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Michael Walters
#10   Fremantle Dockers
Age: 26yr 9mth    Games: 111     Born: January 7, 1991    
Height: 177cm     Weight: 75kg     Position: Forward
Last Drafted: Round 4, Pick #53 2008 National Draft by Fremantle Dockers
Supercoach Price: $517,000   Supercoach Profile
AFL Fantasy Price: $533,000   AFL Fantasy Profile
Contract Status: UFA at the end of 2020   AFL Player Contracts
 
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Michael Walters Biography

Monday, 24 July 2017
Fremantle has confirmed Michael Walters' season is over after he suffered a minor tear to the posterior cruciate ligament in his left knee late in Fremantle's loss to Hawthorn.

But Walters has avoided surgery and the livewire mid/forward should be ready for day one of pre-season.

"The good news is that it was only a minor tear to the PCL and Michael will not require surgery," Dockers general manager of football operations Chris Bond said.

"Our medical advice is that Michael will have a rehabilitation phase of six-to-eight weeks, and on that basis we are confident that he will be fit and available for day one of the 2018 pre-season program."

Tuesday, 23 May 2017
Michael Walters' expresses his admiration for Eddie Betts, saying he has already asked whether they can swap jumpers after Fremantle's match against Adelaide during the Sir Doug Nicholls Indigenous Round.

"He's just born with that talent," Walters said of Betts.

"He does weird things where he can kick the ball from the pocket or step two or three players, just driving the ball off his opposite foot and kicking the goal.

"It's things you can't put into practice."

Tuesday, 7 March 2017
Michael Walters has committed to Fremantle's rebuild by re-signing with the Dockers until the end of 2020.

"Michael came in as a fairly late draft pick in 2008, but he’s worked extremely hard at his football to become a really high level player in the AFL," Fremantle list manager Brad Lloyd said.

"He performs week in week out and he’s always around and impacting key moments.

"He’s a player that is really important to us on the field and as a leader at our football club."

Walters' two-year contract extension comes a month after he was voted into the leadership group for the first time.

"(I re-signed) mainly because of the future of the footy club. There's a young group of kids coming through now that I see have a big future ahead of them," Walters said.

"For me as a leader, I want to stay with them and help them out and make them the best footy players they can be."

Thursday, 16 February 2017
Michael Walters says becoming more mature when his career was at the crossroads was the catalyst for his elevation to Fremantle's leadership group.

"I had to grow up and become more of a man, in a sense," Walters said.

"I became a father, I had a lot of things going on in my life where I had to just be strong for them (family) and focus on my career.

"So I think my family was a big part, with a lot of help from everyone at the footy club."

Tuesday, 14 February 2017
Nat Fyfe will captain Fremantle in 2017 after succeeding David Mundy as skipper of the club.

Fyfe, Mundy, Aaron Sandilands and Lee Spurr have been joined in the 2017 leadership group by star forward Michael Walters and reigning Doig medallist Lachie Neale.

Veteran defender Michael Johnson has been left out after a controversial off-season incident, which saw him charged with assault in a kebab shop.

"It's just fantastic to get the support of the players, and to also have two new members of the leadership group," Fyfe said.

"It's an exciting time for the footy club and we have an exciting group to lead the club for the next four or five years."

Sunday, 9 October 2016
Lachie Neale claims the Dockers' best and fairest for the first time following an outstanding individual season.

Neale, 23, was the only Docker to make the All Australian 40-man squad in a season where the club managed just four wins.

He led the AFL for total disposals in the home and away season and polled 20 Brownlow votes.

Neale polled 200 votes across 22 games to win his first Doig Medal by 30 votes from runner-up Stephen Hill. Leading goalkicker Michael Walters finished third.

"It hasn't really sunk in yet," Neale said.

"I'm sure it's something I'll reflect on over the next few weeks and be really proud of.

"I definitely improved this year but I have a way to go and there were patches throughout the season that I wasn't happy with."

