Michael Voss

Michael Voss

Brisbane Lions coach Michael Voss oversees pre-season training,
November 2008.
Personal information
Full name Michael Voss
Date of birth 7 July 1975 (1975-07-07) (age 36)
Place of birth Traralgon, Victoria, Australia
Original team Morningside (AFLQ)
Height/Weight 183cm / 88kg
Position(s) Midfielder
Club information
Current club Brisbane Lions
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
Brisbane Bears
Brisbane Lions
79 (72)
210 (173)
289 (245)
International team honours
Years Team Games (Goals)
2001–2006 Australia 4
Coaching career3
Years Club Games (W–L–D)
2009– Brisbane Lions 68 (25-42-1)
1 Playing statistics to end of 2006 season .
3 Coaching statistics correct as of 2011.
Career highlights

Michael Voss (born 7 July 1975) is the senior coach of the Brisbane Lions Australian Football League team and a former professional Australian rules footballer.

During his AFL playing career, which was played entirely at Brisbane for the Brisbane Bears and Brisbane Lions, he was recognised as one of the greats of league and club and is listed by journalist Mike Sheahan's as one of the top 50 players of all time[1]. He won the league's most prestigious award, the Brownlow Medal and was recognised as one of the best players and captains in the league between 2002 and 2003 through six time All-Australian selection including captaincy and winner of the Leigh Matthews Trophy for the league's most valued player. He captained the Brisbane Lions in four consecutive AFL Grand Finals, yielding three premierships (2001–2003). Additionally, he represented Australia in the 2006 International Rules Series and the state of Queensland in State of Origin. As a player he was noted for his fearless play, inspirational leadership and the ability to turn a game. Voss has been inducted into the Australian Football Hall of Fame.[2]


Early life and career

He was born in Traralgon, Victoria and lived as a child in Orbost until the age of 11, when he moved with his family to Beenleigh,[3] south of Brisbane. His younger brother Brett also played for the Brisbane Lions before transferring to St Kilda Football Club to enhance his opportunities to play senior football.

Voss' football skills were excellent from an early age, kicking 14 goals for Queensland in an under-17 representative match in 1992, before eventually winning the Hunter-Harrison Medal for the tournament. The following week he debuted for the Brisbane Bears against Fitzroy at Princes Park in Melbourne, the youngest ever player to play a senior game for the club.

Rise to stardom

Although highly skilled, he was also slight, but worked as hard as any veteran in getting the most out of his body. By 1996 he was one of the most accomplished players in the competition, and at the end of the season he shared the Brownlow Medal, the game's highest individual honour, with James Hird.

In 1997 after the Bears merged with Fitzroy to form the Brisbane Lions and the retirement of long-term Bears captain Roger Merrett, Voss's leadership abilities were recognised in his promotion to co-captain with teammate Alastair Lynch at the age of just 21. His early form was patchy as he grew into the role, but by 1999 he was being lauded as one of the best captains in the AFL[citation needed].

In 1998 he suffered his first major career setback. Contesting a mark at Subiaco Oval in Perth in a match against Fremantle, he collided with Shane Parker and shattered his leg. The subsequent operation was at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, and it was a year before he was fit & back in training to play again. Brisbane finished 16th & with a wooden spoon that year with a 5-1-16 record.

Premiership and captaincy success

Voss captained the Brisbane Lions in four consecutive AFL Grand Finals, yielding three premierships (2001–2003). His performance in the 2002 grand final against Collingwood was an outstanding example of courage, skill and leadership, only narrowly conceding the Norm Smith Medal to opposing captain Nathan Buckley.[4]

Later career

In early 2004, Voss booted a career best 7 goals against a struggling Adelaide at AAMI Stadium as coach Leigh Matthews looked to play him in the forward line during the latter part of his career. However, a heavy injury toll to the Lions meant that Voss continued his career in the midfield, with Simon Black helping him out & also his new housemate while living in Brisbane.

