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North's newest number 11

Michael Firrito is confident Luke McDonald can continue a “rich tradition” wearing number 11.

3:11pm Nov 14, 2016

A 'memorable journey'

North stalwart Michael Firrito has expressed the joy of having his son Lenny greet him after his final game.

6:20pm Sep 13, 2016

Latest Player Video

Syd Barker, 2016: Firrito speech

9:14pm  Oct 7, 2016

Firrito says farewell

6:20pm  Sep 13, 2016

Shinboner of the Era #3: Firrito

10:38am  Jun 9, 2016

Unassigned Content List



189 cm
93 kg
2019 AFL Fantasy Points

Player Bio

At a Glance

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


- 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.”


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.


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.


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.


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.



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.


By the numbers

  • 2019 Season Average
    Games Played
    • Kicks
    • Handballs
    • Disposals
    • Marks
    • Hit-Outs
    • Tackles
    • Goals
    • AFL Fantasy

2019 Highlights

Statistics Best Opponent Round
Kicks 0 - -
Handballs 0 - -
Disposals 0 - -
Marks 0 - -
Hit-outs 0 - -
Tackles 0 - -
Goals 0 - -
AFL Fantasy 0 - -

2019 Season Breakdown

Rd Opponent Result K H D M HO FF FA T G B AF
TOTAL W: 0 - L: 0

By the numbers

  • Career Average
    Games Played 275
    • Kicks 7.8
    • Handballs 6.9
    • Disposals 14.7
    • Marks 3.9
    • Hit-Outs 0.3
    • Tackles 2.3
    • Goals 0.1
    • AFL Fantasy 56.9

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


Frees For
Frees Against
AFL Fantasy points


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
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

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
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
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
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
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