Michael Voss

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Michael Voss
Brisbane Lions coach Michael Voss oversees pre-season training,
November 2008.
Personal information
Full name Michael Voss
Date of birth (1975-07-07) 7 July 1975 (age 38)
Place of birth Traralgon, Victoria, Australia
Original team Morningside (AFLQ)
Height/Weight 183cm / 88kg
Position(s) Midfielder
Club information
Current club Brisbane Lions
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
Brisbane Bears
Brisbane Lions
79 (72)
210 (173)
289 (245)
Representative team honours
Years Team Games (Goals)
2 ()
1 ()
International team honours
2001–2006 Australia 4 (0)
Coaching career3
Years Club Games (W–L–D)
2009–2013 Brisbane Lions 109 (43-65-1)
1 Playing statistics correct to end of 2006 season.
3 Coaching statistics correct as of 2013.
Career highlights

Michael Voss (born 7 July 1975) is the former senior coach of the Brisbane Lions Australian Football League team and a former professional Australian rules footballer.

During his AFL playing career, in which he played entirely for the Brisbane Bears and then the Brisbane Lions (a merger of the Brisbane Bears with a Melbourne-based club, the Fitzroy Football Club also known as the Lions), Voss was recognised as one of the greats of league and club and is listed by journalist Mike Sheahan as one of the top 50 players of all time.[1] He won the league's most prestigious individual award, the Brownlow Medal, and was recognised as one of the best players and captains in the league between 2002 and 2003 through six time All-Australian selection including the captaincy and the winner of the Leigh Matthews Trophy for the league's most valued player. He captained the Brisbane Lions in four consecutive AFL Grand Finals with three straight premierships (2001–2003). Additionally, he represented Australia in the 2006 International Rules Series and the state of Queensland in State of Origin. As a player he was noted for his fearless play, inspirational leadership and the ability to turn a game. Voss has been inducted into the Australian Football Hall of Fame.[2]

Early life and career[edit]

Voss was born in Traralgon, Victoria and lived as a child in Orbost until the age of 11, when he moved with his family to Beenleigh,[3] south of Brisbane. His younger brother Brett also played for the Brisbane Lions before transferring to St Kilda Football Club to enhance his opportunities to play senior football.

Voss' football skills were excellent from an early age, kicking 14 goals for Queensland in an under-17 representative match in 1992, before eventually winning the Hunter-Harrison Medal for the tournament. The following week he debuted for the Brisbane Bears against Fitzroy at Princes Park in Melbourne, the youngest ever player to play a senior game for the club.

Rise to stardom[edit]

Although highly skilled, he was also slight, but worked as hard as any veteran in getting the most out of his body. By 1996 he was one of the most accomplished players in the competition, and at the end of the season he shared the Brownlow Medal, the game's highest individual honour, with James Hird.

In 1997 after the Bears merged with Fitzroy to form the Brisbane Lions and the retirement of long-term Bears' captain Roger Merrett, Voss's leadership abilities were recognised in his promotion to co-captain with teammate Alastair Lynch at the age of just 21. His early form was patchy as he grew into the role, but by 1999 he was being lauded as one of the best captains in the AFL[citation needed].

In 1998 Voss suffered his first major career setback. Contesting a mark at Subiaco Oval in Perth in a match against Fremantle, he collided with Shane Parker and shattered his leg. The subsequent operation was at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital and it was a year before he was fit and in training to play again. Brisbane finished 16th and with a wooden spoon that year with a 5-1-16 record.

Premiership and captaincy success[edit]

Voss captained the Brisbane Lions in four consecutive AFL Grand Finals, yielding three premierships (2001–2003). His performance in the 2002 grand final against Collingwood was an outstanding example of courage, skill and leadership, only narrowly conceding the Norm Smith Medal to opposing captain Nathan Buckley.[4]

Later career[edit]

In early 2004, Voss kicked a career best seven goals against a struggling Adelaide at AAMI Stadium as coach Leigh Matthews looked to play him in the forward line during the latter part of his career. However, a heavy injury toll to the Lions meant that Voss continued his career in the midfield.

In 2005, Voss suffered a badly cut calf before Round 2 whilst renovating his home.[5] Prior to this, Voss had suffered from tendinitis of the knee but had been able to curtail the problem. The calf injury had an impact on his performances, with the four games after the injury yielding a high possession count of only 16. Voss later improved and in Round 21 picked up 35 possessions against Port Adelaide.

