189||122||67||41||30||–|
|29||Heath Scotland||30||1999||Western (U18), Collingwood||199||67||24||5||5||617||346||271||163||73||2|
|30||Jarrad Waite||27||2003||Murray (U18)||131||153||12||16||19||174||116||58||83||24||–|
|31||Marcus Davies||19||2010||North Hobart||5||0||8||1||2||67||38||29||19||21||–|
|32||Bret Thornton||27||2002||Oakleigh (U18)||161||8||20||13||8||317||215||102||146||27||1|
|33||Ryan Houlihan||28||2000||Murray (U18)||195||127||6||–||3||69||30||39||10||13||–|
|36||Rohan Kerr||19||–||Dandenong (U18)||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–|
|38||Jeff Garlett||21||2009||Swan Districts||30||51||24||48||32||294||216||78||84||96||–|
|40||Michael Jamison (lg)||24||2007||North Ballarat (U18, VFL)||57||0||14||1||4||176||114||62||71||26||–|
|44||Andrew Carrazzo (lg)||27||2004||Oakleigh (U18), Geelong||122||36||18||5||3||424||205||219||75||95||2|
|45||Aaron Joseph||21||2009||Tasmania (U18)||45||5||11||4||1||130||79||51||44||28||–|
|46||David Ellard||21||2008||Swan Districts||8||3||19||15||7||278||162||116||59||115||–|
|No.||State||Player||Age||AFL Debut||Recruited from||Career (to end 2010)||2011 Player Statistics|
|20||Rhys O'Keeffe||20||2011||North Adelaide||–||–||1||–||–||8||3||5||1||1||–|
|28||Jaryd Cachia||19||–||Northern (U18)||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–|
|35||Ed Curnow||21||2011||Geelong (U18), Adelaide, Box Hill||–||–||12||3||1||215||117||98||47||55||–|
|37||Joseph Dare||19||–||Geelong (U18)||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–|
|39||Wayde Twomey||24||2011||Western (U18), Werribee, Swan Districts||–||–||2||1||–||13||10||3||7||8||–|
|41||Levi Casboult||20||–||Dandenong (U18)||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–|
|42||Zach Tuohy||21||2011||Laois GAA||–||–||11||3||1||138||74||64||31||9||–|
|47||Mitchell Carter||19||–||South Fremantle||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–|
|48||Blake Bray||18||–||Western Suburbs||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–|
|Senior coaching panel|
|Born||Coach||Coaching position||Carlton Coaching debut||Former clubs as coach|
|Brett Ratten||Senior Coach||2007||Melbourne (a), Norwood (EFL) (s)|
|Alan Richardson||Senior Assistant Coach||2011||East Burwood (s), Coburg (s), Western Bulldogs (a), Collingwood (a), Essendon (a)|
|John Barker||Assistant Coach||2011||St Kilda (a), Hawthorn (a)|
|Gavin Brown||Assistant Coach||2011||Collingwood (a), Collingwood (VFL) (s)|
|Matthew Capuano||Assistant Coach||2009|
|Mark Riley||Assistant Coach||2008||Claremont (s), Fremantle (d, a), Melbourne (a, cs)|
|Darren Harris||Development & Academy Manager, and VFL Senior Coach||2009||Wodonga Raiders (O&MFL) (s), NSW/ACT Rams (d), West Perth (s), West Coast (a)|
|Luke Webster||Development Coach||2011|
|For players: (c) denotes captain, (vc) denotes vice-captain, (lg) denotes leadership group. For coaches: (s) denotes senior coach, (cs) denotes caretaker senior coach, (a) denotes assistant coach, (d) denotes development coach. Players' ages are given for 1 January 2011. Statistics for AFL matches: Gms – Games played, Gls – Goals, B – Behinds, D – Disposals, K – Kicks, HB – Handballs, M – Marks, T – Tackles, HO – Hitouts. Source for statistics: AFL Tables.|
Playing list changes
The following summarises all player changes between the conclusion of the 2010 season and the conclusion of the 2011 season.
