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Healthy competition

"This time 12 months ago, we had a lot more injuries and operations and more boys in rehabilitation."

5:08pm Dec 2, 2015

Firrito goes again

Unfinished finals business will be driving North Melbourne defender Michael Firrito in 2016.

12:00pm Oct 15, 2015

Seniors List

11

Michael
Firrito

Height
189 cm
DOB
27-11-1983
Weight
93 kg
Debut
2003
Games
2016
8
Career
261
Goals
2016
0
Career
29
2016 AFL Fantasy Points
Total
425
Avg
53
MichaelFirrito

Player Bio

At a Glance

Junior club: Gembrook
Recruited from: Box Hill Hawks
Draft: #10, 2002 Rookie
Debut: Round 12, 2003 v Essendon

Strengths

- Versatility in the back half
- Strong contested player

Jumper Club Members

- Spirito Constructions P/L

Background: Pre-NMFC



Firrito captained the Eastern Ranges in 2001 and won their best and fairest in the same year. However he was overlooked by all AFL clubs in the draft and decided to sign for Box Hill in the VFL in 2002.

While playing for Box Hill, Firrito won the Fothergill/Round Medal as the most promising player in the VFL in 2002. It was this form which forced him onto North Melbourne’s radar, and he was rewarded with selection in the year-end rookie draft.

Season by Season

Season by Season

Mid-season, from Josh Drummond

“He’s been really reliable for us playing a number of different roles. It’s been anywhere from the resting ruckman to a smaller forward or resting midfielder like Jobe Watson when we played Essendon.

“He’s unheralded in many regards but he’s certainly well respected within our four walls and plays his role most weeks. His body is in good condition and he’s been able to get some continuity.”

Second half of 2015, from Josh Drummond

“Physically and mentally, he’s been super all year.

“Throughout the finals, while he’s never going to wow you on the stat sheet, the role he played for us was crucial.

“His finals series, playing on talls and smalls, quicks and marking players, he was able to really hold up under the pressure.

“He’s definitely an underrated part of our side.”

2014

Of all the good news stories around North Melbourne in 2014, Michael Firrito’s may have been the very best.

On the verge of retirement after an injury interrupted 2013, the veteran defender opted to play on and duly proceeded to put together a throwback year.

After starting the year at Werribee, Firrito received his chance in the senior side after Jamie Macmillan’s injury in Round 3. He didn’t look back, missing only two more games for the rest of the season.

Playing on both tall and medium sized forwards, Firrito was able to provide both solid defence and rebound; his versatility an added bonus for North in the back half.

During 2014, the number 11 moved into the top 20 for most games played at the Kangaroos, finishing the year on 230. In further good news, he signed a new one year deal and will play again in 2015.

2013

Mid-season, from Shane Watson

“He generally has been playing as the third defender, but now with Lachie (Hansen) coming into the side he’s been playing on a mix of the resting ruckmen and small forwards. Generally he seems to have more effect playing on the talls.

“Spud doesn’t have to play undersized anymore. He’s been reasonably consistent. When he is playing on the talls it’s about his positioning and not bodying them up. He has to get a clean run at the footy to spoil.

End of season review

Niggling knee and quad injuries caught up with Firrito, who had to sit out to heal. On his return to the field, he had to earn his spot back through the VFL at Werribee.

With Scott Thompson and Nathan Grima out for the last fortnight of the season, Firrito returned to face Lance Franklin and Travis Cloke, no small feat. His performances were encouraging.

2012

After the retirement of Brady Rawlings, Firrito became the defensive general with the most experience in the back six.

His slightly quieter 2011 was replaced by an impressive bounce-back year. Right from the start, he showed he was set for a quality year nullifying Michael Hurley in the season opener against Essendon.

He showcased his versatility on numerous occasions throughout the season. From week to week he would be matched up on opponents much smaller or much taller.

