Michael Hibberd

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Michael Hibberd
Michael Hibberd 2017.jpg
Hibberd in March 2017
Personal information
Full name Michael George Hibberd
Date of birth (1990-01-03) 3 January 1990 (age 27)
Original team(s) Frankston (VFL)
Draft No. 4, 2011 pre-season draft
Height 186 cm (6 ft 1 in)
Weight 90 kg (198 lb)
Position(s) Defender
Club information
Current club Melbourne
Number 14
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
2011–2016 Essendon 84 (11)
2017– Melbourne 01 0(1)
Total 85 (12)
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of round 5, 2017.
Sources: AFL Tables, AustralianFootball.com

Michael Hibberd (born 3 January 1990) is a professional Australian rules footballer playing for the Melbourne Football Club in the Australian Football League (AFL). A defender, 1.86 metres (6 ft 1 in) tall and weighing 90 kilograms (200 lb), Hibberd plays primarily on the half-back flank. After spending the 2008 season with the Dandenong Stingrays in the TAC Cup, he missed out on selection in the 2008 AFL draft, which saw him spend two seasons in the Victorian Football League (VFL) with the Frankston Football Club. After winning Frankston's best and fairest and the Fothergill-Round Medal as the VFL's most promising young player in 2010, he was recruited by the Essendon Football Club with the fourth selection in the 2011 pre-season draft. He made his debut during the 2011 season and in the same year he was forced to miss the second half of the year after a club-imposed suspension due to an assault charge. His next four years at the club saw him rewarded with the club rising star award and three top-ten finishes in the best and fairest count. After being suspended for the entire 2016 season due to his involvement in the Essendon supplements saga, he was traded to the Melbourne Football Club during the 2016 trade period.

Early life[edit]

Originally from the small town of Somerville on the Mornington Peninsula,[1] Hibberd played with the Dandenong Stingrays in the TAC Cup in 2008, where he managed to play only half the season due to a groin injury.[2] He finished fifth in the best and fairest count and was awarded the Dandenong Stingrays coaches award.[3] After being overlooked in the 2008 AFL draft, he joined the Frankston Football Club in the Victorian Football League (VFL).[1] His first year at Frankston saw him finish fifth in the best and fairest and claim the best first year player award. In his second year at the club, his season was rewarded with the senior best and fairest award[4] and the Fothergill-Round Medal as the VFL's most promising young player.[5]

AFL career[edit]

2011–2012: Early career[edit]

Hibberd was drafted by the Essendon Football Club with their only selection and fourth overall in the 2011 pre-season draft.[6] He made his debut in the 139-point win against Gold Coast at Etihad Stadium round six.[7] He was omitted the next week for the match against West Coast, before returning in round eight in the thirty-six point win against Brisbane at the Gabba, where he recorded twenty-two disposals and was praised by then-Essendon coach, James Hird.[1] Playing the next seven matches, he missed the round seventeen match against Adelaide at AAMI Stadium due to a hamstring injury.[8][9] He ultimately missed the remainder of the season after he was suspended by the club due to an assault charge[10] and finished with seven matches in his debut season.[11]

After playing the first five matches for the 2012 season, he suffered a hamstring injury during the first quarter of the Anzac Day clash against Collingwood in round five, which forced him to miss six weeks of football.[12] He made his return from injury through the Victorian Football League (VFL), playing for Essendon's affiliate team, Bendigo.[13] After playing two matches in the VFL,[14] he returned to the AFL side for the twenty-four point win against Fremantle at Patersons Stadium in round thirteen.[15] He played the next three matches before injuring his quad in the fifty point win against Port Adelaide at AAMI Stadium in round sixteen.[16] He missed three weeks due to the injury and returned to the side for the twenty-four point loss against North Melbourne at Etihad Stadium in round twenty.[17] He played the remainder of the season, managing thirteen matches for the year and was rewarded with the club rising star award as the best young player.[18] At the end of the year he changed guernsey numbers from 43 to 1.[19]

2013–2015: Emergence as a half-back flanker[edit]

