Michael Hurley (footballer)
|Full name||Michael Hurley|
|Date of birth||1 June 1990|
|Original team(s)||Northern Knights (TAC Cup)|
|Draft||No. 5, 2008 National Draft|
|Height / weight||193 cm / 92 kg|
|Position(s)||Defender / Forward|
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 2016.
Michael was drafted by Essendon with pick 5 in the 2008 national draft. He made his debut against Port Adelaide in round 1, 2009, and was nominated twice as an AFL Rising Star nominee, in Round 20, 2009 and Round 18, 2010, both times against St Kilda. After a match-winning four goal performance against Hawthorn in round 22, Leigh Matthews said, "Very few young talls have the physical maturity to match it with their older and stronger opponents, which is why the brilliant early form of young Bomber Michael Hurley is quite amazing.".
The next few seasons saw Hurley's form fluctuate due to injury and the constant shuffling of his position in the team between key forward and key back. Over the next four years he averaged 22 goals per season, and spent just as much time playing in the back line on some of the opposition's best key forwards, where his precise kicking and attacking flair out of the back half were noticeable on numerous occasions. The 2014 season brought with it a permanent role for Hurley as a key defender, the position for which he was initially drafted. This newfound positional consistency allowed him to really begin to shine as a footballer. He played a career-high 21 games during the season and averaged 19 disposals, six marks and three rebound 50s for the year. Despite Essendon's poor performances in the 2015 season, Michael averaged 21 disposals, seven marks and six rebound 50s over 19 matches. He was awarded with an All-Australian selection, his first as an Essendon player, and finished runner up in the club's best & fairest.
On 12 January 2016, Hurley was one of the 34 past and present Essendon players found guilty over the club's use of illegal supplements during the 2012 AFL season. As a result, Hurley was suspended until November 2016 from all football-related activities, with the ban period back dated to start November 2015.
On the 18th of August 2016, it was announced that Hurley had signed a five year contract to stay with Essendon until the end of 2022. 
On 25 September 2009, Hurley was arrested after a drunken altercation with a taxi driver, after the driver demanded payment for the fare when Hurley asked him to stop at a fast food drivethrough. Hurley was later charged with multiple counts of assault; it is alleged that he punched the driver and kicked him in the groin.
- Statistics are correct to the end of the 2015 season.
|Totals||Averages (per game)|
- Anderson, Jon (2 April 2009). "Michael Hurley's neighbourhood". Melbourne Herald Sun. Retrieved 4 September 2009.
- "Hurley becomes a Bomber". Essendon Football Club. 29 November 2008. Retrieved 29 November 2008.
- "VIC dominate draft". AFL Victoria website. 2 December 2008. Retrieved 2 December 2008.
- "Hurley wins rising star nomination". The Age. Melbourne, Victoria. 18 August 2009. Retrieved 4 September 2009.
- "Hurley sidelined with broken wrist". Essendon Football Club. 25 May 2009. Retrieved 4 September 2009.
- "Hurley is the find of the season". Australian Football League. 2 April 2009. Retrieved 4 September 2009.
- Travis King (12 January 2016). "Guilty: court bans the Essendon 34 for 2016". Australian Football League. Retrieved 12 January 2016.
- "Essendon player believed to be Michael Hurley arrested after altercation with taxi driver on Hoddle st". Herald Sun. Australia. 25 September 2009. Retrieved 25 September 2009.
- "Essendon Bomber Michael Hurley on Assault Charge". Herald Sun. Australia. 5 December 2009. Retrieved 13 January 2010.
- "Michael Hurley statistics". AFL Tables. Retrieved 25 September 2012.