2011

Firrito's form dipped slightly in 2011. In a measure of how consistent he had been in previous years, 2011 was just the second time in the past seven years he had finished outside the top 10 in the Syd Barker Medal.

However he still finished fourth at the club for rebound 50's, fifth for one-percenters and ninth for inside 50's. It showed that Firrito can still find a way to contribute even if certain areas of his game weren't performing as well as he would have liked.

 

2010

Firrito had a career high year for disposals and provided much needed stability down back in Brad Scott's first year. With the backline working around Firrito and his drive from the defensive 50, there was plenty of rebound provided.

He polled his only two Brownlow votes in 2010 courtesy of two one-vote performances against Melbourne (Round 6) and Carlton (Round 12) respectively. Unsurprisingly the result of those two games was North wins, illustrating Firrito's importance in the back half.

Stats

By the numbers

  • 2016 Season Average
    Games Played 8
    • Kicks 8.3
    • Handballs 6.0
    • Disposals 14.3
    • Marks 4.4
    • Hit-Outs 0.0
    • Tackles 1.5
    • Goals 0.0
    • AFL Fantasy 53.1

2016 Highlights

Statistics Best Opponent Round
Kicks 14 Melbourne Rd 3
Handballs 8 Carlton Rd 9
Disposals 19 Melbourne Rd 3
Marks 9 Adelaide Crows Rd 1
Hit-outs 0 - -
Tackles 3 Carlton Rd 9
Goals 0 - -
AFL Fantasy 73 Melbourne Rd 3

2016 Season Breakdown

Rd Opponent Result K H D M HO FF FA T G B AF
1 Adelaide Crows W 107 - 97 10 7 17 9 0 0 2 1 0 0 69
2 Brisbane Lions W 83 - 117 7 7 14 2 0 1 0 0 0 0 42
3 Melbourne W 136 - 131 14 5 19 5 0 0 2 3 0 0 73
4 Fremantle W 132 - 101 10 5 15 3 0 2 0 1 0 0 55
5 Gold Coast Suns W 81 - 119 5 4 9 3 0 0 3 0 0 0 23
6 Western Bulldogs W 61 - 45 7 8 15 3 0 1 1 1 0 0 48
7 St Kilda W 75 - 82 9 4 13 8 0 1 1 3 0 0 69
8 Essendon W 60 - 74 - - - - - - - - - - -
9 Carlton W 113 - 46 4 8 12 2 0 0 0 3 0 0 46
10 Sydney Swans - - - - - - - - - - -
11 Richmond - - - - - - - - - - -
12 Geelong Cats - - - - - - - - - - -
13 Hawthorn - - - - - - - - - - -
14 Adelaide Crows - - - - - - - - - - -
16 West Coast Eagles - - - - - - - - - - -
17 Port Adelaide - - - - - - - - - - -
18 Collingwood - - - - - - - - - - -
19 St Kilda - - - - - - - - - - -
20 Western Bulldogs - - - - - - - - - - -
21 Hawthorn - - - - - - - - - - -
22 Sydney Swans - - - - - - - - - - -
23 GWS Giants - - - - - - - - - - -
TOTAL W: 9 - L: 0 66 48 114 35 0 5 9 12 0 0 425

By the numbers

  • Career Average
    Games Played 261
    • Kicks 7.9
    • Handballs 7.0
    • Disposals 14.9
    • Marks 3.9
    • Hit-Outs 0.3
    • Tackles 2.3
    • Goals 0.1
    • AFL Fantasy 57.6

Career Highlights

Statistics Best Opponent Round
Kicks 15 Geelong Cats Rd 15, 2015
Handballs 25 GWS Giants Rd 2, 2012
Disposals 33 GWS Giants Rd 2, 2012
Marks 10 Brisbane Lions Rd 18, 2007
Hit-outs 7 Western Bulldogs Rd 8, 2005
Tackles 11 Carlton Rd 22, 2005
Goals 2 Sydney Swans Rd 14, 2009
AFL Fantasy 108 St Kilda Rd 11, 2009