|Andrew Collins||Richmond||AFL||AFL Trade Week, in exchange for Shaun Grigg|
|Jeremy Laidler||Geelong||AFL||AFL Trade Week, with pick No. 41, in exchange for picks No. 36 and 53Note 3|
|Matthew Watson||Calder||TAC Cup||AFL National Draft, first round (pick No. 18)|
|Patrick McCarthy||Glenelg||SANFL||AFL National Draft, second round (pick No. 34)|
|Luke Mitchell||Calder||TAC Cup||AFL National Draft, second round (pick No. 42)|
|Andrew McInnes||Dandenong||TAC Cup||AFL National Draft, fourth round (pick No. 67)|
|Nick Duigan||Norwood||SANFL||AFL National Draft, fourth round (pick No. 70)|
|Ed Curnow||Box Hill||VFL||AFL Rookie Draft, first round (pick No. 18)|
|Wayde Twomey||Swan Districts||WAFL||AFL Rookie Draft, third round (pick No. 51)|
|Mitchell Carter||South Fremantle||WAFL||AFL Rookie Draft, fourth round (pick No. 66)|
|Blake Bray||Western Suburbs||Sydney AFL||Elevated from NSW/ACT Scholarship during AFL Rookie Draft, fifth round (pick No. 78)|
|Simon Wiggins||Sunshine||WRFL||Retired from AFL|
|Shaun Grigg||Richmond||AFL||AFL Trade Week, in exchange for Andrew Collins|
|Sam Jacobs||Adelaide||AFL||AFL Trade Week, in exchange for picks No. 33 and 67Note 3|
|Richard Hadley||East Fremantle||WAFL||Retired from AFL|
|Brad Fisher||West Adelaide||SANFL||Delisted|
|Steven Browne||West Perth||WAFL||Delisted|
|Josh Donaldson||West Perth||WAFL||Delisted from rookie list|
|Jeff Garlett||Promoted from the rookie list to the senior list during AFL National Draft, fifth round (pick No. 85)|
|David Ellard||Promoted from the rookie list to the senior list during AFL National Draft, sixth round (pick No. 99)|
|Simon White||Promoted from the rookie list to the senior list during AFL National Draft, seventh round (pick No. 108)|
|Kane Lucas||Changed guernsey number from No. 24 to No. 9|
|Brock McLean||Changed guernsey number from No. 7 to No. 14|
|Rhys O'Keeffe||Delisted, then re-drafted as a rookie during AFL Rookie Draft, second round (pick No. 35)|
|Ed Curnow||Prior to Round 1, Curnow was made a nominated rookie for 2011.|
| Luke Mitchell
|Prior to Round 1, Mitchell was moved to the long term injury list (shoulder), and Casboult was elevated from the rookie list in his place.|
| Levi Casboult
|Prior to Round 6, Casboult was moved to the long term injury list (knee), and Tuohy was elevated from the rookie list in his place.|
| Zach Tuohy
|Prior to Round 9, Mitchell returned to the senior list from the long-term injury list, and Tuohy returned to the rookie list.|
| Luke Mitchell
|Prior to Round 11, Mitchell was again moved to the long term injury list (shoulder), and Tuohy was again elevated from the rookie list in his place.|
|Levi Casboult||Prior to Round 13, Casboult returned to the rookie list from the long-term injury list.|
| Andrew Collins
|Prior to Round 14, Collins was moved to the long term injury list (shoulder), and O'Keeffe was elevated from the rookie list in his place.|
| Andrew McInnes
|Prior to Round 17, McInnes was moved to the long term injury list (shoulder), and Twomey was elevated from the rookie list in his place.|
|Ryan Houlihan||Prior to the Elimination Final, Houlihan announced his retirement, effective immediately for Carlton matches, and effective at the end of the season for Northern Bullants matches.|
