Michael Rischitelli at a Brisbane Lions public training session
|Full name||Michael Rischitelli|
|Date of birth||8 January 1986|
|Original team||Western Jets (TAC Cup)|
|Draft||#61, 2003 National Draft, Brisbane Lions
Uncontracted recruit, Gold Coast
|Height/Weight||184cm / 81.6kg|
|Current club||Gold Coast|
1 Playing statistics correct to end of 2013 season.
Brisbane Lions (2004–2010)
Rischitelli's first game in the AFL turned out to be a dream debut for the then-teenager, playing as a late inclusion in the Lions' Round 17, 2004 side against Adelaide. The Lions kicked an incredible 21 goals in the second half, and went on to win by a whopping 141 points making it Brisbane's biggest win in their history. Rischitelli kicked two goals. It was his only game for the season.
2005 wasn't much of an improvement for Rischitelli, and definitely wasn't for his team either. The Lions finished eleventh on the ladder, a poorer season than 2004, in which they were Grand Finalists. Mainly due to a quad injury, Rischitelli played only three games for the year, in which he made a minimal impression.
Rischitelli's 2006 season ended up being his breakthrough season, finding a regular spot in Brisbane's side and playing in the first eighteen matches of the season. He started to find a lot more of the ball than in previous years, and in rounds six and seven his disposal count was in the twenties, earning him two brownlow votes and a Rising Star nomination. His impressive season was further accoladed at the Lions' 2006 award night, at which he was awarded the Most Improved Player award.
Rischitelli had a solid 2009 season, but was shocked when he was offered up, along with Daniel Bradshaw, as a possible trade option for controversial Carlton full-forward Brendan Fevola after the conclusion of the 2009 season. Although under intense public pressure to agree to be traded, Rischitelli ultimatelt decided that he wished to stay with Brisbane, meaning that particular trade option fell through and the Lions instead got Fevola in a trade for Lachlan Henderson and a draft pick. That Rischitelli was offered up to trade has been suggested as a possible reason as to why he left to play with the Gold Coast a season later.
Rischitelli's had his best season to date in 2010, becoming the most consistent player in the Lions injury-riddled midfield and playing every match and leading the club in kicks, handballs, marks, clearances and contested possessions. Due to his outstanding season he was pursued by the newly created Gold Coast Football Club and announced that he had signed with the Suns at the conclusion of Brisbane's disappointing season, where the club finished 13th. Shortly after his decision to leave Brisbane, Rischitelli won his first Best and Fairest award, ahead of club stalwarts Simon Black and Jonathan Brown.
Gold Coast Football Club (2011+)
Michael Rischitelli was born and grew up in the Western Suburbs of Melbourne, Victoria. Before being drafted into the AFL, Rischitelli completed his schooling at Victoria University Secondary College (formally known as Brimbank College) Rischitelli played for the Western Jets before beginning his AFL career. He showed great promise and potential playing for the Western junior sides, but was hindered by a bout of osteitis pubis during his year playing in their under 18 side. He was the Lions' fifth and eventual final pick in the 2003 AFL Draft, and was the number 61 draft pick overall.
- Michael Rischitelli Player Profile bio lions.com.au. Retrieved 2009-09-23.
- "Not yet 'Fab'". AFL Record (Round 8, 2009): 22. 15–17 May 2009.
- Lion snares nomination AFL.com.au. Retrieved 2009-09-23.
- Club Champions lions.com.au. Retrieved 2009-09-23.
- Davis, Greg (10 September 2010). "Michael Rischitelli wins best-and-fairest". Herald Sun. Retrieved 10 September 2010.
- Australian Associated Press (10 September 2010). "Rischitelli the Lions' best in 2010". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 10 September 2010.
-  foxsports.com.au. Retrieved 2010-09-07.
- Burgo’s take: Beatson’s babes carltonfc.com.au. Retrieved 2009-09-23.
- Michael Rischitelli's profile on the official website of the Gold Coast Football Club
- Michael Rischitelli's statistics from AFL Tables