Blake Caracella

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Blake Caracella
Personal information
Full name Blake Caracella
Date of birth (1977-03-15) 15 March 1977 (age 37)
Place of birth Melbourne, Victoria
Original team St Marys/Northern Knights
Draft 10th overall, 1995
2nd overall, 2004 Pre-Season Draft
Height/Weight 186 cm / 85 kg
Position(s) Small forward
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
1997 – 2002
2003 – 2004
2005 – 2006
Total
Essendon
Brisbane Lions
Collingwood
126 (151)
034 0(33)
027 0(34)
187 (218)
International team honours
Years Team Games (Goals)
2000–2001 Australia ? (?)
1 Playing statistics correct to end of 2006 season.
2 State and International statistics correct as of 2001.
Career highlights
  • Premiership player: 2000, 2003

Blake Caracella (born 15 March 1977) is a former Australian rules footballer who played in the Australian Football League (AFL).

Essendon career[edit]

Selected by Essendon in the 1994 National Draft at pick 10, Caracella finally debuted with the Bombers in 1997. What had held him back was his lack of bulk – he came to the club weighing only 74 kg – however he rectified this by pushing his playing weight up to 83 kg prior to his AFL debut. Caracella quickly established himself in the side as a skilful small forward/goalsneak, who had patience and poise. He earned himself an AFL Rising Star nomination for his work.

He was a vital part of Essendon's premiership win in 2000, contributing 35 goals for the season. At the end of 2002 he was controversially traded to the Brisbane Lions.[1]

Brisbane career[edit]

Caracella's stay in Brisbane only lasted two years, during which he played 34 games, including the Lions' 2003 premiership winning team and also their unsuccessful 2004 AFL Grand Final side. Reasons cited for his trade from both Essendon and Brisbane was to ease the strain of salary cap restrictions at both clubs.[2]

Collingwood career[edit]

Caracella was selected by Collingwood in the 2005 Pre-season draft, the team that he supported as a child.

In 2005 Caracella had a solid year at Collingwood (apart from a lean patch in the final seven rounds where he only managed three goals, as well as missing Round 20), booting 34 goals in total and finished tenth in the Copeland Trophy.

Injury and retirement[edit]

In 2006, Caracella suffered a career-ending neck injury. Whilst contesting a loose ball against the Lions, Caracella slipped and former teammate Tim Notting's hip accidentally collected his head, fracturing several vertebrae and bruising his spinal cord. At the time field umpire Brett Allen did not consider the contact sufficient enough to award a free kick for high contact. The injury horrified the football community, drawing comparisons to the quadriplegia suffered by Footscray's Neil Sachse in the 1970s.[3]

On Wednesday, 2 August, Caracella announced his retirement. At the press conference, Caracella revealed that scans had shown his spinal column was naturally narrower than average.[4] This condition would have ruled out a career in any professional contact sport had it been diagnosed earlier.[5]

References[edit]

External links[edit]