Michael Voss Fearless Player and Super Coach
Fans called Michael Voss a fearless player and later on a super coach.
A former professional Aussie Rules footballer who later coached the Brisbane Lions Australian Football League team. Michael Voss is recognized as one of the all time greats and made it to the list of top 50 players of all time. He is among the few players to play for only one club during his career, the Brisbane Bears that later became the Brisbane Lions after its merger with the Fitzroy Football Club.
Voss was voted one of the best players and captains and also won the league’s prestigious Brownlow Medal.
Michael Voss played a major role in three of the Lions’ premiership titles and is also a five-time Club Champion. He was selected five times to represent the All-Australian side, which is not surprising why he is regarded as Queensland’s greatest AFL players.
Michael Voss led the team for a decade from 1997 to 2006 during which the team won three consecutive premierships in 2001, 2002 and 2003. He retired at the end of the 2006 season after playing 289 games for the Lions over 15 seasons. He also represented Australia in the International Rules Series in 2006 and the Queensland in the State of Origin.
Michael Voss was known to be fearless on the field and was a great inspiration to the Lions, which is evident from his long reign as captain. He had the knack to turn a game around, giving his fans much hope every time he took to the field.
Michael Voss moved to the Gold Coast with his family at the age of 11 and was instantly recognized for his football skills. In an under-17 match for Queensland, he kicked 14 goals and won the Hunter-Harrison Medal for the tournament.
This led to an early debut for the Brisbane Bears, which made him the youngest player to enter the field at a senior level for the club. His first match was against Fitzroy at Princes Park in 1992 and by 1996 became one of the most accomplished players, picking up the Brownlow Medal at the end of the season.
Best AFL Captains
An opportunity to captain the team came the following year in 1997 after the merger of the Bears with Fitzroy. Michael Voss was promoted to co-captain with Alastair Lynch to lead the newly merged outfit as the Brisbane Lions at the age of 21.
Understandably, Voss took some time to balance form and captaincy but by 1999, he was regarded as one of the best AFL captains. An unfortunate injury in 1998 that resulted from a collision with Shane Parker while contesting a mark caused a setback to his career.
Michael Voss missed an entire season the following year after undergoing an operation for a shattered leg. That year, the Lion ended with a wooden spoon.
Michael Voss bounced back and continued to lead the Lions to four consecutive AFL Grand Finals. Their first shot at the title in 2002 resulted in loss to Collingwood in the Grand Final. However, he was lauded for his outstanding performance and was a strong contender for the Norm Smith Medal that eventually went to Collingwood captain, Nathan Buckley.
The next three years saw Voss play at his peak as a player and captain, bringing his club three consecutive between 2001 and 2003. In 2004, he kicked seven goals, his career best, which came against Adelaide. While Coach Leigh Matthews considered moving Voss up front as a forward, he had to remain a midfielder a number of players were plagued by injuries.
Injuries once again took a toll on Voss’s career in 2005. He suffered a calf injury in Round 2, albeit off the field, while renovating his home. Tendinitis of the knee also exacerbated the problem where even after recovering from the calf injury he struggled to find form. However, in Round 21 he gained momentum and picked up 35 possessions in a match against Port Adelaide.
Michael Voss decided to quit playing at the end of the 2006 season, finishing with a career best of 245 goals from 289 games and 3 premiership titles. His last game was against St. Kilda in Round 22 at the Gabba, where he gathered 34 possessions although his team went down by 50 points. Several players for the Brisbane Lions announced their retirement at the same time and were given a standing ovation by the home crowd.
Post retirement, he joined Channel 10 in Brisbane for a period of two years as a special commentator on the Network Ten AFL commentary team. Michael Voss also anchored the sports section on the 5 o’clock weekday news.
After his retirement, Voss coached Australia’s AIS Under 17 squad who went on to beat the South African national Australian Rules football team in South Africa. Speculation was rife of Michael Voss taking up coaching roles with the Melbourne Demons and Carlton.
However, he took up the role as assistant coach of the West Coast Eagles. When Leigh Matthews announced his resignation as coach of the Brisbane Lions in 2008, negotiations with the club led to Michael Voss’s appointment as senior coach. He made his coaching debut for the Brisbane Lions against the West Coast Eagles in Round 1 of the 2009 season, which was incidentally his first victory as well.
Michael Voss’s appointment as coach paid off with the team reaching their first finals campaign since 2004. This included a major comeback in a match against Carlton after trailing by 30 points in the fourth quarter. The next two seasons were not so successful for the Lions. They finished 13th on the premiership ladder in 2010 and slipped further to 15th in the 2011 season.
His coaching career with the Lions finishes at the end of the 2013 season after the management decided not to extend his contract. With the Lions playing fairly well over the last couple of months, many consider this a strange decision. So far, Voss has a 40 percent winning record as coach.
No matter what, Voss will always be considered one of the game’s greatest players, which is evident from his induction into the Australian Football Hall of Fame in 2011.
In 2012 Michael Voss was let go by the Brisbane Bears.