Michael_McLean_(footballer)

Michael McLean (footballer)

Michael "Magic" McLean (born 3 March 1965 in Darwin, Northern Territory) is a former Australian rules footballer in the VFL/AFL.

Footscray career

McLean was recruited from the Northern Territory Football League's Nightcliff Football Club by the Footscray Football Club. Debuting in 1983 in the VFL, McLean was a skilful winger who went on to play 95 games and boot 23 goals with the Bulldogs before he suffered an ankle injuries that hampered his career. In response to his injuries, McLean focused on building his lean body to become one of the strongest physiques in the competition.

Brisbane career

The Bulldogs gave McLean the boot, before he was picked up in the 1991 AFL Pre-season Draft, as the no. 1 pick by the Brisbane Bears. He resurrected his career, winning the 1991 and 1993 best and fairest award at the Bears. He went on to play 87 games and boot 17 goals with the Bears, before playing the first game in 1997 with the newly-merged Brisbane Lions before constant calf injury struck him down, forcing his retirement.

Coaching career

McLean eventually returned to Darwin to coach his former club the Nightcliff Tigers. He did so for 5 years with limited success before resigning at the end of 2004 to coach the Redland Bombers in the Queensland State League. At the end of the 2005, as Redland seemed destined for the wooden spoon, he resigned and returned to Darwin to again coach Nightcliff. In the 2005/06 season, McLean gave the Tigers an impressive season and reached the Preliminary Final before bowing out to eventual premiers the Darwin Buffaloes. In the 2006/07 season, McLean became coach for the Southern Districts Football Club where he led the club to their first ever NTFL premierhip.

Aboriginal activist

During his career he was a strong anti-racism advocate, and this continued post his career. He was a vital part of the Aboriginal All-Stars match up in Darwin, and was also named in the Indigenous Team of the Century.

In 2007, McLean was working at Palmerston YMCA in Darwin as a community worker.

References

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