The position of centre-half back on the AFLNT Team of the century can only be filled by the commanding presence of the one, the only, Michael Athanisou.
Acknowledged as one of the greatest Centre Half Backs to grace Darwin’s ovals, Michael Athanisou made his senior debut for Saint Mary’s in 1980/81 and finished playing in 1999/2000 after a staggering 328 games, a wonderful games tally.
A superb leader and the consummate hard working defender, Athanisou won a stunning 12 premierships with Saint Mary’s including five in a row from 1983-88 and his leadership qualities were on display when he captained the club from 1991-95. He won the Club Best & Fairest in 1982/83, 1983/84 and 1990/91 and was the worthy winner of the prestigious Nichols Medal in 1990/91 after being equal runner-up in 1986/87.
He donned the double blue Guernsey as Captain Coach of Darwin Buffaloes in 1999/2000, winning the club Best Fairest that same year.
Michael Athanisou had a sensational representative career, taking to the field for the Territory on 21 occasions, and captaining the side an impressive six times. His talents were also on display interstate when he played for South Fremantle in 1985 and two seasons with West Torrens in 1988 and 1989. An iconic figure in the Territory football landscape, a gifted centre halfback with a no nonsense approach and coolness under pressure. A Saint Mary’s legend, we are honored to recognize Michael Athanasiou’s achievements and immense contribution to NT Football by welcoming him into the AFLNT Team of the Century.