Darren Jolly

Darren Jolly (born 6 November 1981) is a former professional Australian rules footballer who played for the Melbourne Football Club, the Sydney Swans and the Collingwood Football Club in the Australian Football League (AFL). He is best known for being the ruckman in Sydney's 2005 premiership win and also Collingwood's 2010 premiership win.

Darren Jolly
Personal information
Full name Darren Jolly
Date of birth (1981-11-06) 6 November 1981
Original team(s) North Ballarat (VFL)
Draft No. 31, 2001 Rookie Draft
Height 200 cm (6 ft 7 in)
Weight 108 kg (238 lb)
Position(s) Ruckman
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
2001–2004 Melbourne 048 0(11)
2005–2009 Sydney 118 0(59)
2010–2013 Collingwood 071 0(52)
Total 237 (122)
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 2013.
Career highlights
Sources: AFL Tables, AustralianFootball.com

Junior career

After completing his schooling at Damascus College Ballarat in 1996,[1] and playing for the North Ballarat Rebels in the TAC Cup, Jolly spent a year playing for the North Ballarat Football Club in the Victorian Football League (VFL) before being drafted by the Melbourne Football Club in the 2001 Rookie Draft.[2]


He played 48 games over four seasons for Melbourne, mainly as an understudy to Jeff White.[3]


The Demons traded Jolly to Sydney in 2004 for pick 15 in that year's national draft. Along with Jason Ball, in 2005 he was an integral part of Sydney's ruck division and after the retirement of Ball, assumed the number one ruck role at Sydney.

During his time at the Swans Jolly only missed two games, stemming from a suspension following an incident against his old club Melbourne. This run was cut in early 2011 due to an injury suffered playing for Collingwood.

In the early hours of 29 September – one day before the Swans played in the 2006 AFL Grand Final – Jolly's wife Deanne gave birth to the couple's first child, Scarlett, which brought relief to coach Paul Roos, as Jolly had said he would not play in the Grand Final if his wife was to give birth on the day of the game.[4]


At the end of the 2009 season, Jolly requested a trade be done so he could return to his native Victoria with his family.[5] Many clubs expressed initial interest in securing the senior ruckman, with Collingwood securing a trade in exchange for picks number 14 and 46 in the 2009 AFL Draft.[6] Jolly immediately became Collingwood's number one ruckman, and in 2010 was named in the 40-man All-Australian team squad, but did not make the final team.[7]

Jolly's first two seasons at Collingwood mirrored his first two seasons with the Swans: he was part of Collingwood's premiership team in 2010, then part of its losing Grand Final team in 2011. Jolly played his 200th AFL game in round 19, 2011.

He was delisted by Collingwood at the conclusion of the 2013 AFL season.[8]

Personal life

Jolly and his ex-wife Deanne have two daughters.[9] After being delisted by the Magpies, he and ex-wife competed in the ninth season of The Block, a reality television series that follows couples as they compete to renovate a house.[10] They returned for the tenth season of The Block in 2015, and ultimately won the 2015 series.[11] As of 20 September 2019 Darren has left Deanne.


 G  Goals  B  Behinds  K  Kicks  H  Handballs  D  Disposals  M  Marks  T  Tackles  H/O  Hit-outs
Season Team No. Games G B K H D M T H/O G B K H D M T H/O
Totals Averages (per game)
2001 Melbourne 41401551022140.
2002 Melbourne 11187146398527161000.
2003 Melbourne 111940726613847242600.
2004 Melbourne 1170016824115440.
2005 Sydney 16241041107518564424420.
2006 Sydney 1625251416820955466050.
2007 Sydney 16231671626522795464580.
2008 Sydney 16241511160111271105475430.
2009 Sydney 1622161213412726192616820.
2010 Collingwood 18262410172155327131585790.
2011 Collingwood 18161247410017451603830.
2012 Collingwood 18201249412421858726490.
2013 Collingwood 18944485810640322090.
Career 237 122 63 1234 1001 2235 778 511 4968 0.5 0.3 5.2 4.2 9.4 3.3 2.2 21.0


  1. Damascus College, The Road, Autumn 2010. Retrieved 30 June 2015
  2. Holmesby, Russell; Main, Jim (2002). The Encyclopedia of AFL Footballers: every AFL/VFL player since 1897 (4th ed.). Melbourne, Victoria: Crown Content. p. 332. ISBN 1-74095-001-1.
  3. Lovett, Michael, ed. (2005). AFL Record 2005 Guide to Season. p. 279. ISBN 0-9580300-6-5.
  4. Grant, Robert; Cooper, Adam (29 September 2006). "Jolly good news for Swans". Retrieved 1 November 2009.
  5. Denham, Greg (5 October 2009). "Darren Jolly set for shock switch to Magpies". The Australian. Retrieved 1 November 2009.
  6. Broad, Ben (8 October 2009). "Jolly Pie-bound with two-pick deal". AFL.com.au. Archived from the original on 19 October 2009. Retrieved 2009-11-01.
  7. Cats dominate All-Australian squad
  8. Magpies tell Jolly his time is up
  9. Daily Mail website.
  10. Epstein, Jackie (12 April 2014). "Former Collingwood and Sydney player Darren Jolly to join The Block". Herald Sun. Retrieved 4 August 2014.
  11. "Bec breaks down in tears as Deanne & Darren Jolly win a spot on The Block Triple Threat". News.com.au. 15 February 2015. Retrieved 16 February 2014.
  12. "Darren Jolly". AFL Tables.
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