Michael O'Loughlin

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Michael O'Loughlin
Michael O'Loughlin at Collins Booksellers for an autographing session in Wagga Wagga.jpg
O'Loughlin at an autographing session in September 2012
Personal information
Full name Michael O'Loughlin
Nickname(s) Micky O
Date of birth (1977-02-20) 20 February 1977 (age 37)
Original team Central District (SANFL)
Draft 40th overall, 1994
Sydney
Height/Weight 190 cm / 90 kg
Position(s) Forward
Club information
Current club Sydney
Number 19
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
1995–2009 Sydney 303 (521)
1 Playing statistics correct to end of 2009 season.
Career highlights


Michael Kevin O'Loughlin (born 20 February 1977) is a former professional Australian rules footballer, who played his entire Australian Football League career with the Sydney Swans.

O'Loughlin is one of the most decorated Indigenous Australian players in the history of the Australian Football League recognised through being named a member of the Indigenous Team of the Century, just the third player with Indigenous heritage to play 300 AFL games and with The Deadlys award for this 2005 premiership season. His representative honours include twice achieving All-Australian selection, playing for Australia twice in the International Rules Series and a Fos Williams Medallist as best player for South Australia in State of Origin.

At club level, O'Loughlin was the first Sydney Swans player to play more than 300 career games. In 303 games he kicked 521 career goals.

Early life[edit]

O'Loughlin's ancestors were Indigenous Australian (Kaurna and Ngarrindjeri) and English.[1][2]

He grew up in South Australia and first played senior football with Centrals in the SANFL.

AFL career[edit]

Selected in the third round of the 1994 National Draft, O'Loughlin played 12 senior games for the Swans in 1995 and earned a AFL Rising Star award nomination. The following year, he was a key player in the team that won the minor premiership and then lost to North Melbourne in the grand final. He was the games record holder for the Swans, passing John Rantall's record in Round 14 of the 2007 season, until he was overtaken by his close friend Adam Goodes. He became the first Sydney Swans/South Melbourne player to break the 300 games milestone in Round 19, 2009.

O'Loughlin played the majority of his early football in a half-forward flanker role, where his combination of speed, strength and agility made him a difficult player for opposing teams to match up against. He was known by the nickname "Magic" throughout his career, in recognition of his capacity to play football so skillfully that it could sometimes seem he had "cast a spell" on his opponents.[citation needed] He was also known by the nickname, "Micky O".[3] In the latter part of his career, he was primarily used as Sydney's full-forward. In 2000 and 2001, he was the club's leading goalkicker. He was club best and fairest in 1998 and runner-up in 2000. He was selected in the All Australian Team in 1997 and 2000. When State of Origin matches were still being played, he represented his state on several occasions, receiving the Fos Williams Medal for best South Australian player in 1998.

In 2005, he was selected alongside Sydney Swans teammate and uncle Adam Goodes in the Indigenous Team of the Century. O'Loughlin was chosen in the full-forward position. He described this honor as the highlight of his career, alongside the 2005 premiership.

O'Loughlin, the only player remaining in the team from the 1996 loss, played strongly during the 2005 grand final, including a number of exceptional marks.[citation needed] However, and uncharacteristically, his kicking for goal during the game was inaccurate.

In 2006, O'Loughlin continued to be a key part of the Swans' line-up, including playing a decisive role in the qualifying and preliminary finals that put the Swans into the grand final for the second consecutive year. In the 2006 Grand Final, O'Loughlin played well, kicking 3.1 (19). He continued to play consistently well for Sydney through the balance of his career.[citation needed]

Michael O'Loughlin with eyes for the ball playing for Sydney
at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in 2006

In the close 2006 Qualifying Final against the West Coast Eagles at Subiaco Oval, O'Loughlin ran into an open goal, then carried on to the fence and roared into the faces of some rather stunned-looking Eagles' fans from a few inches away. The moment is captured in Jamie Cooper's painting the Game That Made Australia, commissioned by the AFL in 2008 to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the sport.[4]

On 23 June 2009, O'Loughlin announced that at the end of the 2009 season he would retire. He played his 300th game in round 19 at the MCG against the Richmond Tigers.

Career achievements[edit]

Post AFL career[edit]

Since leaving the AFL, O'Loughlin has continued a media profile. In September 2009 he launched the Goodes O'Loughlin Foundation (www.go-foundation.org), along with his cousin & co-Chairman Adam Goodes, focused on Education, Employment, and healthy Lifestyles. The Foundation's mission is to develop and empower the next generation of Indigenous role models in Australia.

O'Loughlin was awarded the 2009 AFL Players’ Association Madden for his on and off-field contributions to the game.

In 2010 O'Loughlin coached the Flying Boomerangs indigenous side during their Cape Town tour, leading the side to victory against the South Africa National Australian Rules Football Team. He was later named coach of the World 18 for the AFL National Under 16 Championships.[6]

In 2011 he was named as coach of the Indigenous All Star team for their biennial game, this time against the Richmond Tigers. O'Loughlin also represented South Australia against Victoria in the State of Origin Slowdown charity match at the Adelaide Oval on 3 October 2011. Both teams were composed of retired players with the match supporting both the Little Heroes Foundation and the Reach Foundation youth charities started by former Melbourne Demons star player, the late Jim Stynes.

Off field controversy[edit]

In 2000, it was alleged that O'Loughlin had participated in the rape of a woman in a park in Adelaide along with two other AFL players, Adam Heuskes and Peter Burgoyne. The woman claimed that while Heuskes and Burgoyne raped her, O'Loughlin masturbated close to her face.[7] O'Loughlin was neither charged nor questioned by police but Burgoyne and Heuskes were both charged with rape. The case, however, did not go to court as the Director of Public Prosecutions, Paul Rofe, said there was "no reasonable prospect of conviction on any criminal charge" due to a lack of witnesses.[7] Despite this, the three players made a $200,000 cash payment to the alleged victim.[8] The incident came to public light when it was examined on the ABC investigative program Four Corners in 2004.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Michael O'Loughlin, Episode 6, Season 4, Who Do Think You Are?, SBS "his mother's maternal line, which stretches all the way back before white settlement and to his great, great, great, great grandmother, Kudnarto, a full blood Kaurna woman. Michael discovered that Kudnarto's husband and Michael's great great, great, great grandfather is in fact a white settler called Thomas Adams"
  2. ^ Sydney Morning Herald, Who Do You Think You Are?, Tuesday, May 1
  3. ^ Thompson-Mills, John (28 August 2012). "Micky O: The story of Michael O'Loughlin, Sydney Swans champion". ABC Adelaide. Adelaide: Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 1 September 2012. 
  4. ^ Australian Football League, The Game That Made Australia, Retrieved 19 September 2010
  5. ^ a b Vibe, Vibe Alive, The Deadlys, GJC, 3 on 3. Vibe.com.au (2012-05-19). Retrieved on 2012-06-03.
  6. ^ Micky O to coach the World. World Footy News (2010-02-26). Retrieved on 2012-06-03.
  7. ^ a b Ticky Fullerton. Four Corners – 03/05/2004: Fair Game?. Abc.net.au. Retrieved on 2012-06-03.
  8. ^ O'Loughlin linked to payment – National. www.theage.com.au (2004-03-19). Retrieved on 2012-06-03.

External links[edit]

Awards
Preceded by
Paul Kelly
Sydney Swans Best and Fairest
1998
Succeeded by
Wayne Schwass