Shaun Higgins

Shaun Higgins (born 4 March 1988) is professional Australian rules footballer playing for the North Melbourne Football Club in the Australian Football League (AFL). He previously played for the Western Bulldogs from 2006 to 2014. Higgins is a dual Syd Barker Medallist and was selected in the 2018 All-Australian team. He received a nomination for the 2007 AFL Rising Star award in round 8 of the 2007 season.

Shaun Higgins
Higgins playing for North Melbourne in 2017
Personal information
Full name Shaun Higgins
Date of birth (1988-03-04) 4 March 1988
Original team(s) Geelong Falcons (TAC Cup)
Draft No. 11, 2005 national draft
Debut Round 9, 2006, Western Bulldogs
vs. Collingwood, at the MCG
Height 184 cm (6 ft 0 in)
Weight 89 kg (196 lb)
Position(s) Midfielder / forward
Club information
Current club North Melbourne
Number 4
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
2006–2014 Western Bulldogs 129 (128)
2015– North Melbourne 091 0(92)
Total 220 (220)
International team honours
Years Team Games (Goals)
2017 Australia 1 (0)
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of the 2019 season.
2 State and international statistics correct as of 2017.
Career highlights
Sources: AFL Tables, AustralianFootball.com

Early life

Higgins grew up in Geelong, Victoria. He attended St Joseph's College. He played junior football for Newtown and Chilwell and was a Geelong supporter.[1] His father Mick played reserves football for Geelong.[2] His sister Danielle Orr played netball for the Geelong Cougars in the Victorian Netball League[3] and plays for Geelong in the AFL Women's (AFLW).[4]

Higgins was the Geelong Falcons best onballer and was projected to go higher than pick 11, but fell in the lap of the Western Bulldogs.

AFL career

He managed to make his debut in his first season, against Collingwood. He played mostly as a small forward then but suffered a season-ending elbow injury in round 13 against the West Coast Eagles, ruling him out of that year's finals campaign. Before his injury he showed flashes of brilliance in front of goals. But his fitness levels were not quite up. But even at that stage he was a standout with his accurate kicking and awareness of what was around him.

With the frustration of missing his first season, This was Higgins' breakout year after coming off a season ending elbow injury. He proved a handy Goal Kicker up forward that could take a good mark and set up players for a Goal. This was the year where the doubters got off his back and found out just how good he really was, and proved what kind of prospect he is. The game most notable was against the team he made his debut against, Collingwood where he kicked the Winning Goal. He was the Round 8 nominee for the 2007 NAB Rising Star award.

With a great win against Adelaide to open the season Higgins played a vital role in the win. His Season was cut short in round 2 with a Broken Ankle against Melbourne when he landed on it coming down from a Marking contest. It was only supposed to keep him our for a few weeks but the injury was worse than first thought. But came back to play in the Finals. Higgins learned a valuable lesson that year and it has made him a better Footballer. When he was injured he was always in the Bulldogs rooms encouraging his team mates and this was the first sign of Leadership that he shown and he later was voted by his peers as a leader. In the preliminary Final against Geelong Higgins was playing on Darren Milburn, Higgins went on to kick two goals on him and set one up and Milburn got taken off the ground.[2]

Although he is primarily a forward, Higgins has been used sometimes in the midfield. In 2009 Higgins was promoted into the Leadership group. And he received the famous number 7 that was worn by Scott West and Doug Hawkins before him.[5] Higgins had a brilliant pre-season that was up there with Daniel Cross and Matthew Boyd in the time trials. He is touted as being a potential captain of the Club. He had a solid 2009 season but had hamstring troubles that put a damper on his performance. He has the ability of kicking both feet and has great speed. His most notable goal was against Geelong. He is a very fit onballer that can run all day. He signed a contract extension midway through the season.

On 3 October 2014, Higgins signed with the North Melbourne Football Club as a restricted free agent after the Western Bulldogs decided not to match the Kangaroos' offer.[6][7] Higgins had a stellar first season with North Melbourne, playing 24 games and kicking 39 goals. Higgins was also one of their most consistent players all year playing as a high half forward. The 2016 season however, was not one to remember for Higgins as he injured himself in round 7, thus ruling him out for three months. Higgins returned in round 23 and played in the losing elimination final.

Higgins played every match for the 2017 season apart from the round five match against Fremantle to go on and win his first best and fairest, the Syd Barker Medal.[8] At the end of the 2019 season, Higgins signed a one-year contract extension, turning his back on interest from Geelong.[9]

Personal life

In November 2015, Higgins married partner Heidi Greig.[10]

Statistics

Statistics are correct to the end of the 2019 season.[11]
Legend
 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)
2006 Western Bulldogs 195333624601490.60.67.24.812.02.81.80
2007 Western Bulldogs 1920261012712024774381.30.56.46.012.43.71.91
2008 Western Bulldogs 1974645529720180.60.96.47.413.92.92.60
2009 Western Bulldogs 7203218231191422105521.60.911.69.621.15.32.611
2010 Western Bulldogs 71717818515834363521.00.510.99.320.23.73.11
2011 Western Bulldogs 718121620517337880700.70.911.49.621.04.43.91
2012 Western Bulldogs 719221619514634181571.20.810.37.717.94.33.00
2013 Western Bulldogs 733430114117101.01.310.03.713.75.73.30
2014 Western Bulldogs 7209421219640872640.50.210.69.820.43.63.22
2015 North Melbourne 4243926233236469104901.61.19.79.819.54.33.88
2016 North Melbourne 49115678315034311.20.67.49.216.73.83.41
2017 North Melbourne 4211825269224493771060.91.212.810.723.53.75.09
2018 North Melbourne 420141628126754866580.70.814.113.427.43.32.915
2019 North Melbourne 417101122226148364490.60.613.115.428.43.82.918
Career 220 220 169 2338 2142 4480 871 703 1.0 0.8 10.6 9.7 20.4 4.0 3.2 67

Honours and achievements

Individual

References

  1. Petrie, Andrea (19 August 2009). "Higgins to be a long-term Dog". The Age. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 21 January 2010.
  2. Cresswell, Joel (4 September 2009) Geelong boy plans Cats' demise
  3. Smith, Sophie (28 March 2009) Geelong Cougars to create history
  4. "AFLW: How Cats, Kangas have built their lists". afl.com.au. Retrieved 2 February 2019.
  5. Stevens, Mark (26 June 2009). "Cap fits Shaun Higgins". Herald Sun. News Corporation. Retrieved 20 January 2010.
  6. Higgins finds new home at North
  7. Kangaroos sign Higgins after Dogs decline to match offer
  8. Clark, Jay (15 September 2017). "Shaun Higgins wins North Melbourne best and fairest in close finish". Herald Sun. News Corp Australia. Retrieved 16 September 2017.
  9. Black, Sarah (17 September 2019). "Star Roo ends trade speculation by inking new deal". afl.com.au. Retrieved 17 September 2019.
  10. "Wedding Bells Ring in Spring". AFLPA. Retrieved 28 May 2017.
  11. "Shaun Higgins". AFL Tables. Retrieved 25 March 2019.
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