Adam McPhee

Adam McPhee (born 6 October 1982) is an Australian rules football player who played for the Fremantle Football Club and the Essendon Football Club in the Australian Football League (AFL). He is a versatile player who has played both as a forward, defender and tagging role, with high-profile clashes with Gary Ablett, Jr. and Chris Judd in 2010.[2]

Adam McPhee
Personal information
Full name Adam McPhee
Nickname(s) Smokey[1]
Date of birth (1982-10-06) 6 October 1982
Place of birth Melbourne, Australia
Original team(s) Dandenong U18 (TAC Cup)
Draft No. 39, 2000 National Draft, Fremantle
No. 3, 2010 Pre-Season Draft, Fremantle
Height 190 cm (6 ft 3 in)
Weight 89 kg (196 lb)
Position(s) Forward/Defender
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
2001–2002 Fremantle 25 (9)
2003–2009 Essendon 142 (83)
2010–2012 Fremantle 56 (20)
Total 223 (112)
International team honours
Years Team Games (Goals)
2004 Australia 2 (0)
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 2012.
Career highlights
Sources: AFL Tables,

Australian Football League career

First stint at Fremantle

McPhee was originally recruited by Fremantle from the Dandenong Stingrays in the TAC Cup with the 39th selection in the 2000 AFL Draft. He made his AFL debut in 2001 and was nominated for the AFL Rising Star award that year. By the end of 2002, McPhee played 25 games in total for the Dockers. He was then traded back to Essendon in his home state of Victoria in a three-way deal also involving Brisbane. Essendon had previously hoped to draft him late in the 2000 draft, but Fremantle had picked him ahead of where Essendon had expected him to be taken.[3]

Essendon years

In McPhee's first year at Essendon he played every game and his tough approach earned him the club's "most courageous player" award. However it was in 2004 that McPhee really made his mark as an AFL player. In that year he was selected on the half-back flank in the All-Australian team, won the W.S. Crichton Medal as Essendon's best and fairest player and was Essendon's highest vote getter in the Brownlow Medal.[4]

In 2005, McPhee was restricted to only 14 games through injury and could not repeat his feats of 2004.[5]

On 30 July 2006, McPhee played his 100th senior game at the Telstra Dome. It was capped off with a win over the Brisbane Lions which broke, what was at the time, the club's longest streak without a win in its history, when he took a spectacular mark and also kicked a magnificent goal on the run.[6] He missed out on the honour the previous week because of a one match suspension served for striking St Kilda's Robert Harvey in an attempted spoil.[7]

On 25 April 2009, at the Anzac Day match, McPhee celebrated his 150th game with a five-point victory over Collingwood.[8]

Return to Fremantle

After long discussions about a new contract with the Bombers, McPhee did not sign a new contract with Essendon by the 2.00pm deadline on 10 November 2009. Many believe McPhee left Essendon due to a fall out with the Coach of Essendon at the time, Matthew Knights. McPhee was expected to nominate to be drafted to another club and as expected, his former club Fremantle selected him with their selection in the pre-season draft. The possible move to Fremantle had been heavily criticised in some circles, partly as a result of the club's recent history in drafting mature-age recruits, but it has been applauded in other circles as the club gave up virtually nothing to land him.[9] His first match against his old club Essendon saw him hit the post twice, drop marks and kick out of bounds on the full right in front of Bombers fans who booed him consistently throughout the match. Despite his clangers, Fremantle managed to upset Essendon by 44 points.[10][11]

After McPhee's tough start in his return to Fremantle, he improved as the season went on after a change in role. McPhee played his best football for the Dockers towards the end of the season as a run-with player (tagger), a role which requires stopping the influence of the opposition team's most damaging players. McPhee's best game came against Hawthorn in the Elimination final, keeping Hawks champion Luke Hodge to just 13 disposals, and only 5 in the first three quarters.

In 2012 McPhee returned to the backline under new coach Ross Lyon, but mainly played on the smaller forwards.[12]

At the end of the 2012 season, a month after signing a one-year contract extension, McPhee retired from AFL football for family reasons. While there was much speculation he would return to his former club, the Essendon Football Club, he returned to Melbourne to work for his father-in-law's company.[12] He continues to play football and as of 2015 is playing for St Mary's in the Geelong Football League.[13]


 G  Goals  B  Behinds  K  Kicks  H  Handballs  D  Disposals  M  Marks  T  Tackles
Season Team No. Games G B K H D M T G B K H D M T Votes
Totals Averages (per game)
2001 Fremantle 1714531166518161320.
2002 Fremantle 171141713710846170.
2003 Essendon 332410717714031798670.
2004 Essendon 3321159237125362125560.70.411.
2005 Essendon 33149418572257113320.60.313.
2006 Essendon 332089234113347142560.40.511.75.717.47.12.80
2007 Essendon 332274279166445181680.
2008 Essendon 33201812188119307143550.
2009 Essendon 3321168207164371136550.
2010 Fremantle 923917179140319951070.
2011 Fremantle 912912866114740330.
2012 Fremantle 92120235109344124360.
Career 223 112 86 2194 1311 3505 1304 614 0.5 0.4 9.8 5.9 15.7 5.8 2.8 26


  1. Quayle, Emma (4 November 2002). "Bomber Smokey, a real trailblazer". The Age.
  2. Versatile McPhee brings plenty to Dockers' cause
  3. Quayle, Emma (21 August 2004). "Dons' Operation McPhee". The Age.
  4. Moncrief, Marc (30 September 2004). "McPhee named Bombers' best". The Age.
  5. Lane, Samantha (20 November 2005). "McPhee on the run again". The Sunday Age.
  6. Boulton, Martin (30 July 2006) See the Bombers fly up, up to a much wanted win
  7. "McPhee facing one-match ban". ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). 17 July 2006. Retrieved 11 March 2019.
  8. Mick Malthouse fumes after Bombers take MCG Anzac Day thriller (26 April 2009)
  9. McPhee will be a free hit at the Dockers, The Roar, Retrieved on 27 November 2009
  10. Dockers break drought by beating Bombers
  11. "Torrid return to Victoria for luckless Docker Adam McPhee". Archived from the original on 10 April 2010. Retrieved 4 April 2010.
  12. Duffield, Mark (20 November 2012). "Why McPhee called it quits". The West Australian.
  13. Wade, Nick (7 March 2015). "GFL: St Mary's brings in Adam McPhee but is still the great unknown of the upcoming season". Geelong Advertiser. Retrieved 25 March 2015.
  14. "Adam McPhee stats". AFL Tables. Retrieved 1 October 2019.
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