Australian Football Celebrating the history of the great Australian game


Key Facts

Full name
Michael Long

Known as
Michael Long

1 October 1969 (age 53)

Place of birth
Tiwi, NT (0810)

Indigenous Australian

Age at first & last AFL game
First game: 19y 181d
Last game: 31y 356d

Height and weight
Height: 178 cm
Weight: 80 kg

Senior clubs
West Torrens; Essendon

Jumper numbers
Essendon: 4, 13

Recruited from
St. Mary's (NT) (1988); West Torrens (1989)

State of origin

Hall of fame
Australian Football Hall of Fame (2007)

Family links
Jake Long (Son)Cyril Rioli (Nephew)Ben Long (Nephew)Michaela Long (Daughter)Danielle Ponter (Niece)

Michael Long

ClubLeagueCareer spanGamesGoalsAvgWin %AKIAHBAMKBV
St. Mary's (NT)NTFL1985-198852
West TorrensSANFL198822110.50
EssendonV/AFL1989-1993, 1995-20011901430.7569%10.127.772.9558
Total1985-1993, 1995-20012641540.58

AFL: 9,990th player to appear, 732nd most games played, 686th most goals kickedEssendon: 948th player to appear, 37th most games played, 47th most goals kicked

One of several members of the Long family to play for St Mary's, Michael went on to establish himself as one of the finest Territorians ever to play the game. He made his NTFL debut with the Saints at the age of just 16 and would go on to register 52 games with the club, including two winning Grand Finals. A member of the Territory's victorious Division Two Australian championship team at the 1988 bicentennial carnival in Adelaide, Long was chosen as an All Australian and went on to spend the remainder of the season with SANFL club, West Torrens.

His class and poise were evident throughout the year, and it was no surprise when he won the Eagles' fairest and best award. He also polled 17 votes in the Magarey Medal, a total exceeded by only two players, but a suspension incurred during the year meant that he would not have been eligible for the award in any case. Fiery in temperament, and sometimes overly robust in approach, suspensions would be one of the banes of Long's career, while he would also be frequently handicapped by injury.

In 1989, after spending the summer months at home in Darwin where he won the St Mary's club champion award, he moved to Essendon and enjoyed a stellar debut season which culminated in his being named VFL Rookie of the Year. Long would go on to enjoy a lengthy and highly fruitful career at Essendon, interspersed with moments of controversy and drama. This is readily illustrated by his contributions to the Bombers premierships of 1993 and 2000: in the former, he won the Norm Smith Medal as best afield, while in the latter he was involved in a highly contentious clash with Melbourne's Troy Simmonds which resulted in Long incurring a four-match suspension.

Possessed of extraordinary pace and superlative ball skills, Long had an awkward looking kicking style which belied its great effectiveness. His best AFL season was probably 1995, when he polled 16 Brownlow votes to finish equal fourth, was runner up to James Hird in the Essendon best and fairest count, and was selected in the AFL All Australian team.

Author - John Devaney


Full Points Footy Publications


* Behinds calculated from the 1965 season on.
+ Score at the end of extra time.