Soon after the completion of the 2006 season, Voss announced his retirement from the AFL after 289 games and 15 years at the Brisbane Bears and Brisbane Lions with three premierships to his name and found a job for two years with Channel 10 in Brisbane, presenting the sport. Voss said farewell in what turned out to be his last game, at the Gabba in Round 22 against St Kilda, gathering 34 possessions and two Brownlow Medal votes as a struggling Brisbane Lions team went down by 50 points to finals bound St Kilda who won in Brisbane for the first time in a decade. Despite losing badly, the Lions received a long standing ovation from a sold out home crowd after the game for their premiership efforts and farewell to several other players.

Life after football[edit]

Voss joined the Network Ten AFL commentary team in 2007 in a special comments role.[6] He was also appointed the role of sports anchor on Ten's 5 o'clock weekday news in Brisbane.[citation needed]

Voss currently lives in Brisbane with wife Donna and their three children.

In 2011, Voss was inducted into the Australian Football Hall of Fame.[2]


In 2007, Voss was charged for his role in a melee with Simon Black, Fraser Gehrig and three other high profile AFL players at a Melbourne nightclub. At the resulting trial, Voss agreed to enter a diversion program and therefore no conviction was recorded.[7]

Coaching career[edit]

When announcing his retirement at the end of the 2006 season, there was speculation that Voss would soon become a senior coach or join Leigh Matthews in the Brisbane Lions coaching team. Voss instead joined the Channel 10 sports commentary team.

Voss coached Australia's AIS Under 17 squad to victory against the South African national Australian rules football team at North West Cricket Stadium in Potchefstroom, South Africa.[8]

Voss was often mentioned as a candidate to coach the Melbourne Demons after the resignation of Neale Daniher. He was also linked to various other coaching positions, most notably Carlton.[9]

Voss was seen by many to be the likely inaugural coach of the Gold Coast side, but instead signed a two year deal with the West Coast Eagles as an assistant coach and formally pulled himself out of the Gold Coast bid.[10]

When Leigh Matthews, coach of the Brisbane Lions, resigned at the end of the 2008 season, Eagles' chief executive Trevor Nisbett gave Voss permission to talk with his former club. The Lions later announced Voss as their new senior coach until the end of 2011.[11][12]

Voss made his coaching debut in Brisbane's defeat of the West Coast Eagles in Round 1, 2009.

Voss's first season as coach could be described as one of exceeding expectations. The rookie coach managed to guide the Brisbane Lions into their first finals campaign since 2004 including a comeback elimination final victory over Carlton after trailing by 30 points early in the fourth quarter.

However, what followed were two seasons of disappointment at the club. After the club won its first four matches to be sitting on top of the ladder in early season 2010, the Lions would only win three more games to finish 13th (out of 16) on the ladder. Season 2011 brought in an even worse low – the Lions finishing 15th (out of 17 teams) in season 2011, its worst placing since 1998 when it won the wooden spoon.

On 13 August 2013, Voss was told that he would not be receiving a contract extension with the Lions for 2014.[13] Former Fremantle Dockers head coach Mark Harvey was appointed caretaker coach of the Lions for the remainder of the season. Justin Leppitsch was eventually appointed as the new head coach of the Lions from 2014 onwards.

Voss left the club having coached 109 games for the Lions, achieving 43 wins, 1 draw and 65 losses, for a winning percentage of 39.91%.[14]


External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Establishment of club
Brisbane Lions captain
1997 – 2006
Succeeded by
Simon Black
Jonathan Brown
Chris Johnson
Nigel Lappin
Luke Power
Preceded by
James Hird
All-Australian Team captain
2002 – 2003
Succeeded by
Mark Ricciuto
Preceded by
Leigh Matthews
Brisbane Lions coach
2009 – 2013
Succeeded by
Justin Leppitsch
Preceded by
Paul Kelly
Brownlow Medal
1996 (shared with James Hird)
Succeeded by
Robert Harvey
Preceded by
Jason Akermanis
and Justin Leppitsch
Simon Black
Merrett-Murray Medal
2000 – 2001

Succeeded by
Simon Black

Nigel Lappin
Preceded by
Andrew McLeod
Leigh Matthews Trophy
2002 (shared with Luke Darcy) – 2003
Succeeded by
Nick Riewoldt
Media offices
Preceded by
Brad McEwan
Ten News Brisbane sports presenter
2007 – 2008
Succeeded by
Peter O'Dempsey