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In 1967 the Woodville Football Club immediately saw the talent of this good looking sixteen year old when playing for Edithburgh and signed him for two years. However, Michael had only one football intention and that was to play for the same club as his hero, Barrie Robran, and two years later he joined the Roosters.
Ironically in his first league match in 1971 he replaced the injured club legend at centre. One person who saw Michael play even observed that “this boy moves at bit like Barrie Robran”. That year he topped NAFC voting in the Seconds Magarey Medal (repeated in 1973) and represented SA in a State Seconds team in Broken Hill.
However, the transition to the league ranks had not been easy and he had to spend time in the Seconds alongside the likes of Neil Sachse, Arch Wilkey and Barry Stringer – such was the talent around at that time.
Michael’s ambition of playing in a Grand Final for the Roosters was never realised as a series of nagging injuries limited him to 50 Reserves and 50 League matches over his career. He gained selection in the Champions of Australia squad in 1972 but did not take the field. However, he did represent that team, at centre, when it played a combine ACT team in Canberra.
Time on the sidelines saw Michael attending many local and country coaching clinics, often alongside his abovementioned hero.
Injuries and a busy career eventually saw Michael “hang up the boots” in 1977 at the age of 26.
Apart from football, Michael loved horse-riding, tennis, squash and pistol shooting. It was therefore no surprise that in 1968 he commenced a highly successful career outside football with SAPOL. He rose through the ranks to the Major Crime Investigation Section and eventually was seconded to the prestigious National Crime Authority in 1986.
Often seen in the media, Michael’s work was ultimately rewarded with the Australian Police Medal (APM), for distinguished service by a member of an Australian police force. It was said that:
“Subordinates, peers and managers regarded Michael as an investigator and leader of the highest calibre. His personal standards manifested themselves in the quality of every aspect of his work and extended to families of victims.”
Michael passed away at 66 years of age in 2018
|09/10/1971||Rothmans Channel 7 Cup||1||Claremont||Lost||0||0|
|11/10/1971||Rothmans Channel 7 Cup||3||East Perth||Lost||1||0|