Michael Voss

Michael Voss (born 7 July 1975) is a former coach and player for the Brisbane Lions in the Australian Football League (AFL). He is currently serving as the midfield coach of the Port Adelaide Football Club.[1]

Michael Voss
Voss in November 2008
Personal information
Full name Michael Voss
Date of birth (1975-07-07) 7 July 1975
Place of birth Traralgon, Victoria
Original team(s) Morningside (AFLQ)
Height 183 cm (6 ft 0 in)
Weight 88 kg (194 lb)
Position(s) Midfielder
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
1992–1996 Brisbane Bears 079 0(72)
1997–2006 Brisbane Lions 210 (173)
Total 289 (245)
Representative team honours
Years Team Games (Goals)
1992–1993 Queensland 2 (0)
1996 Allies 1 (0)
International team honours
2001–2006 Australia 4 (0)
Coaching career3
Years Club Games (W–L–D)
2009–2013 Brisbane Lions 109 (43–65–1)
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 2006.
3 Coaching statistics correct as of 2013.
Career highlights
Sources: AFL Tables, AustralianFootball.com

During his AFL playing career, in which he played entirely for the Brisbane Bears and then the Brisbane Lions (a merger of the Brisbane Bears with a Melbourne-based club, the Fitzroy Football Club also known as the Lions), Voss was recognised as one of the greats of league and club and is listed by journalist Mike Sheahan as one of the top 50 players of all time.[2] He won the league's most prestigious individual award, the Brownlow Medal, and was recognised as one of the best players and captains in the league between 2002 and 2003 through six time All-Australian selection including the captaincy and the winner of the Leigh Matthews Trophy for the league's most valued player. He captained the Brisbane Lions in four consecutive AFL Grand Finals with three straight premierships (2001–2003). Additionally, he represented Australia in the 2006 International Rules Series. As a player, he was noted for his fearless play, inspirational leadership and the ability to turn a game. Voss has been inducted into the Australian Football Hall of Fame.[3]

Early life and career

Voss was born in Traralgon, Victoria and lived as a child in Orbost until the age of 11, when he moved with his family to Beenleigh[4] in Logan, Queensland. Voss attended Trinity College during his high school years in Queensland.[5][6] His younger brother Brett also played for the Brisbane Lions before transferring to St Kilda Football Club to enhance his opportunities to play senior football.

Voss' football skills were excellent from an early age. He made his senior debut for Morningside in the QAFL at the age of 15 years.[7] A year later he kicked 14 goals for Queensland in an under-17 representative match, before eventually winning the Hunter-Harrison Medal for the tournament. The following week, at 17 years and 11 days of age,[8] he debuted for the Brisbane Bears against Fitzroy at Princes Park in Melbourne, the youngest ever player to play a senior game for the club.

Rise to stardom

Although highly skilled, he was also slight, but worked as hard as any veteran in getting the most out of his body. By 1996 he was one of the most accomplished players in the competition, and at the end of the season he shared the Brownlow Medal, the game's highest individual honour, with James Hird.

In 1997 after the Bears merged with Fitzroy to form the Brisbane Lions and the retirement of long-term Bears' captain Roger Merrett, Voss's leadership abilities were recognised in his promotion to co-captain with teammate Alastair Lynch at the age of just 21. His early form was patchy as he grew into the role, but by 1999 he was being lauded as one of the best captains in the AFL.

In 1998 Voss suffered his first major career setback. Contesting a mark at Subiaco Oval in Perth in a match against Fremantle, he collided with Shane Parker and shattered his leg. The subsequent operation was at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital and it was a year before he was fit and in training to play again. Brisbane finished 16th and with a wooden spoon that year with a 5-1-16 record.

Premiership and captaincy success

Voss captained the Brisbane Lions in four consecutive AFL Grand Finals, yielding three premierships (2001–2003). His performance in the 2002 grand final against Collingwood was an outstanding example of courage, skill and leadership, only narrowly conceding the Norm Smith Medal to opposing captain and former Bears teammate Nathan Buckley.[9]

Later career

In early 2004, Voss kicked a career best seven goals against a struggling Adelaide at AAMI Stadium as coach Leigh Matthews looked to play him in the forward line during the latter part of his career. However, a heavy injury toll to the Lions meant that Voss continued his career in the midfield.