|Round||Date and local time||Opponent||Scores (Carlton's scores indicated in bold)||Venue||Attendance|
|1||Saturday, 12 February (7:15 pm)||Richmond||0.6.5 (41)||0.3.5 (23)||Won by 18 points Report||Etihad Stadium [H]||40,300|
|Saturday, 12 February (9:35 pm)||Collingwood||0.3.8 (26)||0.5.3 (33)||Lost by 7 points Report|
|Finished second out of three in the group; eliminated from NAB Cup|
|Week||Date and local time||Opponent||Scores (Carlton's scores indicated in bold)||Venue||Attendance|
|1||Saturday, 26 February (4:00 pm)||GWS||4.2 (26)||29.9 (183)||Won by 157 points Report||Manuka Oval [A]||5,991|
|2||Friday, 4 March (4:00 pm)||Adelaide||15.10 (100)||11.10 (76)||Won by 24 points Report||Visy Park [H]||3,000 (approx.)|
|3||Saturday, 12 March (1:00 pm)||Geelong||11.15 (81)||14.8 (92)||Lost by 11 points Report||Visy Park [H]||8,000 (approx.)|
2011 was Carlton's best regular season performance for more than a decade. The team finished in fifth place with a record of 14–7–1, two wins above St Kilda in sixth, and two-and-a-half wins below West Coast in fourth. Carlton spent the entire season between second and fifth on the ladder. Performances were consistent throughout the year based on finishing position, including:
- A record of 0–5 in five games against the top four teams; the performances in those games were competitive, with an average losing margin of 19 points, and the largest loss by only 36 points;
- A record of 4–1–1 in six games against teams which finished between sixth and eighth;
- A record of 10–1 in eleven games against teams which failed to reach the finals, with the Round 16 match against the Western Bulldogs accounting for the only big upset loss of Carlton's season.
Through the latter half of the season, Carlton was mostly in a fight with Hawthorn and West Coast to claim third and fourth positions. Although Carlton held fourth place for much of the latter half of the year, West Coast was always in a strong position to overtake Carlton in the final rounds due to having a game in hand and more games against non-finalists. West Coast ultimately moved into the top four in Round 22, after Carlton's loss against Hawthorn.
|Round||Date and local time||Opponent||Scores (Carlton's scores indicated in bold)||Venue||Attendance||Ladder
|1||Thursday, 24 March (7:40 pm)||Richmond||14.20 (104)||13.6 (84)||Won by 20 points Report||M.C.G. [H]||60,654||3rd|
|2||Saturday, 2 April (6:50 pm)||Gold Coast||7.10 (52)||26.15 (171)||Won by 119 points Report||The Gabba [A]||27,914||2nd|
|3||Friday, 8 April (7:40 pm)||Collingwood||15.12 (102)||11.8 (74)||Lost by 28 points Report||M.C.G. [A]||88,181||4th|
|4||Saturday, 16 April (2:10 pm)||Essendon||11.13 (79)||11.13 (79)||Match drawn Report||M.C.G. [H]||78,065||5th|
|5||Saturday, 23 April (2:10 pm)||Adelaide||11.19 (85)||12.7 (79)||Won by 6 points Report||Etihad Stadium [H]||37,607||4th|
|6||Friday, 29 April (7:40 pm)||Sydney||10.11 (71)||12.15 (87)||Won by 16 points Report||S.C.G. [A]||28,081||3rd|
|7||Monday, 9 May (7:20 pm)||St Kilda||12.9 (81)||11.18 (84)||Won by 3 points Report||Etihad Stadium [A]||41,576||3rd|
|9||Friday, 20 May (7:40 pm)||Geelong||14.16 (100)||15.12 (102)||Lost by 2 points Report||Etihad Stadium [H]||48,429||5th|
|10||Friday, 27 May (7:40 pm)||Melbourne||6.10 (46)||13.15 (93)||Won by 47 points Report||M.C.G. [A]||47,464||4th|
