AustralianFootball.com Celebrating the history of the great Australian game
21 December 1968 (age 54)
Age at first & last AFL game
First game: 19y 105d
Last game: 30y 278d
Height and weight
Height: 175 cm
Weight: 79 kg
|Club||League||Career span||Games||Goals||Avg||Win %||AKI||AHB||AMK||BV|
AFL: 9,916th player to appear, 926th most games played, 2,322nd most goals kickedFootscray: 789th player to appear, 226th most games played, 558th most goals kickedCarlton: 981st player to appear, 144th most games played, 196th most goals kicked
Rejected by Essendon on the grounds of being "too small and too slow", Matthew Hogg emphatically disproved this assessment by eking out a highly memorable twelve season V/AFL career with two clubs. In a bid to enhance his speed he took lessons from a professional sprinting coach, a move he later recalled as "one of the best decisions he ever made". The lessons were not only successful in improving Hogg's leg speed they also had the equally beneficial effect of bolstering his self confidence. Given a second chance to prove himself as an elite footballer by Footscray he grabbed it with both hands and rapidly progressed through the grades, eventually making his senior debut in the opening round of the 1988 season against Sydney at Waverley. He played well in a win, and one feels constrained to wonder whether Essendon's under nineteens coach, Ray Jordan, was watching.
Hogg proved himself an accomplished footballer with the Bulldogs, although by 1990, with the emergence of star on-ballers in the shape of Royal, Wallace, Hawkins, McGuiness and Liberatore, he found himself slowly but surely dropping down the pecking order. Nevertheless, it was still a surprise when, at the end of the 1991 season, Footscray axed him, leaving him to nominate for the 1991 National Draft.
It was a springboard to the most noteworthy phase of Matthew Hogg's career. Selected at pick 18 by Carlton he would go on to develop into one of, if not the, best defensive midfielders in the game. Boasting pace, determination and unwavering powers of concentration he was also consistency personified. The 1993 season saw him take part in a finals series for the first time and if it ended in tears, with the Blues suffering a crushing grand final loss at the hands of Essendon, Hogg himself could hold his head up high after holding much vaunted Bomber Darren Bewick to just 14 disposals.
Two years later a second grand final appearance yielded what was indisputably the highlight of Hogg's career as the Blues conclusively tore Geelong apart on grand final day to the tune of 61 points. Matthew Hogg produced a typically persistent, energetic performance, running with and comprehensively blanketing Cats link man Leigh Tudor.
Somewhat surprisingly, Carlton did not go on with things after their resounding 1995 triumph, and it was to be four years before Hogg again participated in a finals series. Once again, the Blues made the grand final, quite unexpectedly on this occasion as they somehow fended off an all conquering Essendon side in the preliminary final to set up a show down with the Kangaroos. In what was Matthew Hogg's AFL swan song it proved to be a bridge too far and the Blues were outclassed. Hogg's Carlton career had comprised 114 games and seen him register 38 goals to add to the 59 appearances and 4 goals notched up at Footscray.
Not quite ready to call it quits entirely Hogg lined up with VFL side Coburg-Fitzroy in 2000 before finally bringing the curtain down on his career at season's end.
Author - John Devaney