In 2005, Voss suffered a badly cut calf before Round 2 whilst renovating his home.[10] He recovered to play his 250th game the following week,[11] but the Lions suffered an embarrassing six-point loss to eventual premiers Sydney after they had led by 32 points at the final change.[12] Prior to this, Voss had suffered from tendinitis of the knee but had been able to curtail the problem. The calf injury affected his performances, with the four games after the injury yielding a high possession count of only 16. Voss later improved and in Round 21 picked up 35 possessions against Port Adelaide.

Soon after the completion of the 2006 season, Voss announced his retirement from the AFL after 289 games and 15 years at the Brisbane Bears and Brisbane Lions with three premierships to his name and found a job for two years with Channel 10 in Brisbane, presenting the sport. Voss said farewell in what turned out to be his last game, at the Gabba in Round 22 against St Kilda, gathering 34 possessions and two Brownlow Medal votes as a struggling Brisbane Lions team went down by 50 points to finals bound St Kilda who won in Brisbane for the first time in a decade. Despite losing badly, the Lions received a long standing ovation from a sold-out home crowd after the game for their premiership efforts and farewell to several other players.

Playing statistics

Playing statistics

 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
Totals Averages (per game)
1992 Brisbane Bears 56622615811922110.30.310.29.719.83.71.8
1993 Brisbane Bears 3167114111625765220.
1994 Brisbane Bears 3121021056316834130.
1995 Brisbane Bears 321301528520749288301.40.713.69.923.44.21.4
1996 Brisbane Bears 324231233623657287551.00.514.09.823.83.62.3
1997 Brisbane Lions 31791218515233740210.50.710.98.919.82.41.2
1998 Brisbane Lions 3114511712223931220.40.510.611.
1999 Brisbane Lions 321231324814539363341.10.611.86.918.73.01.6
2000 Brisbane Lions 3231416318232550103640.60.713.810.
2001 Brisbane Lions 325211936324060398670.80.814.59.624.13.92.7
2002 Brisbane Lions 322362128318446788471.
2003 Brisbane Lions 3252017283252535105660.80.711.310.
2004 Brisbane Lions 324311727623150797581.30.711.59.621.14.02.4
2005 Brisbane Lions 32112424120144292490.
2006 Brisbane Lions 32135232230462104540.
Career 289 245 161 3474 2669 6143 1117 613 0.8 0.6 12.0 9.2 21.3 3.9 2.1

Coaching statistics

 W  Wins  L  Losses  D  Draws  W%  Winning percentage  LP  Ladder position  LT  League teams
Season Team Games W L D W % LP LT
2009 Brisbane Lions 24149160.4%616
2010 Brisbane Lions 22715031.8%1316
2011 Brisbane Lions 22418018.2%1517
2012 Brisbane Lions 221012045.5%1318
2013 Brisbane Lions 19811042.1%1218
Career totals 109 43 65 1 39.9%

Honours and achievements

Brownlow Medal votes
Season Votes
1993 1
1995 13
1996 21
1997 4
1998 7
1999 10
2000 16
2001 19
2002 17
2003 19
2004 10
2005 6
2006 7
Total 150
Green / Bold = Won

Life after football

Voss joined the Network Ten AFL commentary team in 2007 in a special comments role.[15] He was also appointed the role of sports anchor on Ten's 5 o'clock weekday news in Brisbane.

In 2011, Voss was inducted into the Australian Football Hall of Fame.[3]


In 2007, Voss was charged for his role in a melee with Simon Black, Fraser Gehrig and three other high-profile AFL players at a Melbourne nightclub. At the resulting trial, Voss agreed to enter a diversion program and therefore no conviction was recorded.[16]

Coaching career

When announcing his retirement at the end of the 2006 season, there was speculation that Voss would soon become a senior coach or join Leigh Matthews in the Brisbane Lions coaching team. Voss instead joined the Channel 10 sports commentary team.

