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2014 Review: Michael Firrito

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

10:57am  Oct 17, 2014

Firrito signs on

Michael Firrito's remarkable 2014 return to form has earned him a new one-year deal.

12:40pm  Oct 1, 2014

Striking a balance

"I look at our younger guys, who have all played 80 to 100 games, and it's a good blend."

11:27am  Sep 6, 2014

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Seniors List

11

Michael
Firrito

Height
189 cm
DOB
27-11-1983
Weight
93 kg
Debut
2003
Games
2014
20
Career
230
Goals
2014
1
Career
29
2014 AFL Fantasy Points
Total
1230
Avg
62
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

2014 Player Sponsors

- Spirito Constructions P/L
- Charles Bongiovanni - AlexKarBon Real Estate

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

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

  • 2014 Season Average
    Games Played 20
    • Kicks 9.6
    • Handballs 6.7
    • Disposals 16.3
    • Marks 4.7
    • Hit-Outs 0.0
    • Tackles 1.7
    • Goals 0.0
    • AFL Fantasy 61.5

2014 Highlights

Statistics Best Opponent Round
Kicks 15 Melbourne Rd 14
Handballs 12 Hawthorn Rd 16
Disposals 24 Melbourne Rd 14
Marks 8 Sydney Swans PF
Hit-outs 1 Fremantle Rd 6
Tackles 4 Sydney Swans PF
Goals 1 GWS Giants Rd 20
AFL Fantasy 93 Collingwood Rd 5

2014 Season Breakdown

Rd Opponent Result K H D M HO FF FA T G B AF
1 Essendon L 60 - 99 - - - - - - - - - - -
2 Western Bulldogs W 54 - 83 - - - - - - - - - - -
3 Port Adelaide W 97 - 90 - - - - - - - - - - -
4 Sydney Swans W 48 - 91 11 9 20 1 0 0 0 2 0 0 62
5 Collingwood L 93 - 58 14 9 23 7 0 0 0 3 0 0 93
6 Fremantle W 61 - 74 12 3 15 2 1 0 0 1 0 0 53
7 Gold Coast Suns L 77 - 120 6 8 14 2 0 1 1 0 0 0 38
9 Brisbane Lions W 125 - 38 - - - - - - - - - - -
10 Geelong Cats L 111 - 91 10 8 18 3 0 3 0 1 0 0 62
11 West Coast Eagles W 44 - 82 9 10 19 8 0 0 2 2 0 0 73
12 Richmond W 116 - 88 10 1 11 1 0 2 1 3 0 0 46
13 Adelaide Crows L 109 - 73 14 6 20 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 72
14 Melbourne W 66 - 107 15 9 24 6 0 0 2 2 0 0 83
15 Brisbane Lions L 70 - 66 8 3 11 2 0 1 1 0 0 0 34
16 Hawthorn W 108 - 88 8 12 20 6 0 0 1 2 0 0 71
17 St Kilda W 92 - 33 12 5 17 8 0 2 0 1 0 0 76
18 Carlton L 109 - 86 7 2 9 4 0 0 0 1 0 0 41
19 Geelong Cats L 79 - 111 5 5 10 4 0 1 1 2 0 0 43
20 GWS Giants W 51 - 126 7 8 15 7 0 0 3 1 1 0 59
21 Western Bulldogs W 111 - 61 12 7 19 7 0 0 1 2 0 0 76
22 Adelaide Crows W 101 - 94 10 9 19 5 0 2 2 1 0 0 63
23 Melbourne W 123 - 93 - - - - - - - - - - -
FW1 Essendon W 93 - 81 5 5 10 5 0 0 2 3 0 0 46
SF Geelong Cats W 92 - 98 8 5 13 2 0 0 0 3 0 0 52
PF Sydney Swans L 136 - 65 9 11 20 8 0 1 1 4 0 0 87
TOTAL W: 16 - L: 9 192 135 327 94 1 13 18 34 1 0 1230

By the numbers

  • Career Average
    Games Played 230
    • Kicks 7.7
    • Handballs 7.2
    • Disposals 15.0
    • Marks 3.9
    • Hit-Outs 0.3
    • Tackles 2.4
    • Goals 0.1
    • AFL Fantasy 57.9

Career Highlights

Statistics Best Opponent Round
Kicks 15 Melbourne Rd 14, 2014
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
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%

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