Suckling in March 2017
|Date of birth||25 July 1988|
|Place of birth||Wagga Wagga, New South Wales|
|Original team(s)||East Wagga-Kooringal (Riverina Football League)
Wagga Tigers (AFL Canberra)
|Draft||No. 81, 2009 AFL Rookie Draft|
|Height / weight||186cm / 82 kg|
|Current club||Western Bulldogs|
|2016–||Western Bulldogs||18 (7)|
|International team honours|
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of round 1, 2017.
2 State and international statistics correct as of 2011.
|Sources: AFL Tables, AustralianFootball.com|
Matt Suckling (born 25 July 1988) is an Australian rules footballer who plays for the Western Bulldogs in the Australian Football League (AFL). Suckling is known as a player with precision kicking and link-up play from Hawthorn's defence. Characteristic of his style of play is his very long range, very accurate kicking.
First drafted by the club at pick 22 in the 2007 Rookie Draft. He was struck down by osteitis pubis for most of 2007 but was retained on the rookie list for 2008. Suckling was redrafted to Hawthorn's rookie list by the club at pick 81 in the 2009 Rookie Draft.
He should not be confused with another "Matthew Suckling" - although Hawthorn themselves nearly made this mistake at the 2009 rookie draft when:
"On the day Hawthorn redrafted him as had been arranged, the recruiter read out the wrong registration number at the rookie draft, momentarily selecting another Matt Suckling, Sandringham Dragons' best-and-fairest player in the under-18 competition." Kicking back
He was then finally drafted to Hawthorn's senior list with pick 70 in the 2009 AFL Draft.
He made his debut for Hawthorn in the opening round of the 2009 AFL season in the rematch of the 2008 AFL Grand Final against Geelong. The 20-year-old defender was one of three Hawks playing their first game in the MCG blockbuster. Omitted the next week because of injury, Suckling was unable to break back into the side; he was listed as an emergency later in the year. In 2010 he played five games, and was on the verge of selection for most of the season.
2011 was a breakthrough year for Suckling; with his precision kicking and link-up play he became a key to Hawthorn's defence. Characteristic of his style of play is his very long range, very accurate kicking.
Suckling was selected as the Australia international rules football team's goalkeeper for the 2011 International Rules Series in Australia. Australia lost the series 2-0, with a 130-65 aggregate score. Suckling was one of two Hawthorn players selected for the team, along with Liam Shiels.
Suckling was one of three Hawthorn players to play every game in 2012.
During the 2013 NAB Cup pre season competition Suckling tore his anterior cruciate ligament whilst playing against Richmond. Suckling missed the entire 2013 season due to the injury that required a full knee reconstruction.
Suckling returned to the side in 2014, and would go on to claim his elusive premiership medal in the clubs 2014 Grand Final win. He followed this up with a premiership win in 2015, starting the game as a substitute and coming on late in the third quarter for David Hale; with the abolition of the substitute rule at the end of the 2015 AFL season, this meant that Suckling became the last player to be substituted into a game. Following the Grand Final, Suckling exercised his right as a free agent and joined the Western Bulldogs.
- Statistics are correct to the end of the 2014 season
|Totals||Averages (per game)|
- Belkin, Murrary (16 May 2011). "Suckling steps up". Hawthorn Football Club. Retrieved 30 May 2011.
- Malone, Matt (17 December 2008). "Riverina players picked". The Daily Advertiser. Retrieved 30 May 2011.
- Boulton, Martin (27 March 2009). "The Hawks give three new faces the go-ahead". The Age. Retrieved 30 May 2011.
- Matt Suckling's player profile at AFL Tables
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Matt Suckling.|