In 2005, Voss suffered a badly cut hamstring before Round 2 whilst renovating his home. Prior to this, Voss had suffered from tendinitis of the knee and saw a doctor to have an operation & solve the problem. This hamstring injury had an impact on his performances, with the four games after the injury yielding a high possession count of only 16. Voss later improved and in Round 21 picked up a 35 possession haul against Port Adelaide.

Soon after the completion of the 2006 season, Voss announced his retirement from the AFL after 289 games and 15 years at the Brisbane Bears/Lions, and 3 premierships to his name & found a job for 2 years with Channel 10 in Brisbane, presenting the sport. In 2006, the problems he suffered with knee problems yet again, saw a doctor and caught problems with traffic in Brisbane on his way to the Gabba in what Voss described as his "very old knees". Voss said farewell in what turned out to be his last game, at the Gabba in Round 22 against St Kilda, gathering 34 possessions and 2 Brownlow Medal votes as a struggling Brisbane Lions team went down by 50 points to finals bound St Kilda who won in Brisbane for the first time in a decade. Despite losing badly. The Lions received a long standing ovation from a sold out home crowd after the game for their premiership efforts and farewell to several other players.

Voss was added to the Brisbane Council when he visited them.

Life after football

Voss joined the Network Ten AFL commentary team in 2007 in a special comments role.[5] He was also appointed the role of sports anchor on Ten's 5 o'clock weekday news in Brisbane.[citation needed]

Voss currently lives in Brisbane with wife Donna and their three children.

In 2011, Voss was inducted into the Australian Football Hall of Fame.[2]


In 2007, Voss was charged for his role in a melee with Simon Black, Fraser Gehrig and three other high profile AFL players at a Melbourne nightclub. At the resulting trial, Voss agreed to enter a diversion program and therefore no conviction was recorded.[6]

Coaching career

When announcing his retirement at the end of the 2006 season, there was speculation Voss would soon become a senior coach or join Leigh Matthews in the Brisbane Lions Coaching team. Voss instead joined the Channel 10 Sports crew and commentary team.

Voss coached Australia's AIS Under 17 squad to victory against the South African national Australian rules football team at North West Cricket Stadium in Potchefstroom, South Africa.[7]

Voss was often mentioned as a candidate to coach the Melbourne Demons after the resignation of Neale Daniher. He was also linked to various other coaching positions, most notably Carlton.[8]

Voss was seen by many to be the likely inaugural coach of the Gold Coast side, but instead signed a two year deal with the West Coast Eagles as an assistant coach and formally pulled himself out of the Gold Coast bid.[9]

When Leigh Matthews, coach of the Brisbane Lions, resigned at the end of the 2008 season, Eagles chief executive Trevor Nisbett gave Voss permission to talk with his former club. The Lions later announced Voss as their new senior coach until the end of 2011.[10][11]

Voss made his coaching debut in Brisbane's defeat of the West Coast Eagles in round 1, 2009.

Voss's first season as coach could be described as one of exceeding expectations. The rookie coach managed to guide the Brisbane Lions into their first finals campaign since 2004 including a comeback elimination final victory over Carlton after trailing by 30 points early in the fourth quarter.


External links

Sporting positions
Establishment of club
Brisbane Lions captain
1997 – 2006
Succeeded by
Simon Black
Jonathan Brown
Chris Johnson
Nigel Lappin
Luke Power
Preceded by
James Hird
All-Australian Team captain
2002 – 2003
Succeeded by
Mark Ricciuto
Preceded by
Leigh Matthews
Brisbane Lions coach
2009 – present
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Paul Kelly
Brownlow Medal
1996 (shared with James Hird)
Succeeded by
Robert Harvey
Preceded by
Jason Akermanis
and Justin Leppitsch
Simon Black
Merrett-Murray Medal
2000 – 2001

Succeeded by
Simon Black

Nigel Lappin
Preceded by
Andrew McLeod
Leigh Matthews Trophy
2002 (shared with Luke Darcy) – 2003
Succeeded by
Nick Riewoldt
Media offices
Preceded by
Brad McEwan
Ten News Brisbane sports presenter
2007 – 2008
Succeeded by
Peter O'Dempsey

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