|11||Sunday, 5 June (4:10 pm)||Port Adelaide||7.7 (49)||16.15 (111)||Won by 62 points Report||AAMI Stadium [A]||23,192||4th|
|12||Sunday, 12 June (1:10 pm)||Brisbane Lions||19.10 (124)||9.9 (63)||Won by 61 points Report||Etihad Stadium [H]||43,617||3rd|
|13||Sunday, 19 June (2:10 pm)||Sydney||15.10 (100)||10.6 (66)||Won by 34 points Report||Etihad Stadium [H]||42,788||3rd|
|14||Sunday, 26 June (2:10 pm)||West Coast||10.7 (67)||15.13 (103)||Lost by 36 points Report||Etihad Stadium [H]||38,241||4th|
|15||Saturday, 2 July (2:10 pm)||Richmond||12.9 (81)||28.16 (184)||Won by 103 points Report||M.C.G. [A]||59,650||3rd|
|16||Sunday, 10 July (4:40 pm)||Western Bulldogs||14.12 (96)||9.15 (69)||Lost by 27 points Report||Etihad Stadium [A]||38,582||4th|
|17||Saturday, 16 July (2:10 pm)||Collingwood||11.13 (79)||13.20 (98)||Lost by 19 points Report||M.C.G. [H]||85,936||4th|
|18||Saturday, 23 July (7:10 pm)||Essendon||12.7 (79)||24.9 (153)||Won by 74 points Report||M.C.G. [A]||74,123||4th|
|19||Friday, 29 July (7:40 pm)||North Melbourne||9.8 (62)||11.14 (80)||Won by 18 points Report||Etihad Stadium [A]||41,332||4th|
|20||Saturday, 6 August (2:10 pm)||Melbourne||21.8 (134)||7.16 (58)||Won by 76 points Report||M.C.G. [H]||42,342||4th|
|21||Saturday, 13 August (1:10 pm)||Fremantle||12.13 (85)||16.19 (115)||Won by 30 points Report||Patersons Stadium [A]||34,737||4th|
|22||Friday, 19 August (7:40 pm)||Hawthorn||8.18 (66)||10.18 (78)||Lost by 12 points Report||Etihad Stadium [H]||52,052||5th|
|24||Saturday, 3 September (7:10 pm)||St Kilda||13.8 (86)||9.12 (66)||Lost by 20 points Report||MCG [H]||55,606||5th|
In the elimination final against Essendon, Carlton fell fourteen points behind during the first quarter, after kicking five early behinds to Essendon's three goals; the Blues then kicked the next ten goals of the game before half time to set up an unbeatable lead, and finished with a comfortable 62-point win.
In the semi-final against West Coast, Carlton kicked the first four goals of the match, before conceding eight goals to three in the second quarter to trail by 11 points at half-time. The second half was closely fought, with West Coast maintaining a one-to-three goal lead for most of the half. After the Eagles opened the lead to 21 points during time-on in the final quarter, Carlton kicked the last three goals of the game to narrow the margin to less than a goal; but, time expired, and West Coast won by three points.
|Week||Date and local time||Opponent||Scores (Carlton's scores indicated in bold)||Venue||Attendance|
|First Elimination Final||Sunday, 11 September (2:40 pm)||Essendon||21.23 (149)||13.9 (87)||Won by 62 points Report||MCG [H]||90,161|
|First Semi-Final||Saturday, 17 September (5:50 pm)||West Coast||15.11 (101)||15.8 (98)||Lost by 3 points Report||Patersons Stadium [A]||42,803|
|Key: P = Played, W = Won, L = Lost, D = Drawn, PF = Points For, PA = Points Against|
Andrew Walker was Carlton's leading goalkicker for 2011. It was the first time Walker had won the club goalkicking. He had kicked only 37 goals in his first seven seasons, but after struggling to hold his place in the team in 2010 as a midfielder, he became a permanent forward in 2011, where he kicked 56 goals in 24 games.
