#36 Michael Hartley


No, Yaco said he’s the luckiest footy.


He was great, along with brown. Hartley = Samson with the hair?


It’s a fact - Hartley was dropped for Brown in Round 3 or 4 in 2017 - Then Ambrose gets injured in the Anzac Day game and Hartley returns - Two or three weeks later Brown is injured and misses 5 or 6 games - Then Brown played 2 games in the VFL and gets injured again when he was ready to return to the AFL - Basically Ambrose and Brown missed around 20 games between them in 2017 -Then we go to JLT 2 when Hartley played in the VFL - Gleeson is injured in the game and then Ambrose is injured at training - That’s the reason he is playing.


Last year watching Hartley he usually looked dejected and lacking confidence compared to 2016, I feel he was intimidated by the return of the senior players.

On Friday he played with so much more confidence and presence, hoping very much he can keep this up.

Would love a win and dominant game from Hartley and Stewart on ANZAC day and see the Pie’s fans reaction.


I reckon this is it. Friday night we saw a different player. He was looking to be involved in the contest, not just hold jumpers and punch. We saw more kicking and he has a great kick. Hope he has a better season because I think he has it. Last year was a disappointment.


Hearts was very good, if he can play like this each week he gives us great options down back. We dont have a lot of big, tall strong defenders. Well done, keep going.


Harley was allowed to play to his strengths by a midfield who could defend the ground. He was allowed to set up with his man and the ball in front of him and didn’t get put in situations where he had to worry about the space behind him very often of at all (maybe once actually and he lost). For the most part he got to defend highballs and he is very very good at that.

In fact off the top of my head there were only about half a dozen occasions where the crows got through quick and turned our defence around and through the speed of Saad and Conor we were able to defend about half of those. Apart from the rushed behind goal and the 50s there were no goal square goals as far as I can recall.

It was a big highlight of the game for me.


When I think of the luckiest players to play AFL, I think of Ted Hopkins of Carlton in 1970 or Tony Elshaug squeezing into that magnificent 1985 team in the GF cause Merv was injured, or Clark Keating who couldn’t get a kick in a stampede but played in 3 flags in a row with the Lions in 2001-3.

Hartley wouldn’t make the top 1000.

And again I will say it till the cows come home, who do you play on the gorillas of the comp like Buddy, Hawkins & Patton/Cameron (you know, guys we will meet in the finals), who have in the past & will continue in the future, monster players like Paddy & Brown because of the size differential - & you can’t say Mick Hurley, cause it throws all our defensive plans in disarray.

No doubt you will bring up Hipwood or someone not suited to Hartley, good for you. But I’m more interested in other finals contenders, not the odd player who can beat Hartley on the lead.


Actually you could argue that Harts, Brown and Dea were all intimidated by the return of the seniors. The differance in the performance from 2016 to last year was quite extreme. I love the style of all three no-nonsense footballers and really hope that the promise shown last week is maintained for the rest of the year.


Anyone know what David Flood is doing these days?


Jumpin John Williams. Got 1 game, at the very lowest ebb of the Knights era, when we had about 23-24 fit to pick from (depending if you included Dean dick who had already left the club).


Danny chartres was desperately unlucky


Pretty sure he’s still in better form than Kickett.


Lol, Gumby’s pony-friend-pokey-too?


Why getting sacked by the Pies was ‘a blessing’

Callum Twomey
WHEN Michael Hartley was delisted by Collingwood after two seasons on the rookie list at the end of 2013, the defender had given up on playing in the AFL again. “I thought I was definitely done,” he said.

His stint at the Magpies was riddled by injuries (he was limited to five VFL matches in two years), and the hopes he had about establishing himself at the top level had faded, to the point where he was glad to leave Collingwood.

“It was sort of a blessing to be delisted. I was happy to get out of there, grow up a bit, get the body right and then maybe try again,” he told AFL.com.au.

Fast forward and Hartley was a key member of Essendon’s defence that stood firm last week against Adelaide and helped the Bombers to a come-from-behind win over the Crows.

Hartley was happy with how he handled that frantic final term, helping to repel from the back half. But what makes the 24-year-old most satisfied is his ability to take his second chance at an AFL career.

After his time at Collingwood, it was Hartley’s father who advised him to stay in Victoria instead of heading home to Penrith in New South Wales. He signed with Coburg in the VFL, and took on a labouring job in his first season there.

In his second, he was “a maintenance man” at a hospital in Melbourne’s northern suburbs, combining his work with training at night but also winning the club’s best and fairest and making the VFL team of the year.

He looks back on his time at the Magpies as a reality check that he needed.

“Coming out of school, I thought I was going to get drafted and be the king of the world sort of thing, but it was a massive smack in the face to be honest. I was not mature enough, or ready for moving away from home or anything like that,” he said.

“It’s amazing how much I matured in that two years I was out of a club. With that experience I now know how hard it is to work all day and then go to training. When I was at Collingwood I took being in the AFL for granted, so now that I’m back I want to make sure I keep it.”

Essendon selected Hartley with pick 68 in the 2015 NAB AFL Draft and he played 19 games in his first season with the club, filling in as the Bombers lost most of their senior players to season-long bans, including key defenders Michael Hurley and Cale Hooker.

When Hurley and Co. returned last season, Hartley’s role changed and he found it difficult to hold down his spot, being left out of the side at times. He still played 18 games, including the Bombers’ elimination final against Sydney, but wants to expand his game this season.

“In 2016 I was just trying to survive. I was playing on some good players and big fellas and it was coming in pretty hot and heavy at times,” he said.

"But I was pretty lucky to get the opportunities I did and play most of the games, which was good. Last year I found it a bit hard, with the guys coming back, I had to play a bit differently and I got dropped a couple of times which wasn’t the best.

“But this year I thought, ‘I’ve done my two years as an apprenticeship, and this year I’ve got to step up a bit and get a bit more of the footy’. I want to use my kicking a bit more and be a bit more attacking.”

Hartley will get more opportunities to do that with intercepting Bombers defender Martin Gleeson to miss half of the season, but knows there is still competition for places in Essendon’s back half alongside Hurley, Mitch Brown and Patrick Ambrose.

He is out of contract at the end of the season but determined to show his worth this year. “I love Essendon and I’d love to stay at Essendon if they’d have me,” he said. “Hopefully I can have a good year and see what happens.”


Harts is in our best team and last Friday proved that. He will get the rewards for his hard work. So glad he is at our club.


Its great that he has identified where he needs to improve and that he’s prepared to work hard at it.

If he can lock down a key back post then that’s a massive headache for the team gone.


If Liam fkn Jones can do it, Michael Hartley most certainly can…


His hair is the major improvement from last year.
Some strong salad.


I’m expecting dreads like Walla soon enough.

Brother from another mother.