Christian Salem

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Christian Salem
Christian Salem 2017.4.jpg
Salem in June 2017
Personal information
Full name Christian Salem
Date of birth (1995-07-15) 15 July 1995 (age 22)
Original team(s) Sandringham Dragons (TAC Cup) / Hampton Rovers (VAFA)
Draft No. 9, 2013 national draft
Debut Round 6, 2014, Melbourne
vs. Sydney, at MCG
Height 183 cm (6 ft 0 in)
Weight 83 kg (183 lb)
Position(s) Defender
Club information
Current club Melbourne
Number 3
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
2014– Melbourne 46 (13)
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 2017.
Sources: AFL Tables, AustralianFootball.com

Christian Salem (born 15 July 1995) is a professional Australian rules footballer playing for the Melbourne Football Club in the Australian Football League (AFL). A defender, 1.83 metres (6 ft 0 in) tall and weighing 83 kilograms (183 lb), Salem plays primarily as a half-back flanker, with the ability to push into the midfield and forward line. He was recognised as a talented footballer at a young age when he represented Victoria at under 12 level. He played top-level football early when he played in both the TAC Cup and AFL Under 18 Championships as a bottom-aged player. His achievements as a junior saw him selected with the ninth pick in the 2013 AFL draft by the Melbourne Football Club and he made his AFL debut during the 2014 season.

Early life[edit]

Salem was born to Alex and Mary Salem, and is of Lebanese descent with his father being born in Lebanon.[1] His talent was recognised from a young age and he received state selection in the under-12 Victorian side.[2] He attended Brighton Grammar and played with the Robert Shaw coached first XVIIIs side from year nine, generally playing against year twelves.[3]

Salem played his junior career with the Hampton Rovers Football Club and played for the Sandringham Dragons in the TAC Cup in both 2012 and 2013.[4] He was selected to play for Victoria Metro in the 2012 AFL Under 18 Championships as a bottom-aged player and played in the winning final, kicking two goals.[5] He received a scholarship through the AIS-AFL Academy as part of their level two squad in the 2012 intake,[6] and travelled to Europe for two weeks in 2013.[1] He received mid-year state honours for the second consecutive year and played for Victoria Metro in the 2013 AFL Under 18 Championships.[7]

Salem was rated highly heading into the 2013 AFL draft and was predicted to be drafted inside the top ten due to his decision making and kicking precision, in addition, he drew comparisons to Luke Hodge, Nick Dal Santo and Dan Hannebery.[3][7][8]

AFL career[edit]

Christian Salem at training in July 2015

Salem was recruited by the Melbourne Football Club with their first selection and ninth overall in the 2013 national draft.[9] During the pre-season, he suffered from a thyroid issue which saw him lose six kilograms in the month following the draft.[10] He played the start of the season in the Victorian Football League (VFL) for Melbourne's affiliate team, the Casey Scorpions,[11] and after strong form in the VFL, including a thirty-two possession game in the week before his first AFL match,[12] he made his debut in the thirty-one point loss against Sydney at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in round six.[13] In his seventh match, Salem was pivotal in Melbourne's comeback victory against Essendon in round thirteen,[14] after marking the ball thirty metres directly in front of goal, he kicked the winning goal with nineteen seconds left of the match, giving Melbourne a one-point lead.[15] He finished his debut season with twelve matches[16] and was labelled by senior Herald Sun football writer, Jay Clark, as potentially one of Melbourne's best players.[17]

After playing his debut season in the forward line and a majority of matches as the substitute,[18] Salem changed positions in 2015 and played predominantly on the half-back line.[19][20] After playing the first seven matches of the season, he injured his hamstring in the round seven loss to Hawthorn and was initially ruled out for a month,[21] however, after injuring his other hamstring,[22] he ultimately missed two months and returned to play in the VFL in round sixteen,[23] before returning to the senior side in round twenty-one in the twenty-three point loss against Carlton at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.[24] He played the remainder of the season and finished with ten matches overall.[25]