In addition to Walker's 56 goals, Eddie Betts kicked 50 goals and Jeff Garlett kicked 48 goals; all three players finished inside the top twenty for the Coleman Medal. Carlton was the only club to have three players kick more than 40 goals in the home and away season.
|*The table reflects goals kicked in both home-and-away season and finals. However, the player's position in the Coleman Medal standings is based upon home-and-away season goals only.|
Team awards and records
- Game records
- Round 2 – Carlton's score of 26.15 (171) against Gold Coast was its highest in any game since Round 18, 2000, and its highest ever outside the city of Melbourne.
- Round 2 – Carlton's winning margin of 119 points against Gold Coast was its highest in any game since Round 10, 2001; and, its highest ever outside the city of Melbourne.
- Round 2 – Carlton's first quarter score of 9.5 (59) against Gold Coast was its highest first quarter score in any game since Round 2, 1984.
- Round 3 – the attendance of 88,181 at the Carlton vs Collingwood match was the highest ever for a home-and-away match between the two teams, and was the second-highest for a Carlton home-and-away match against any opponent.
- Round 6 – Carlton's win against Sydney at the S.C.G. was its first win in Sydney since Round 7, 1993, breaking a losing streak of ten matches (seven matches at the S.C.G. and three matches at ANZ Stadium).
- Round 10 – Melbourne's score of 6.10 (46) was the lowest score conceded by Carlton in any game since Round 5, 2004.
- Round 11 - Carlton held Port Adelaide scoreless in the final quarter, the first time since Round 19, 1999 that Carlton had kept a team scoreless for a quarter of football.
- Round 15 – Carlton's score of 28.16 (184) against Richmond was its highest in any game since Round 17, 1998, and its highest ever in any game against Richmond, breaking the previous record of 28.9 (177) set in the 1972 VFL Grand Final.
- Round 15 – Carlton's score in the second half, 17.9 (111), was its highest in a half of any game since Round 18, 2000.
- First Elimination Final – Carlton's win against Essendon was its first win in a finals match since the First Elimination Final, 2001, on 8 September 2001, a drought of ten years, three days. The club featured in three losing finals during the drought.
- First Elimination Final – the attendance of 90,161 was a new record for the highest in VFL/AFL history for an Elimination Final; this record was surpassed in 2013.
- Season records
- Carlton's home and away record of 14–7–1 was its best since 2000.
- Carlton's home and away season placing of 5th was its best since 2001.
- Carlton's final placing of 5th was its best since 2000.
- Carlton conceded only 1700 points in the home and away season, its fewest since 1976.
- Carlton's percentage of 130.88 was its best since 2000.
- Round 2 – Carlton was the first ever opponent of the newly admitted Gold Coast Football Club in an AFL premiership match. (Gold Coast was scheduled with a bye in Round 1).
- Round 18 – Carlton won the 2011 Madden Cup with its 74-point win over Essendon.
- First Elimination Final – Carlton's played its first finals match in Melbourne since the First Semi Final, 2001, on 15 September 2001, a drought of nine years, 361 days. The club featured in two interstate finals during the drought.
Individual awards and records
John Nicholls Medal
The Carlton Football Club Best and Fairest awards night took place on 4 October. The John Nicholls Medal, for the best and fairest player of the club, as well as several other awards, were presented on the night..
- John Nicholls Medal
The voting system for the John Nicholls Medal remained the same as in 2010. In each match, the five members of the Match Committee awarded votes. Each committee member could award votes to up to eight players, and each player could receive up to ten votes from each judge. A "perfect score" for a round is 50 votes. The player with the most total votes across all premiership season matches (including home and away matches and finals) wins the award.
The winner of the John Nicholls Medal was Marc Murphy, who polled 678 votes. It was the first John Nicholls Medal of Murphy's career. Murphy won comfortably ahead of Chris Judd (469 votes) and Bryce Gibbs (448 votes). The top ten is given below.
