Dean Rioli

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Dean Rioli
Personal information
Date of birth (1978-05-20) 20 May 1978 (age 38)
Original team(s) South Fremantle (WAFL)
Debut Round 3, 1999, Essendon
vs. Sydney Swans, at the MCG
Height 180 cm (5 ft 11 in)
Weight 99 kg (218 lb)
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
1999–2006 Essendon 100 (91)
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 2006.
Career highlights
Sources: AFL Tables,

Dean Rioli (born 20 May 1978) is an indigenous former Australian rules football player who spent his whole professional career with the Essendon Football Club in the Australian Football League.

The nephew of Maurice Rioli, the Richmond Football Club champion of the 1980s, Rioli grew up on the Tiwi Islands in the Northern Territory, but was recruited from the South Fremantle Football Club in the 1998 Rookie Draft.[1] He was a member of South Fremantle's 1997 Premiership winning team. His father, Sebastian Rioli, played for South in the 1970s, and his younger brother Shannon Rioli joined South in 2010.[2]

AFL career[edit]

He is renowned for his goal sense, silky skills and his ability to play well even when overweight and unfit. Rioli had ongoing injury problems (particularly back[3] and knee-related) for many years, severely limiting his games played and the level of fitness he was able to attain.[4]

During his final season in 2006, Rioli battled injury problems[5] and only played four games. Dean Rioli played his last, and his 100th AFL game for the Essendon Football Club on 26 August 2006. He suffered a broken wrist during the game.[6]

Post AFL career[edit]

Following his retirement, Rioli returned to the Northern Territory to play in the Northern Territory Football League with the Tiwi Bombers, where he became a solid contributor and on-field leader.[7]

In October 2008 Rioli was appointed senior coach for 2009 at the Aberfeldie Football Club, in the Essendon District Football League. Prior to this he was an assistant coach, a role he also performed in 2006 at the Keilor Park Football Club. Rioli continued as senior coach at Aberfeldie in 2010 but stepped down at the end of the home and away season. He joined Osborne Football Club in the Hume Football League in 2011.[8]

In a work move very dear to his heart, Dean runs the company DRAES which stands for Dean Rioli Aboriginal Employment Services. Based in Essendon, a suburb of Melbourne, it specialises in finding the right type of job for indigenous people.[9]

In 2012, Rioli was the unsuccessful Australian Labor Party candidate for the Northern Territory seat of Arafura,[10] that his uncle Maurice Rioli had held between 1992 and 2001.

Rioli was selected on the half-forward flank in South Fremantle's Indigenous Team of the Century in 2009, along with his father Sebastian and uncle Maurice.[11]


  1. ^ "Bloodlines: The Rioli Family". 17 October 2010. 
  2. ^ Hagdorn, Kim (13 February 2010). "Rioli name returns to South Fremantle". The Sunday Times. 
  3. ^ Oakes, Dan (16 April 2005). "Hird 'definite' as Dons battle injuries". The Age. 
  4. ^ Silkstone, Dan; Ryan, Melissa (22 July 2002). "Ex-Pie's 'fat pig' jibe at Rioli". The Age. 
  5. ^ Reilly, Stephen (1 August 2006). "Rioli's 100-match ambition goes down to the wire". The Age. 
  6. ^ Boulton, Martin (27 August 2006). "One final bad break for Rioli". The Sunday Age. 
  7. ^ Quayle, Emma (20 May 2007). "The Dean team". The Sunday Age. 
  8. ^ Kohlhagen, Brett (26 October 2010). "Dean Rioli joins Hume league". 
  9. ^ Benson, Eugene (26 July 2012). "Bombers champ Dean Rioli punts on politics". 
  10. ^ "Election results" (PDF). 
  11. ^ Moncreiff, Darren (7 July 2009). "Bulldogs reveal Indigenous Team of the Century". 

External links[edit]