After declaring his intentions to play in the midfield,[26][27] Salem retained his spot on the half-back line whilst also playing on the wing and prior to the season, he was labelled as one of the players who would have a breakout season by AFL Media journalist, Ben Guthrie.[28] Entrusted with the kick-ins for the season[29] due to his elite kicking skills,[30] Salem played the first six matches of the season before suffering from a concussion as a result of a head clash during the thirty-nine point loss against St Kilda at Etihad Stadium in round six.[31] He returned two weeks later for the thirty-two point loss against the Western Bulldogs at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.[32] After being omitted the next week and playing for Casey in the VFL, a recurrence of his thyroid issue would see him miss two months of any form of football,[33] and he returned for Casey when he played against Coburg in round seventeen of the VFL season.[34] After playing the next three weeks in the VFL, he returned to the senior side for the final match of the year in the 111-point loss against Geelong at Simonds Stadium, which saw him finish with eight matches for the season.[35] His time in the VFL saw him qualify for the finals, and he played in the winning preliminary final against Williamstown in which he was stretchered off in the second quarter after losing consciousness from a tackle where his head hit the ground heavily.[36] He subsequently missed the grand final where Casey lost to Footscray by thirty-one points at Etihad Stadium.[37]

Statistics[edit]

Statistics are correct to the end of the 2017 season[25]
Legend
 G  Goals  B  Behinds  K  Kicks  H  Handballs  D  Disposals  M  Marks  T  Tackles
Season Team # Games G B K H D M T G B K H D M T
Totals Averages (per game)
2014 Melbourne 3 12 6 6 57 24 81 24 22 0.5 0.5 4.8 2.0 6.8 2.0 1.8
2015 Melbourne 3 10 1 3 101 57 158 34 35 0.1 0.3 10.1 5.7 15.8 3.4 3.5
2016 Melbourne 3 8 1 0 87 59 146 17 29 0.1 0.0 10.9 7.4 18.3 2.1 3.6
2017 Melbourne 3 16 5 0 219 124 343 73 54 0.3 0.0 13.7 7.8 21.5 4.6 3.4
Career 46 13 9 464 264 728 148 140 0.3 0.2 10.1 5.7 15.8 3.2 3.0

