28 Feb



Carlton Draught is excited to launch the second instalment of its groundbreaking local football initiative ‘The Carlton Draft’.

Three-time premiership Lion Jonathan Brown will resume as Draft Commissioner, with Brown leading the charge on the recruitment of six AFL legends to pull on the boots for one final game.

In 2023, The Carlton Draft will be headlined by Nathan Buckley, one of the most decorated players the AFL has ever seen. In addition to his 280 AFL games of playing experience, the 2003 Brownlow Medallist and 2002 Norm Smith Medallist will also be a key contributor off field bringing 218 games of coaching experience to a lucky Victorian club.

Joining Buckley in The Carlton Draft is four-time premiership Hawk and 319-game superstar Jordan Lewis and dual best and fairest winner, Fox Footy media personality and 200-game veteran, Bernie Vince, with the remaining talent pool to be announced in the coming weeks.

Click here for The Carlton Draft campaign launch film
Click here for rights-free campaign imagery for editorial

Last year, The Carlton Draft created lasting memories for the nominated clubs and helped them get back on their feet after the pandemic, with local communities flocking to the games across Victoria.

This was highlighted by Dale Thomas’ heroic best-on-ground performance for the Nhill Tigers, willing them over the line for their first win in over 1,029 days and helping the club generate over $12,000 in revenue from the after-match activity alone.

Entries for the 2023 The Carlton Draft across Victoria are now open. To nominate your club head to Entries close March 27 with six winning clubs to be announced in early April.

The Carlton Draft will be broadcast live on Fox Footy in late April, with matchdays to commence from May 1.

Winning clubs will get a unique matchday experience when the community unites to watch an AFL legend play alongside their local superstars.

2022 Carlton Draft alumni Dale Thomas said:

“Playing for Nhill last year was one of the best footy moments that I have ever been a part of. The joy and smile on everyone’s face when the siren went is something that I will never forget, and to celebrate with a beer with the community and club members after the game was even more special.”

“To see a few familiar faces already commit for The Carlton Draft this year, it will be interesting to see if any of them can match my heroics from last year. Bucks is an ex-teammate of mine and I work on radio with Bernie so if they need any advice, they know who to chat with.”

Speaking on the launch of The Carlton Draft, Draft Commissioner Jonathan Brown said:

“The second iteration of The Carlton Draft continues Carlton Draught’s longstanding tradition of supporting grassroots footy clubs.

“We saw the impact that The Carlton Draft had on communities across Victoria last year, and to give six more lucky clubs the chance to have an ex-AFL legend lace up the boots for their club will be special.

“I think Bucks is in for a rude awakening when his game comes around, we know he keeps himself in good nick, so it is going to be fun to watch him run around and cop a few bumps along the way.”

The Carlton Draft nominee Nathan Buckley said:

“Local footy is the lifeblood of towns across Victoria, and to be able to play a role in bringing together a local community is something I am looking forward to.

“It is going to be a weird feeling being drafted again more than 30 years after being picked by the Brisbane Bears, but hopefully I will be able to dust away any cobwebs, get a couple of kicks and play my part in what will be a great day.”

Carlton & United Breweries, Head of Classic Beer Brands Sarah Wilcox said:

“We saw great success in last year’s campaign, which generated over $100,000 in revenue for the grassroots clubs involved. Victoria and local footy is so important to Carlton Draught and we can’t wait to see the 2023 Draft unfold.”

“With six new legends answering the call to arms in 2023, we’re excited to continue to strengthen Carlton Draught’s connection to local footy. Regardless of the result and no matter the outcome from the matches, all clubs can celebrate every game with a couple of Carlton Draughts in hand.”

“Carlton Draught is once again proud to work with the AFL, AFL Community, Fox Footy and the retired players to revive the community in and around local football clubs. Cheers and good luck to the class of 2023.”

To further extend their support for community footy on and off field, Carlton Draught will be running a major on-pack promotion across VIC in April, May and June.

Purchase specially marked packs of Carlton Draught and nominate your footy club to win one of five $10,000 cash prizes plus Sherrin footballs and Carlton Draught slabs.

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For interview requests with playing talent and/or The Carlton Draft spokespeople please contact TLA on behalf of Carlton & United Breweries:

Patrick Lucarelli
M: 0410 038 824

Billy Cooke
M: 0452 461 499

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