Friday, 11 September 2015
Fremantle coach Ross Lyon says a reformed Michael Walters could captain the Dockers one day after turning his career around.

"It's just so gratifying to see someone who has worked incredibly hard to have grown so much to the point where he could captain our football club," Lyon said.

"As a senior coach, when you see young men grow and come through the end and start to get some rewards for all of their effort, it does make you feel really good."

Lyon said he believed the best was in front of Walters now he has settled off the field with a fiancée, two children and having purchased a second house.

"Over a three-and-a-half year period he's been able to sustain the chase," Lyon said.

"He's an incredible trainer, he's one of our real on-field leaders and when we're under pressure, like in the 2013 Grand Final … he's only 174cm and we put him to full forward, he takes a huge mark and kicks a clutch goal.

"Under pressure, Michael can really perform."

Tuesday, 24 February 2015
Fremantle coach Ross Lyon has warned against comparing Colin Sylvia being banished to the WAFL with the experience Michael Walters went through in 2012.

"There's only one common thread there and that's they both went back to a WAFL club after a sustained period of not conforming to the standard," Lyon said.

"Michael was a young player, he had to work through some off-field stuff … but he could end up captaining this club. He's a great trainer and a great leader.

"Col came over as a 10-year mature age free agent, so the expectations were a little bit higher on Col.

"Not by standards but in the ability to be able to do it straight away. So he's faced some challenges. We haven't withdrawn support, we've just put in front of Col what he needs to do … it's possible he could be back."

Tuesday, 27 January 2015
Michael Walters is hoping to learn as much as he can from Hawthorn star Cyril Rioli during the AFL Players' Association Indigenous camp to be held in Perth in February.

"It's a big group and to have them here in Perth is quite good, especially because we are all staying together for a week," Walters said.

"I have been here seven years but I still feel I have got a lot of room to improve in all aspects of footy, and to learn off boys like Buddy Franklin and boys like Cyril Rioli, hopefully I can learn a lot more."

Friday, 16 January 2015
Michael Walters says his rising leadership stocks at Fremantle have come about as a natural progression from his time at the club.

"I've been here seven years now and I feel like I need to step up," Walters said.

"I'm 24 years of age and there's a lot of other younger boys in the team.

"For me it's just to give them advice. I don't see that as being a leader, I just see that as being a good bloke."

Wednesday, 14 January 2015
Michael Walters has emerged as a potential leader at Fremantle, according to teammate Michael Barlow.

"Michael Walters is a guy that portrays great leadership attributes and is a real team driver as well, in and around the club, without that leadership title," Barlow said.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014
Michael Walters signs a two-year contract extension with Fremantle that will see him remain a Docker until the end of the 2018 season.

Walters still had two years to run on his existing deal but the Dockers have secured the services of the talented small forward for the long term.

The 23-year-old, who kicked 46 goals in 2013 and made the All Australian 40-man squad, told the Fremantle website that he had signed long-term for family reasons and out of loyalty to the club that showed faith in him during his struggles of 2012.

"I signed especially for my family, the security to stay here for another four years - I'll be 27 at that stage," Walters said.

"In 2012 my career was over, and I wasn't sure if I was going to get another contract or whether I was going to be here.

"I want to show faith to the club that I'm going to stay, because they showed faith in me."

Saturday, 9 August 2014
Michael Walters, who had not played since having ankle surgery after Fremantle's round three loss to Hawthorn, collects 19 touches and kicks a goal for Peel Thunder in the WAFL.

Dockers coach Ross Lyon declares that Walters will be "unleashed" for the game against the Hawks at Patersons Stadium next Sunday.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014
Fremantle coach Ross Lyon says Michael Walters is edging closer to a return to senior football after recovering from a dislocated tendon in his left ankle.

"He's running. He's punching out 30km a week. We're just conditioning him," Lyon said.

"The risk from here is a soft tissue (injury). So he's in full speed training. He's not in football (training) yet so it's conditioning against soft tissue risk.

"We're all excited. We thought he was done for the year. But the way it's tracking he might get four or five games in the home and away season."

