DOB: 4 September 1950
Number: 31 (1979)
Games: 11 (100 total)
Goals: 23 (204 total)
Known as "Fabulous" Phil, Carmen was one of the most controversial players of his era. Zoned to Collingwood he played with Norwood in the SANFL between 1970 and 1974 because he didn't want to move to the city. He played 58 games for them and appeared in the South Australian state side.
When the Magpies finally got their man at age 24 he made an immediate impact on the VFL. In his debut season he finished just three votes from the Brownlow Medal, won the Copeland Trophy and led the Magpie goalkicking tally even after missing nine weeks with a broken bone in his foot.
He missed the 1977 Grand Final and subsequent replay after being suspended in the Second Semi Final victory over Hawthorn. At the end of 1978 the Magpies hierachy tired of his shenanigans and ordered Carman out. Always desperate for a superstar the Demons leapt at the chance to sign him - with the price said to have reached $100,000. He'd initially agreed a four year contract but with South Melbourne but the sides mutually agreed to back out of the deal, with the Swans claiming he'd made additional demands on the club that were not in the original contract.
They beat North Melbourne to his signature after the Pies had discussed a swap for Peter Keenan. In addition to a cash payment, Melbourne sent Ross Brewer to the Pies and got back John Dellamarta and Wayne Gordon.
Carman played one season with the Demons but was forced out after clashing with playing-coach Carl Ditterich. In July the Demons were forced to deny that they had fined him $1000 for missing a training session then failing to turn up to a meeting with Ditterich. In an interview with The Age Carman said "I never wanted a clearance because I was quite happy there. But in the end it was suggested that it would be best for the club if I move on".
He said that he originally got along very well with Ditterich but that their relationship started to sour after Carman was dropped to the reserves without warning. He was then summoned to meetings with Ditterich that he didn't turn up to and was dropped and fined by the club.
He crossed to Essendon where he played two seasons - punctuated by his 20 match suspension for headbutting a boundary umpire and striking a player in the same game. He returned after the lengthy break and was reported in his first game back. Despite suggestions that he might be on the way out of Essendon after 1980, and with the Demons joining Carlton and Geelong in enquiring about his services, Carman played out the year before moving to North Melbourne for one season in 1982
He then retired to play in the country before moving to the ACTFL to captain-coach Eastlake - where he was once again reporting for headbutting an umpire. After that he played for Kangaroo Flat, Benalla, Sandhurst, Kennington and North Bendigo.