|V/AFL Clubs||Footscray, Western Bulldogs|
Drafted from Mildura Imperials in 1989, Matthew Croft made his AFL debut for Footscray a couple of years later. Initially he was only a fringe senior player, but by the late 1990s he had established himself as a lynch-pin of the team. Most often used as a defender, where he was cool, unflustered and inordinately reliable, he could also do a job in the forward line when required. Croft was especially adept at quelling the impact of the opposing team's star forward. Everything he did was smoothness personified, and if he was not the type of player to attract bundles of Brownlow votes, his value to the Bulldogs was nevertheless immense. He retired at the end of the 2004 season having played a total of 186 AFL games, and kicked 72 goals.
Author - John Devaney