Tuesday, 24 June 2014
Michael Walters is on track to make a surprise early return from a serious ankle injury.

Walters has started running and Fremantle coach Ross Lyon told 6PR radio that he was looking forward to having his dangerous left-footer back before September.

"He is moving and he's super fit," Lyon said.

"He's in really good shape. He'll come to hand pretty quickly. I'm really excited that we're going to see him again this year."
Monday, 26 May 2014
Michael Walters has urged Fremantle teammate Josh Simpson to make the most of his AFL dream, saying the troubled midfielder can use football to help set up a good life for his young family.

Simpson is still serving his penance in the WAFL after refusing to fly to Sydney as an emergency for the Dockers' round-five clash with the Swans.

The 20-year-old, who was selected with pick No.17 in the 2012 NAB AFL Draft, had previously gone into the bad books for inconsistent efforts at training.

"He's the type of kid that does work hard when he wants to but it's the sort of thing where he has to do it multiple times, rather than just for a week or two," Walters said about Simpson.

"With Josh, he needs the tough love.

"But then again he's only young. You have got to sort of massage it in and the sooner he learns the rigours of AFL, the better we are going to be as a team because he's a good player with extreme talent."

Michael Walters is hopeful he can play again this season, but admits he faces a fight to keep out the mental demons.

Walters is racing the clock to be fit for the finals after undergoing surgery in April to repair a dislocated tendon in his left ankle.

The 23-year-old was able to finally ditch his crutches last week, but he could be sidelined for another three months as he slowly builds towards full fitness.

"I'm fluctuating between negative thoughts and the positive ones," Walters said.

"But I'm really hoping I can get back as soon as I can and I'm going to do everything I can so I do come back soon.

"I'm doing a bit of boxing and a bit of upper-body weights to try and build myself up and make myself a little bit stronger while I can and make myself fitter, especially in the cardio area.

"I'm just hoping that once I'm back, I'm fit enough."

Wednesday, 21 May 2014
Hayden Ballantyne says he looks forward to teaming up with Michael Walters again in Fremantle's forward lines.

Walters is facing a race against time to be fit for the finals after badly damaging his ankle against Hawthorn in round three.

"He's a massive element to our forward line with his pressure and nous around goal," Ballantyne said.

"You give him half a second and he'll kick a goal nine times out of 10. If one of us is off, the other one picks up the slack. And we bring each other into the game."

Tuesday, 22 April 2014
Michael Walters could return this season after successful surgery on his ankle last week.

Dockers' sports science manager Jason Weber says the surgery went as well as could be expected and there is a chance he could return to play within 14 to 16 weeks.

"Everything went really well and to plan," Weber said.

"Depending on how the KPIs (key performance indicators) go, if he recovers well and progresses well, we'll be able to push it a little bit quicker, but we're now looking forward to a return to play hopefully before the end of the home and away season."
Wednesday, 16 April 2014
Michael Walters will require surgery on his injured left ankle.

"At this stage an assessment of how many weeks Michael could miss will be carried out after his surgery and recovery phase are completed," Fremantle football operations manager Chris Bond said.

"In the past he has shown great strength of character and great resilience, so we believe that with the appropriate recovery period and rehabilitation program, Michael will return to full training."

Wednesday, 9 April 2014
Fremantle coach Ross Lyon says Michael Walters may miss the rest of the season with an ankle injury.

"It would be unlikely he would play football again this year, although a slim chance," Lyon said.

"We'll give it a week to settle down, and there is a slight chance that everything will fall into place and he'll be okay, but it's more unlikely than likely."

Tuesday, 8 April 2014
Michael Walters may require surgery after dislocating an ankle tendon during the Dockers' 58-point loss to Hawthorn.

"At this stage the medical advice is that we should wait a week to 10 days to allow the swelling in Michael's ankle to subside before having further scans," Fremantle's football operations manager Chris Bond said in a club statement.