The 2013 season saw Hibberd play every match of the year for the first time in his career.[11] His performances during the season was described by The Age journalist, Rohan Connolly, as "the best football of his career"[20] and he was named in Connolly's mid-season All-Australian team.[21] His running off of half-back saw him compared to six time All-Australian, Corey Enright.[22] After the announcement of the forty man squad for the 2013 All-Australian team, he was considered unlucky to miss out on selection by AFL Media journalist, Nick Bowen,[23] and The Age journalist and former player, Matthew Lloyd.[24] His improved season saw him finish fourth in the clubs best and fairest count.[25]

Despite a hamstring injury during the 2014 NAB Challenge,[26] Hibberd played the first fourteen matches of the year, before he was forced to miss the round sixteen match against Port Adelaide at the Adelaide Oval due to an ankle injury.[27] He returned to the side two weeks later for the seven point win against the Western Bulldogs at Etihad Stadium in round eighteen,[28] before succumbing to a hamstring injury the next week and missed two weeks.[29] He returned from injury in the three point win against West Coast at Etihad Stadium in round twenty-one,[30] where he was named the best player for Essendon by The Age[31] and AFL Media.[32] He played the remainder of the season, including his first final in the twelve point loss against North Melbourne at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in the second elimination final.[33] His form in the first half of the year before his injuries was praised within the industry, with Herald Sun journalist, Sam Landsberger, claiming he was in All-Australian form[34] and he signed a three-year contract with the club, tying him to the club until the end of the 2017 season.[35] He played nineteen matches for the season and finished fourth in the best and fairest count for the second consecutive season.[36]

Hibberd played every match for the 2015 season apart from the final round match against Collingwood due to a knee injury.[37] After strong seasons in 2013 and 2014, he had a dip in form after spending more time in the midfield.[38] Despite a drop in form, he managed a top-ten finish in the best and fairest, placing eighth[39] and he was named in Essendon's best players six times during the season by AFL Media.[40][41][42][43][44][45]

2016–present: Suspension and move to Melbourne[edit]

Hibberd, along with 33 other Essendon players, was found guilty of using a banned performance enhancing substance, thymosin beta-4, as part of Essendon's sports supplements program during the 2012 season. He and his team-mates were initially found not guilty in March 2015 by the AFL Anti-Doping Tribunal,[46] but a guilty verdict was returned in January 2016 after an appeal by the World Anti-Doping Agency. He was suspended for two years which, with backdating, ended in November 2016; as a result, he served approximately fourteen months of his suspension and missed the entire 2016 season.[47] After speculation surrounding whether he would return to Essendon once his suspension was finished,[48] he confirmed in August that he wanted to be traded to another club for a "fresh start" despite being contracted to Essendon until the end of 2017[49] and he nominated Melbourne as his preferred destination in September.[50] He was officially traded to Melbourne in October.[51]

Assault charge[edit]

In August 2011, Hibbered was charged with assault after he punched and knocked a man out in Mornington on 31 July.[52] He pleaded guilty to the charges in September[53] and escaped conviction, but received a $2500 fine.[54]

Statistics[edit]

Statistics are correct to the end of the 2016 season[11]
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)
2011 Essendon 43 9 1 1 101 71 172 47 13 0.1 0.1 11.2 7.9 19.1 5.2 1.4
2012 Essendon 43 13 0 1 153 79 232 65 16 0.0 0.1 11.8 6.1 17.8 5.0 1.2
2013 Essendon 1 22 5 3 334 186 520 135 33 0.2 0.1 15.2 8.5 23.6 6.1 1.5
2014 Essendon 1 19 2 1 286 179 465 121 29 0.1 0.1 15.1 9.4 24.5 6.4 1.5
2015 Essendon 1 21 3 5 262 204 466 113 31 0.1 0.2 12.5 9.7 22.2 5.4 1.5
2016 Essendon 1 0
2017 Melbourne 14 1 1 0 18 9 27 6 1 0 18 9 27 6 1 0
Career 85 112 11 1154 728 1882 487 122 0.1 0.1 13.6 8.6 22.1 5.7 1.4

