In an effort to build on their encouraging performances in 1912 where a number of close losses cost them a finals berth, the Reds tried 42 players in all but found themselves going backwards. Eight made their MFC debut, including six VFL gamers, in the opening round of the season but Melbourne were defeated by Collingwood and their season didn't get much better from there.
After Alf George was elected captain, the ballot for vice-captain between Bill McKenzie and Jim Fitzpatrick was tied. It was resolved to take another vote after 25 players were selected for the final senior list.
Len Incigneri was finally allowed to play for Melbourne from the middle of the year after sitting out of the Richmond side for a year waiting for a clearance. His brother Matt had already joined the club a few weeks before.
The round 4 match against Fitzroy nearly didn't take place. In Round 3 a Melbourne player had been charged by the police for striking in the match against Carlton. The club committee failed to defend the charge as they believed the player should accept the consequences of his actions and he was fined 5p. Before the Fitzroy match the players met and decided to strike. Chairman Bill McClelland was forced to threaten that they'd never play football again and the strike action broke down. Two weeks later Vin Coutie and Bernie Nolan resigned from the selection committee, reportedly because they thought a smaller group would operate better.
Maguire's 13 goal performance still rates as the lowest total for an MFC leading goalkicker in history, and is unlikely to ever be beaten. Seven of his goals came in the first two rounds of the season.
The state of Melbourne's season was shown when not one player managed to make any of the three VFL representative teams who played matches against South Australia, Bendigo and Ballarat in the middle of the year. Even the winless University managed to have two players selected. Hedley Tomkins was called into the Victorian side for the return fixture later in the season.
While the interstate matches were taking place Melbourne toured Tasmania in the week between their Round 12 and Round 13 matches. For the second year in a row they returned from their trip to a thumping defeat.
|Round 2||Mick Maguire||Striking||4 matches|
|Round 17||Alf George||Elbowing||1 match|