- Other awards
The following other awards were presented on John Nicholls Medal night:-
- Best First-Year Player – Nick Duigan
- Best Clubman – Heath Scotland
- Best Player in Finals – Marc Murphy
- Women of Carlton Ambassador Award – Chris Yarran
- Spirit of Carlton Encouragement Award – Kade Simpson and Mitch Robinson
- Carltonians Achievement Award – Heath Scotland
- Blues Coterie "Fierce Award" – Mitch Robinson
The lead-up to the 2011 Brownlow Medal focussed heavily on Carlton. Chris Judd entered the night as a strong favourite to win; a series of eye-catching performances meant he became the outright favourite early in the season; after Round 20, major betting agency Sportsbet was offering odds shorter than $2 for Judd to win, and decided to pay out early to all punters who had already backed Judd for the win. Murphy also figured prominently in Brownlow markets during the season, fuelled by his career-best season, and very strong polling in other MVP awards, most notably the AFL Coaches Association Player of the Year Award. Bookmakers were offering odds as short as $5.50 in Round 18, when Murphy was second-favourite behind Judd. By the end of the season, Murphy was fifth-favourite behind Judd, Sydney's Adam Goodes and Collingwood's Scott Pendlebury and Dane Swan.
In the end, neither player won the medal. Judd polled 23 votes to finish equal 5th, and Murphy polled 19 votes to finish equal 7th, out of eligible players. Bryce Gibbs was the only other Carlton player with double figures, polling 12 votes.
For each of the AFLPA awards, one or three Carlton players were nominated following internal vote of Carlton players (except for Best Captain, where captain Chris Judd was nominated by default). A vote of all players in the league, selecting from a ballot of all club nominees, was then used to determine the final placings.
Chris Judd won the Leigh Matthews Trophy for the second time in his career, the first being in 2006 when he was playing for the West Coast Eagles. He became the fifth player to win the award more than once. He polled 1,347 votes, almost three times as many as second-place finisher Scott Pendlebury (Collingwood). He also won the Best Captain Award for the first time in his career.
- Leigh Matthews Trophy (Most Valuable Player)
- Robert Rose Award (Most Courageous Player)
- Kade Simpson (nominated)
- Best First Year Player
- Nick Duigan (nominated)
- Best Captain
- Chris Judd (winner)
The 40-man squad for the All-Australian Team was announced on 6 September 2011, and the final team of 22 was announced on 19 September 2011, with Judd and Murphy both nominated in the team. It was the sixth All-Australian guernsey for Judd, who was made vice-captain for the second time (having also served once as captain), and it was Murphy's first time as an All-Australian.
- Chris Judd (ruck rover, vice captain)
- Marc Murphy (half forward flank)
- Eddie Betts (nominated in 40-man squad)
- Heath Scotland (nominated in 40-man squad)
- Most Valuable Player awards
Judd and Murphy both featured prominently in most most valuable player awards, voted on by various broadcasters, commentators and professional associations of the AFL (only appearances in the top five of each award are shown):
- AFL Coaches Association Champion Player of the Year – Marc Murphy (winner), Chris Judd (2nd)
- The Age Footballer of the Year – Marc Murphy (winner), Chris Judd (3rd)
- Herald Sun Player of the Year – Chris Judd (2nd), Marc Murphy (5th)
- Lou Richards Medal (Nine's Wide World of Sports player of the year) – Marc Murphy (2nd), Chris Judd (3rd)
- ABC Footballer of the Year – Chris Judd (4th)
- SEN 1116 Marbletrend Player of the Year – Chris Judd (2nd)
- Triple M Bonaire Best on Ground – Chris Judd (2nd)
- 3AW Player of the Year – Chris Judd (2nd)
- Representative honours
- Andrew Walker, Eddie Betts and Chris Yarran were all selected in the Indigenous All-Stars squad for the All-Stars' pre-season match against Richmond; however, the match was ultimately cancelled due to inclement weather.
- Mitch Robinson was selected in the Australian team and Zach Tuohy was selected in the Irish team for the 2011 International rules series.
