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Michael Braun
Braun
DOB
24/3/1978
Height
175cm
Weight
74 kg
Junior club
Bendigo Pioneers/Echuca United JFC
Arrived
Pick 53 in the 1996 national draft
Number
38 (1997)
10 (1998 – 2008)
Debut
Round 11 1997 vs St Kilda
(109th Eagles player)
Games
228
Goals
66
Honours
Premiership medal (2006)
Best Clubman (2003)
B&F Top 10
5 (1998, 1999, 2003, 2004, 2006)
Best Finish
2nd (1999)
Last app.
Round 21 2008 vs Hawthorn
Departed
Retired at the end of the 2008 season
Other clubs
Bendigo Pioneers (TAC Cup) 1996
Subiaco (WAFL) 1997-1998,
2002-2008
Claremont (WAFL) 1999
East Perth (WAFL) 2000-2001

Hailing from Echuca, on the banks of the Murray River, Michael Braun was a hard-running midfielder who was an unsung but important cog in the high-flying Eagles’ midfield of the early 2000s.

West Coast careerEdit

Braun was drafted from the Bendigo Pioneers and made his debut halfway through the 1997 season after solid form for Subiaco. He played 7 games for the season, getting a Rising Star nomination for his 20-possession, 1-goal effort against Adelaide. Braun got a rare second nomination in the opening round of 1998, and played 20 games for the year, finishing 7th in the Club Champion award (although he was pipped for the club’s Rookie of the Year award by Phil Read).

A tremendous endurance runner, Braun played every game in 1999, just losing out to captain Guy McKenna in the Club Champion award on a countback. A knee injury midway through 2000 set him back, as did another knee injury midway through the following season. It wasn’t until 2003 that he fully recovered his form, playing 22 of a possible 23 games and finishing top 10 in the best and fairest for the first time since his runner-up finish four years previously.

With the midfield of that time including a young Chris Judd alongside fellow stars Ben Cousins and Daniel Kerr, Braun was able to take on a supporting role which he did with aplomb. Braun played every game in 2004 and finished fourth in the Club Champion award. In 2005 his knee problems returned at the worst possible time – the early stages of the preliminary final against Adelaide. The injury meant that the loyal clubman missed the grand final, with his enforced absence (along with that of Phil Matera and Rowan Jones, among others) keenly felt as the Eagles went down in a nail-biter.

That sad tale had a happy ending the following year, with Braun again playing almost every game and taking his place on the wing in the Eagles’ first premiership in 12 years.

Braun’s 2007 got off to an inauspicious start when he urged his teammates to “have a f…ing good year” in his acceptance speech after winning the Glendinning Medal in the first derby of the season. In the midst of the Ben Cousins saga and general accusations of culture issues at the club, the AFL came down hard on Braun, fining him $5,000. He nevertheless had a solid season and in particular a strong finals series, averaging 26.5 touches and 6 tackles as West Coast bowed out in straight sets.

While he had a reasonable season in 2008, Braun’s output was down on his usual levels and he struggled with injury. Braun announced his retirement during the season but played out the year, turning back the clock with a big effort in the late-season win over Essendon. He finished his career with 228 games (the most by a West Coast Eagle from Victoria) and a premiership medal.

Post-AFL careerEdit

In retirement, Braun took on the role of colts coach at East Perth.

StatsEdit

AFL Gm G B K M H D T Cl WAFL Gm G B K M H D
1997 7 1 0 61 19 33 94 15 Subi 9 9
1998 20 14 10 201 65 101 302 41 41 1 0
1999 24 4 10 287 104 167 454 30 63 Clar 0
2000 12 6 4 124 55 89 213 19 21 EP 0
2001 9 3 1 69 32 39 108 17 8 3 1
2002 20 4 3 185 61 86 271 51 30 Subi 3 3
2003 22 4 6 225 78 127 352 53 32 1 0
2004 23 9 9 259 119 172 431 71 48 0
2005 24 7 5 274 127 222 496 48 35 0
2006 25 4 8 248 110 256 504 73 23 0
2007 24 6 6 227 93 287 514 68 38 0
2008 18 4 1 147 65 190 337 53 19 0
Tot 228 66 63 2307 928 1769 4076 539 358
Avg 0.3 10.1 4.1 7.8 17.9 2.4 1.6

LinksEdit

http://afltables.com/afl/stats/players/M/Michael_Braun.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Braun_(footballer)

http://www.wafl.com.au/players/view/406

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