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Twomey, Callum (3 May 2013). "Footy in the blood for young Salem". AFL.com.au. Bigpond. Retrieved 11 November 2015. 
  2. ^ Quayle, Emma (18 November 2013). "AFL draft will split four close friends and families". The Age. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 11 November 2015. 
  3. ^ a b Clark, Jay (8 November 2013). "Collingwood circles midfield dynamo Christian Salem". Herald Sun. News Corp Australia. Retrieved 11 November 2015. 
  4. ^ "Salem, Amon and Hunt picked up in AFL Draft". HamptonRovers.com.au. CV Media. 22 November 2013. Retrieved 11 November 2015. 
  5. ^ Guthrie, Ben (4 July 2012). "Vics victorious". AFL.com.au. Bigpond. Retrieved 11 November 2015. 
  6. ^ "AIS-AFL Academy Kicks Off". TACcup.com.au. Fox Sports Pulse. 29 November 2011. Retrieved 27 July 2015. 
  7. ^ a b Twomey, Callum (25 October 2013). "27 days to the draft: Meet gun prospect Christian Salem". AFL.com.au. Bigpond. Retrieved 11 November 2015. 
  8. ^ "AFL-AIS Academy Player Profiles". AFL.com.au. Bigpond. Retrieved 11 November 2015. 
  9. ^ Burgan, Matt (21 November 2013). "Salem eager to make an impact". MelbourneFC.com.au. Bigpond. Retrieved 11 November 2015. 
  10. ^ Guthrie, Ben (24 May 2016). "Health issue resurfaces for Demon defender". AFL.com.au. Bigpond. Retrieved 2 November 2016. 
  11. ^ King, Travis (20 April 2014). "Around the state leagues: Salem pushes for debut, Brock in form". AFL.com.au. Bigpond. Retrieved 11 November 2015. 
  12. ^ Guthrie, Ben (28 April 2014). "Salem's lot for new Demon on debut". AFL.com.au. Bigpond. Retrieved 11 November 2015. 
  13. ^ Murnane, Matt (24 April 2014). "Demons unleash Christian Salem". The Age. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 27 April 2014. 
  14. ^ Cherny, Daniel (15 June 2014). "Late Christian Salem goal leads Demons to stirring comeback victory over Essendon". The Age. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 11 November 2015. 
  15. ^ Phelan, Jennifer (15 June 2014). "Salem's cool head saves the day for Demons". AFL.com.au. Bigpond. Retrieved 15 June 2014. 
  16. ^ Burgan, Matt (5 November 2014). "Salem relishes first year taste". MelbourneFC.com.au. Bigpond. Retrieved 11 November 2015. 
  17. ^ Clark, Jay (16 November 2014). "Melbourne Blueprint: Demons believe they’re setup to succeed in 2015". Herald Sun. News Corp Australia. Retrieved 11 November 2015. 
  18. ^ Burgan, Matt (9 February 2015). "Salem ready to make his mark". MelbourneFC.com.au. Bigpond. Retrieved 11 November 2015. 
  19. ^ Burgan, Matt (19 February 2015). "Salem relishes half-back opportunity". MelbourneFC.com.au. Bigpond. Retrieved 11 November 2015. 
  20. ^ Edmund, Sam (15 March 2015). "Nathan Jones hails Melbourne young gun Christian Salem". Herald Sun. News Corp Australia. Retrieved 11 November 2015. 
  21. ^ Phelan, Jason (20 May 2015). "Salem's lot: Demon defender out for a month". AFL.com.au. Bigpond. Retrieved 11 November 2015. 
  22. ^ Burgan, Matt (11 June 2015). "Salem to miss another month". MelbourneFC.com.au. Bigpond. Retrieved 11 November 2015. 
  23. ^ Burgan, Matt (15 August 2015). "Sick Salem bailed out by Rohan". MelbourneFC.com.au. Bigpond. Retrieved 11 November 2015. 
  24. ^ Harrington, Anna (20 August 2015). "Salem and Stretch return for round 21". MelbourneFC.com.au. Bigpond. Retrieved 11 November 2015. 
  25. ^ a b "Christian Salem". AFL Tables. Retrieved 13 May 2014. 
  26. ^ Burgan, Matt; Lewis, Georgina (1 October 2015). "Midfield the aim for Salem". MelbourneFC.com.au. Bigpond. Retrieved 2 November 2016. 
  27. ^ Waterworth, Ben (2 February 2016). "AFL 2016 season: Players set to switch roles and positions at your club". Fox Sports (Australia). News Corp Australia. Retrieved 2 November 2016. 
  28. ^ Guthrie, Ben (2 March 2016). "Breaking out: The players set to explode in 2016". AFL.com.au. Bigpond. Retrieved 2 November 2016. 
  29. ^ Quayle, Emma (14 March 2016). "Melbourne's Christian Salem is kicking on - and in". The Age. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 2 November 2016. 
  30. ^ Guthrie, Ben (2 April 2016). "Salem's lot: How the Demons rebuilt their running defender". AFL.com.au. Bigpond. Retrieved 2 November 2016. 
  31. ^ Malcolm, Alex (4 May 2016). "Concussion claims Dees duo ahead of Gold Coast clash". AFL.com.au. Bigpond. Retrieved 2 November 2016. 
  32. ^ Burgan, Matt (13 May 2016). "Melbourne makes just one change". MelbourneFC.com.au. Bigpond. Retrieved 2 November 2016. 
  33. ^ Burgan, Matt (27 May 2016). "No timeframe on Salem’s return: Roos". MelbourneFC.com.au. Bigpond. Retrieved 2 November 2016. 
  34. ^ Burgan, Matt (29 July 2016). "Casey Scorpions teams: round 17". MelbourneFC.com.au. Bigpond. Retrieved 2 November 2016. 
  35. ^ Lewis, Georgina (25 August 2016). "Salem returns for season closer". MelbourneFC.com.au. Bigpond. Retrieved 2 November 2016. 
  36. ^ Cherny, Daniel (18 September 2016). "Melbourne Demon Christian Salem knocked out in VFL preliminary final for Casey". The Age. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 2 November 2016. 
  37. ^ Gardner, Gilbert (19 September 2016). "Christian Salem could miss VFL Grand Final after being knocked out at North Port Oval". Herald Sun. News Corp Australia. Retrieved 2 November 2016. 

External links[edit]