- Mark of the Year
Andrew Walker's Round 18 mark was one of the three finalists in the Mark of the Year. It had been the favourite to win, with many football observers, including The Age's Rohan Connolly, and both match-day coaches, Brett Ratten and James Hird, stating that it was one of the greatest marks of all-time; however, it was beaten for the season's Mark of the Year award by Andrew Krakouer's Round 9 mark.
Overall, five Carlton marks were nominated throughout the season, and all five won their individual Mark of the Week votes.
- Mark of the Year – Andrew Walker, Round 18 (nominated)
- Mark of the Week:
- Goal of the Year
Eddie Betts' Round 18 goal was nominated amongst the three finalists for Goal of the Year. Overall, three Carlton goals were nominated throughout the season, and all three won their individual Goal of the Week votes.
- Goal of the Year – Eddie Betts, Round 18 (nominated)
- Goal of the Week:
No Carlton players were nominated for the NAB AFL Rising Star Award during 2011.
The Deadly Award for Outstanding Achievement in AFL was won by Andrew Walker. The Deadly Awards are awarded annually across a variety of fields, not only sport, to Aboriginal Australians and Torres Strait Islanders.
- Elimination Final – Kade Simpson played his 143rd consecutive game. At the time, this was recognised as a new Carlton Football Club record, breaking the record of Jim Francis, who played 142 consecutive games between 1935-1942. However, in December 2012, the AFL amended the interpretation of this record such that interstate matches played on the same weekend as a club match were counted as part of a streak of consecutive games; as a result, Bruce Doull assumed the club record with 162 consecutive games between 1971–1978.
|Ed Curnow||AFL debut||Round 1|
|Nick Duigan||AFL debut||Round 1|
|Heath Scotland||200 AFL Games||Round 1|
|Matthew Watson||AFL debut||Round 2|
|Chris Judd||200 AFL Games||Round 2|
|Heath Scotland||150 Carlton Games||Round 3|
|Jordan Russell||100 AFL Games||Round 7|
|Dennis Armfield||50 AFL Games||Round 9|
|Zach Tuohy||AFL debut||Round 11|
|Bryce Gibbs||100 AFL games||Round 12|
|Rhys O'Keeffe||AFL debut||Round 14|
|Aaron Joseph||50 AFL games||Round 17|
|Wayde Twomey||AFL debut||Round 17|
|Kade Simpson||150 AFL games||Round 18|
|Ryan Houlihan||200 AFL games||Round 19|
|Jeff Garlett||50 AFL games||Round 21|
|Robert Warnock||50 AFL Games||Round 22|
The Carlton Football Club had a full affiliation with the Northern Bullants during the 2011 season. It was the ninth season of the clubs' affiliation, which had been in place since 2003. Carlton senior- and rookie-listed players who were not selected to play in the Carlton team were eligible to play for either the Northern Bullants seniors or reserves team, including both Victorian Football League matches and Foxtel Cup matches. As in 2010, home games were shared between the Bullants' traditional home ground, Preston City Oval, and Carlton's traditional home ground, Visy Park.
The Bullants finished 4th out of 13 in the VFL, after being defeated in the preliminary final by Port Melbourne. The Bullants had finished sixth on the ladder after the home-and-away season with a record of 10–8. Additionally, in the inaugural season of the Foxtel Cup, the Bullants reached the second round (quarter finals) before being eliminated by eventual runners-up Claremont. Carlton's Brock McLean, who played nineteen matches for the Bullants through the year, won the Laurie Hill Trophy as the Bullants' best and fairest.
:1.^ Although Hawthorn had a higher overall membership, that Victorian-based club additionally plays several home games in Tasmania each year.
:2.^ Ratten also served as head coach in the final six rounds of 2007 as caretaker, before being officially appointed as head coach for 2008.
:3.^ Many draft picks involved in trades changed their position slightly on draft day (e.g Carlton acquired pick No. 33 in the trade for Sam Jacobs, then used pick No. 34 to draft Pat McCarthy), because the use of compensatory draft picks in the early rounds of the draft or passing in later rounds of the draft led to the draft picks being re-numbered.
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