Michael Polley (footballer)

Michael Polley (born 14 September 1976) is a former Australian rules footballer who played for Melbourne Football Club in the Australian Football League (AFL).

Michael Polley
Personal information
Full name Michael Polley
Date of birth (1976-09-14) 14 September 1976
Original team(s) Hadfield / Northern Knights / Prahran
Draft 34th overall, 1994 National Draft
54th overall, 1997 Rookie Draft
Height 180 cm (5 ft 11 in)
Weight 78 kg (172 lb)
Position(s) Midfielder
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
1995–1996 Melbourne 5 (0)
1997 Collingwood 0 (0)
Total 5 (0)
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 1996.
Sources: AFL Tables, AustralianFootball.com

Early life

Originally from Hadfield Football Club in the Essendon District Football League, Polley was selected to play for TAC Cup side, Northern Knights.[1] Along with playing for the Knights, in 1994 Polley also played six games for Prahran Football Club in the Victorian Football Association.[2] In the lead-up to the 1994 National Draft, Melbourne coach Neil Balme stated the Demons were looking for "the best available but with a bit of an emphasis on speed and midfield players".[2] Polley, a midfielder known for his speed, was subsequently draft by Melbourne with the 34th selection in the draft.[2][3]

AFL career

An 18-year-old at the time he was drafted, Polley spent his first season with Melbourne developing in the reserves. For the last match of the 1995 home and away season, Polley was named as an emergency in the squad, but was not required to play.[4] After a season's development, Polley was one of several young players at Melbourne that were expected to "take the next step" in 1996.[5] Due to the Demons need for pace,[6] Polley was named to make his AFL debut in the second round of the season,[7][8] but was ultimately not selected.[6] After being suspended for one week and injuring his hand in May,[9][10] Polley finally made his AFL debut against Essendon in round 9.[11][12][13] Despite having 15 disposals, Polley was dropped back to the reserves the following week. He was recalled for Melbourne's round 12 clash with the Brisbane Bears and retained his place in the side for four consecutive matches, until a poor performance against Richmond. Polley failed to play another senior match for the rest of the year and, at season's end, he was delisted by Melbourne.[14][15]

After being delisted, Polley trained with Essendon in the hope of being drafted by the Bombers.[16] Instead, it was Collingwood that selected Polley with the 54th selection in the 1997 Rookie Draft.[17] Polley was unable to break into Collingwood's senior team and was delisted by the Magpies after only one season at the club.[18]


  1. Holmesby, Russell; Main, Jim (2011). The Encyclopedia of AFL Footballers: every AFL/VFL player since 1897 (9th ed.). Melbourne, Victoria: Bas Publishing. p. 687. ISBN 978-1-921496-12-7.
  2. "1994 AFL National Draft". The Age. 28 October 1994. Retrieved 11 May 2011.
  3. "Northern Knights AFL Draftees incl. rookie listed". Northern Knights. 19 November 2010. Retrieved 11 May 2011.
  4. Blake, Martin (31 August 1995). "Do-or-die Demons call up youngster for first game". The Age. Retrieved 11 May 2011.
  5. Balme, Neil (25 February 1996). "Facing up to the challenge". The Age. Retrieved 11 May 2011.
  6. Blake, Martin (8 April 1996). "Melbourne battling to keep pace with rivals". The Age. Retrieved 11 May 2011.
  7. Happell, Charles (4 April 1996). "Collingwood v Melbourne". The Age. Retrieved 11 May 2011.
  8. "Round 2". The Age. 5 April 1996. Retrieved 11 May 2011.
  9. "AFL injury list". The Age. 7 May 1996. Retrieved 11 May 2011.
  10. "AFL injury list". The Age. 14 May 1996. Retrieved 11 May 2011.
  11. Happell, Charles (23 May 1996). "Essendon v Melbourne". The Age. Retrieved 11 May 2011.
  12. "AFL – Round 9". The Age. 24 May 1996. Retrieved 11 May 2011.
  13. Blake, Martin (23 May 1996). "Carey set to line up against Fitzroy". The Age. Retrieved 11 May 2011.
  14. Denham, Greg; Reilly, Stephen (16 October 1996). "Fairley to play on next year". The Age. Retrieved 11 May 2011.
  15. "Who your club delisted". The Age. 18 October 1996. Retrieved 11 May 2011.
  16. Denham, Greg; Linnell, Stephen (21 November 1996). "Tudor in training with Bulldogs". The Age. Retrieved 11 May 2011.
  17. Denham, Greg (26 February 1997). "Ex-Don gets new chance via draft". The Age. Retrieved 11 May 2011.
  18. "Draft History". Collingwood Football Club. Archived from the original on 29 April 2011. Retrieved 11 May 2011.
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