Voss coached Australia's AIS Under 17 squad to victory against the South African national Australian rules football team at North West Cricket Stadium in Potchefstroom, South Africa.[17]

Voss was often mentioned as a candidate to coach the Melbourne Demons after the resignation of Neale Daniher. He was also linked to various other coaching positions, most notably Carlton.[18]

Voss was seen by many to be the likely inaugural coach of the Gold Coast side, but instead signed a two-year deal with the West Coast Eagles as an assistant coach and formally pulled himself out of the Gold Coast bid.[19]

When Leigh Matthews, coach of the Brisbane Lions, resigned at the end of the 2008 season, Eagles' chief executive Trevor Nisbett gave Voss permission to talk with his former club. The Lions later announced Voss as their new senior coach until the end of 2011.[20][21]

Voss made his coaching debut in Brisbane's defeat of the West Coast Eagles in Round 1, 2009.

Voss's first season as coach could be described as one of exceeding expectations. The rookie coach managed to guide the Brisbane Lions into their first finals campaign since 2004 including a comeback elimination final victory over Carlton after trailing by 30 points early in the fourth quarter.

However, what followed were two seasons of disappointment at the club. After the club won its first four matches to be sitting on top of the ladder in early season 2010, the Lions would only win three more games to finish 13th (out of 16) on the ladder. Season 2011 brought in an even worse low the Lions finishing 15th (out of 17 teams) in season 2011, its worst placing since 1998 when it won the wooden spoon.

On 13 August 2013, Voss was told that he would not be receiving a contract extension with the Lions for 2014.[22] Former Fremantle Dockers head coach Mark Harvey was appointed caretaker coach of the Lions for the remainder of the season. Justin Leppitsch was eventually appointed as the new head coach of the Lions from 2014 onwards.

Voss left the club having coached 109 games for the Lions, achieving 43 wins, 1 draw and 65 losses, for a winning percentage of 39.91%.[23]

In October 2014 Voss joined the Port Adelaide Football Club as their midfield manager, replacing Phil Walsh who had joined the Adelaide Football Club.[24]


  1. "Michael Voss, Midfield Manager". portadelaidefc.com.au. Port Adelaide Football Club. Retrieved 16 August 2015.
  2. http://www.afl.com.au/tabid/208/default.aspx?newsid=55909
  3. Whiting, Michael (9 June 2011). "Interview with Michael Voss". Australian Football League. Retrieved 9 June 2011.
  4. Football farewells a truly loyal servant
  6. "Sports Nominations" (PDF). The Ashgrovian. Marist College Ashgrove. 51 (2): 26. 2013. Retrieved 18 June 2015.
  7. Faith in a pride of Lions
  8. Brisbane Lions release statement on Michael Voss
  9. History will honour the brave, the unbeatable from theage.com.au.
  10. Michael Voss | Brisbane lions website. Retrieved 14 August 2013 Archived 14 August 2013 at Archive.today
  11. Cousins named for Derby clash, ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation), 8 April 2005
  12. Swans steal home from the Lions' lair, Sydney Morning Herald, 10 April 2005
  13. Michael Voss' player profile at AFL Tables
  14. Michael Voss' coaching profile at AFL Tables
  15. "Michael Voss appointed Lions Senior Coach". lions.com.au. Retrieved 11 July 2010.
  16. http://www.thewest.com.au/aapstory.aspx?StoryName=432124%5B%5D Lawrence fined $5,000 over pub brawl
  17. Aussie talent all class on African footy's big day from worldfootynews.com
  18. Voss set to hold first talks - AFL - Fox Sports
  19. "Voss joins Eagles as assistant". Australian Football League www.afl.com.au. 10 July 2008. Archived from the original on 13 July 2008. Retrieved 10 July 2008.
  20. "Lions hand reins to Voss". Fox Sports. 2 September 2008. Retrieved 5 September 2008.
  21. "Voss to coach Lions for next three years". The Age. 2 September 2008. Archived from the original on 3 September 2009. Retrieved 5 September 2009.
  22. "Lions on hunt for new coach after dumping Michael Voss". AFL.com.au. 13 August 2013. Retrieved 13 August 2013.
  23. http://afltables.com/afl/stats/coaches/Michael_Voss.html
  24. Voss joins Power as midfield manager, Port Adelaide Football Club official website, 14 October 2014

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