Career Breakdown

Season Club K H D M HO FF FA T G B AF
2016 North Melbourne 66 48 114 35 0 5 9 12 0 0 425
2015 North Melbourne 189 123 312 79 1 21 17 52 0 3 1232
2014 North Melbourne 192 135 327 94 1 13 18 34 1 0 1230
2013 North Melbourne 162 90 252 83 0 21 18 28 0 0 994
2012 North Melbourne 190 222 412 98 0 15 23 37 1 1 1409
2011 North Melbourne 180 163 343 68 2 17 23 57 2 1 1261
2010 North Melbourne 192 232 424 89 0 19 19 54 2 2 1499
2009 North Melbourne 172 197 369 81 11 24 26 101 9 6 1574
2008 North Melbourne 156 179 335 109 4 17 23 40 1 7 1278
2007 North Melbourne 164 168 332 89 2 14 35 39 1 1 1169
2006 North Melbourne 130 107 237 75 6 15 11 44 3 5 1016
2005 North Melbourne 168 105 273 84 30 11 24 74 5 4 1265
2004 North Melbourne 90 61 151 35 17 7 13 33 4 2 640
2003 North Melbourne 6 2 8 1 0 1 0 3 0 0 38

Legend

K
Kicks
H
Handballs
D
Disposals
M
Marks
HO
Hit-outs
FF
Frees For
FA
Frees Against
T
Tackles
G
Goals
B
Behinds
AF
AFL Fantasy points

Milestones

Individual Stats

- Disposals: 4
- One percenters: 5
- Tackles: 2
- Time on Ground: 81%

Individual Stats

- Disposals: 20
- Marks: 6
- Hit-outs: 2
- Time on Ground: 80%

Individual Stats

- Disposals: 15
- Marks: 5
- Rebound 50's: 2
- Time on Ground: 100%

Individual Stats

- Disposals: 15
- Tackles: 4
- Rebound 50's: 4
- Time on Ground: 100%

Individual Stats

- Disposals: 14
- Marks: 4
- Contested marks: 2
- Time on Ground: 93%

Individual Stats

- Disposals: 16
- Marks: 7
- Rebound 50's: 5
- Time on Ground: 91%

NMFC Debut

Round 12, 2003 v Essendon
Venue:
Etihad Stadium

North Melbourne: 5.3.33, 7.6.48, 11.9.75, 14.12.96
Essendon: 5.0.30, 7.3.45, 12.6.78, 13.10.88

50th Game

Round 14, 2006 v Western Bulldogs
Venue:
MCG

North Melbourne: 4.2.26, 7.7.49, 10.13.73, 13.16.94
Western Bulldogs: 2.3.15, 4.7.31, 10.8.68, 12.10.82

100th Game

Round 18, 2008 v Brisbane
Venue:
Metricon Stadium

North Melbourne: 5.6.36, 6.9.45, 10.10.70, 13.14.92
Brisbane: 3.3.21, 8.7.55, 10.13.73, 11.18.84

150th Game

Round 1, 2011 v West Coast
Venue:
Patersons Stadium

North Melbourne: 4.3.27, 6.5.41, 10.8.68, 13.10.88
West Coast: 3.7.25, 6.10.46, 9.12.66, 13.14.92

200th Game

Round 7, 2013 v Western Bulldogs
Venue:
Etihad Stadium

North Melbourne: 5.5.35, 8.11.59, 13.14.92, 22.19.151
Western Bulldogs: 4.1.25, 7.3.45, 11.7.73, 15.7.97

250th game

Round 22, 2015 v Western Bulldogs
Venue:
Etihad Stadium

North Melbourne: 1.5.11, 3.8.26, 5.11.41, 10.13.73
Western Bulldogs: 1.3.9, 5.5.35, 7.10.52, 14.12.96