Considered one of Territory football’s most famous sons, Michael Long, known throughout Australia as ‘Longy”, began his illustrious football career at St Mary’s in the 1984/85 season, playing his first league game aged 16. He played 52 games for the Saints, winning premierships in 1986/87 and 1987/88 as well as the club Best and Fairest in 1988/89.
In true Territory style, he also ventured to the red centre, playing for Pioneers in Alice Springs and winning the Everingham Medal for Best On Ground in the 1987 Grand Final.
Longy represented the NTFL in nine representative matches against AFL clubs and was named in the 1988 Bicentennial All-Australian Team.
In 1988 Long played 22 league games with SANFL club Woodville West Torrens, finishing third in the Magarey Medal as well as winning both the Club Champion award and Best First Year Player award.
The man with the magical goose step was picked up by Essendon in 1989, was named AFL Rookie of the Year and went on to become one of the clubs greatest ever players. A dual Premiership player, he starred in the magical Essendon team of 1993 winning the coveted Norm Smith medal that was fittingly presented to him by Maurice Rioli. He picked up his second Premiership Medal in 2000.
In 1999 he became the first Indigenous player to captain an AFL side before retiring in 2001 having played 190 games and kicking 143 goals. Essendon through and through, Michael Long is and always will be, one of the most revered figures at the club.
Admired and respected in equal measure for his footballing prowess and passion for Indigenous advancement, Michael Long’s famed Long Walk is considered a pivotal moment for Indigenous affairs and he is held in the highest regard by the entire nation for his commitment to his people.
His legacy is the driving force behind the NT Thunder and the resplendent Michael Long learning and Leadership Centre. Longy has earned a string of accolades, each one as impressive and prestigious as the next and each one richly deserved.
Named in Essendon’s Team of the Century, the AFL’s Indigenous Team of the Century, the SANFL Indigenous Team of the Century, inducted into the AFL Hall of Fame in 2007 and bestowed with legend status when inducted into the AFLNT Hall of Fame in 2010.
We are privileged to welcome Michael Long, into the AFLNT Team of the Century. be in the presence of one of the greatest footballers of all time. A true Territory hero, a genuine Champion and a man not only being named in the Team but who would surely be Best On Ground if they ever did play.