|V/AFL Clubs||Fitzroy, North Melbourne|
A strong running, talented on-baller, wingman or half back, Matthew Armstrong was one of Fitzroy’s most noteworthy performers during the closing years of that club’s VFL/AFL tenure. Were it not for a serious knee injury sustained in 1990, just as he was showing signs of developing into a genuine superstar, Armstrong’s achievements might well have been even more noteworthy, with even a Brownlow being within the bounds of possibility. As it was he was a consistent and occasionally brilliant player for the Lions over the course of 132 games between 1987 and 1994. He also represented both Victoria (once) and his home state 93 times) in state of origin football and was a particularly noteworthy performer in the 1988 bicentennial carnival in Adelaide. In 1995 Fitzroy traded him to North Melbourne where he added a final 40 AFL games over two seasons. In 1995 in particular he was an extremely damaging player for North, but his AFL career ended in immense disappointment when he was omitted from the ‘Roos’ 1996 grand final team against Sydney, and thus missed the chance to earn a premiership medallion. After leaving the Kangaroos, Armstrong joined the Northern Bombers, where he finished his senior career. When Tasmania entered a team in the VFL in 2001 Matthew Armstrong was appointed as the fledgling club’s inaugural coach. In 2003 he managed to steer the club into the finals, an achievement that was repeated in both of the next two seasons. However, a sequence of poor results midway through the 2006 season precipitated his departure.
Author - John Devaney
Full Points Footy's Tasmanian Football Companion