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Hogan, Jesse (16 May 2011). "Fork in the road lifts Hibberd into big time". The Age. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 28 June 2014. 
  2. ^ Connolly, Rohan (10 May 2013). "Bomber slow to take off but now he's flying high". The Age. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 14 December 2016. 
  3. ^ "Gillies Named Stingrays Best". TACcup.com.au. Fox Sports Pulse. 2008. Retrieved 14 December 2016. 
  4. ^ Diamond, Brent (30 November 2010). "VFL hopefuls look to figure in rookie draft". The Age. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 14 December 2016. 
  5. ^ Amy, Paul (23 August 2010). "Hibberd VFL's most promising". Leader. News Corp Australia. Retrieved 4 June 2012. 
  6. ^ "Bombers take Hibberd in pre-season draft". EssendonFC.com.au. Bigpond. 7 December 2010. Retrieved 26 August 2015. 
  7. ^ Australian Associated Press (1 May 2011). "Ready to face Bombers". The Age. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 14 December 2016. 
  8. ^ Sproule, Grant (15 July 2011). "AFL peview season 2011, round 17". The Age. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 14 December 2016. 
  9. ^ Quayle, Emma (3 August 2011). "GWS may trade rights to rookies". The Age. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 14 December 2016. 
  10. ^ "Bombers suspend Hibberd as police probe altercation". The Age. Fairfax Media. 4 August 2011. Retrieved 14 December 2016. 
  11. ^ a b c "Michael Hibberd". AFL Tables. Retrieved 8 September 2016. 
  12. ^ McFarlane, Glenn (25 April 2012). "Michael Hibberd adds to Essendon injury crisis". Herald Sun. News Corp Australia. Retrieved 14 December 2016. 
  13. ^ "Essendon defender Michael Hibberd to return from injury for Bendigo". News.com.au. News Corp Australia. 8 June 2012. Retrieved 14 December 2016. 
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  26. ^ Murnane, Matt (3 March 2014). "How your club fared in the NAB Challenge". The Age. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 14 December 2016. 
  27. ^ Buckle, Greg (5 July 2014). "Chapman challenged to lift game". The Age. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 14 December 2016. 
  28. ^ James, Matthew (18 July 2014). "Split round gives outsiders their chance". The Age. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 14 December 2016. 
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  33. ^ "2014 AFL finals teams: week one". The Age. Fairfax Media. 4 September 2014. Retrieved 14 December 2016. 
  34. ^ Landsberger, Sam (24 June 2014). "Essendon re-signs Heath Hocking and Michael Hibberd, both believe premiership push will come". Herald Sun. News Corp Australia. Retrieved 14 December 2016. 
  35. ^ "Hibberd, Hocking Re-Sign With Dons". Triple M. 25 June 2014. Retrieved 14 December 2016. 
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  37. ^ "AFL Teams Round 23, 2015: Fremantle make 11 changes, North Melbourne nine, Trent Cotchin returns". Fox Sports (Australia). News Corp Australia. 3 September 2015. Retrieved 14 December 2016. 
  38. ^ Twomey, Callum (17 July 2015). "Hibberd eyes form turnaround as Dons plug midfield gaps". AFL.com.au. Bigpond. Retrieved 14 December 2016. 
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  49. ^ Ben, Collins (20 August 2016). "Banned Bomber Michael Hibberd to leave Essendon". AFL.com.au. Bigpond. Retrieved 25 August 2016. 
  50. ^ "Michael Hibberd officially requests trade to Melbourne for 2017 season". Herald Sun. News Corp Australia. 20 September 2016. Retrieved 20 September 2016. 
  51. ^ Twomey, Callum (19 October 2016). "Essendon defender Hibberd traded to Melbourne". AFL.com.au. Bigpond. Retrieved 19 October 2016. 
  52. ^ "Essendon confirm youngster Michael Hibberd has been charged with assault after incident on July 31". Fox Sports (Australia). News Corp Australia. 12 August 2011. Retrieved 14 December 2016. 
  53. ^ Robin, Samantha (14 September 2011). "Rookie Hibberd fined over assault". The Age. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 14 December 2016. 
  54. ^ Deery, Shannon (14 September 2011). "Michael Hibberd escapes conviction for assault, fined $2500". Herald Sun. News Corp Australia. Retrieved 4 June 2012. 

External links[edit]