Luke Ball – Retired Australian Rules Football Player
Luke Ball is a retired Australian Rules Footballer who played in the AFL for Collingwood.
He played a total of 142 games for the St Kilda Football Club and was a captain for 2007 season. He was honoured with the best and fairest player award All-Australian in 2005. He is the younger brother of Mathew Ball, who is Hawthorn player. He grew up in the Melbourne suburbs of Glen Iris along with his brother and sister. His father, Ray Ball was a footballer who played for South Melbourne.
In 2001, Ball was drafted to St Kilda Football Club behind Luke Hodge. He played football for Xavier College during his final year of school. He finished school with a merit score of 98.8.
Football Career (2003 to 2014)
He played nearly 142 games from 2003 to 2009. He is the only player in the AFL who played 3 grand finals for two different clubs. After having injury problems, he debuted in 2003 and chose to play for Xavier College. He was a rising nominee in the year 2003. In the year 2004, Luke Ball played on winning side of the Wizards Homes Loan Cup. It was a big year for Ball, as he was awarded for being the best and fairest player of the year.
In 2005, Ball was selected in All Australian team as a midfield player and won Trevor Barker Award tying with Steven Barker. That was his first All-Australian team award. He was appointed as acting captain, when the team captain Nick was injured during the opening round. In 2006, he was announced as captain of St Kilda. But, this young player failed to give his best performance due to groin problems. Though he was cleared in June of having Osteitis pubis, the second half of the season saw great improvement in the game.
In the year 2007, Ball was made co-captain along with Rietwoldt and Hayes and played a total of 18 games, 345 disposals, 91 tackles and 5 goals. He played a very vital role in the team and made his reputation, strong as a “hard-nut”. The year 2008 was a great season for Ball, where he played on winning side of St Kilda’s 2008 NAB Cup. He missed 4 games due to an injury, but achieved to make a score of 7 goals, 107 tackles and 392 disposals. He missed the final series due to hamstring tear.
In 2009, he was qualified for finals in first position and won the club’s third minor premiership. He played a total of 17 matches in 2009 AFL season and played in the grand final, where St. Kilda was defeated by 12 points. At the end of season 2009, he requested to move to Collingwood; however, the deal was not settled. He officially left St Kilda in November 2009 and was drafted to Collingwood.
In the year 2010, he made his debut in the first round of the NAB cup against St Kilda, his former club. He won the game by one point and was in the lead by 7 goals after the 3rd quarter. Due to hamstring cramp, Ball has to leave the field during the third quarter. Despite of his injury, he was selected for the grand final in the squad. On 25 September 2010, Collingwood played against St Kilda, which ended in a draw. Collingwood won the premiership in a rematch held on.
Luke Ball had another great season in midfield after joining Collingwood group. He averaged 166 tackles and 21.5 disposals in 24 matches. He became one of the most consistent players in 2011 and grabbed the spotlight in the final series scoring 2 clutch goals. He was elected the pr5esident of the AFL players association in 2012 and was appointed acting captain in the first NAB Cup game. With numerous hamstring injuries throughout his career, there was a delay in the 2013 season. He played at VFL to get his form back. Ball announced his retirement in August 2014, due to back injury which required surgery to play in 2015.
To play in 2015, Luke Ball would have required a surgery, due to which he opted to announce his retirement from AFL. The effort he brings to a game and the standards he holds himself to can make him a great coach in the future. He has been an inspiration for the teammates and a great person. He is an existing president of the AFL players association and is open to continuing in 2015.
Awards And Achievements
- International Rules team in 2004
- St Kilda pre-season cup winning team in 2004
- All-Australian team in 2005
- St Kilda best and fairest award in 2005
- St Kilda co-captain in 2006v
- St Kilda captain in 2007
- St Kilda minor premiership team in 2009
- St Kilda grand final team in 2009
- Collingwood minor premiership team in 2010
- Collingwood premiership team in 2010
- Collingwood Pre-Season Cup Winning Team in 2010