"After the surgeon has reviewed and reported on those scans next week, our medical team will be best placed to make a decision on whether or not surgery is required."

Monday, 9 December 2013
Michael Walters says he wants to put his troubled past behind and to use his experience to mentor younger players such as Josh Simpson.

"I'm just trying to help him because I never really had anyone to help me. I don't want the same thing that happened to me happen to him as well so I'm trying to help him out as much as I can," Walters said about Simpson.

Simpson, from the remote town of Yalgoo, 500km north-east of Perth, was taken by Fremantle with pick No.17 in the 2012 NAB AFL draft.

He suffered from homesickness during his first season at AFL level but did make his debut in round 23 against St Kilda, his only game of the season.

After Simpson battled through the first week of the pre-season, Walters believed the 19-year-old had begun responding to the advice from the senior players.

"There's no doubt he's got all the talent in the world. It's just the hard work component now. I had to find it and now he's starting to find it," Walters said.

Sunday, 7 July 2013
Michael Walters says 2013 has a been significant in his growth as a footballer and as a person.

"If you were to ask me [a year ago] where I would be in 12 months, I wouldn't have said I'd be back here playing AFL footy," Walters said.

"You can see how long 12 months is. I've had a massive change from a kid, to a father, to a mentor."

Monday, 27 May 2013
Michael Walters receives new contract after impressive early-season form that will keep him at the club until the end of 2016.
Monday, 20 May 2013
Scans reveal that Michael Walters will miss a month of football with an ankle sprain.
Sunday, 19 May 2013
Michael Walters is taken from the ground after injuring his ankle against Sydney and is expected to be sidelined pending scans.

"I said, 'If you're not right mate, you do too much right for us - I'm not going to run you into the ground'," Lyon said about Walters taking no further part in the game.

"We were pretty keen to look after him and take no risk. He is really important to us."

Tuesday, 7 May 2013
Ross Lyon says Michael Walters has turned his career around through dedication and hard work.

"All of the decisions and choices he's starting to make away from the club are disciplined hard choices," Lyon said.

"He embraces discipline rather than indulging himself. Clearly for a period as a young person he was indulging. He's harnessing talent with hard work."

Thursday, 27 September 2012
Freo's Michael Walters has been rewarded for his impressive career turnaround with two-year contract extension.

"Michael's become an important player for the team and we look forward to a successful contribution from him again in 2013," Fremantle's general manager of player management Brad Lloyd said.

Sunday, 15 July 2012
Michael Walters kicks 3.1 in his first game since round 3 last season after his AFL career was very nearly over when he turned up at pre-season training overweight.

"He wasn't living our values so he got sent back to the WAFL to train and he pulled the finger out and just got the job done," teammate Hayden Ballantyne said.

"He was filthy on himself. But that's the good thing - he knew he was to blame and he got to work and he's back playing now so that's a credit to him."

Thursday, 12 July 2012
Exiled forward Michael Walters has earned a reprieve and is back in the Fremantle team.

"Sometimes you have to go to the bottom of the well and experience the bottom to bounce back up and really get a deeper understanding of what you want out of your life and your youth, because that book gets closed pretty quickly," Dockers coach Ross Lyon said.

"He's decided to grab his opportunity. But the aim is, regardless of what he's done now, it's about the next moment, next training session, next game."

Thursday, 19 April 2012
Michael Walters has returned to Fremantle training after being banished to Swan Districts in January.

"We are satisfied with the progress Michael has made so far, and believe that he is now at the stage where he could benefit from returning to the club to participate in selected training sessions," football operations manager Chris Bond said.

Monday, 23 January 2012
Freo defender Luke McPharlin says the club will support Michael Walters despite being sent back to the WAFL for failing to meet club standards.

"We've got a situation where the majority of the playing group are weighing in in that area, and he's on the outer," McPharlin said.

"I'm sure he would certainly prefer to be at Fremantle Football Club, and it could possibly be the wake-up call he needs. We all know that he has undoubted talent, and we'd love to see that on the main stage."

Monday, 20 July 2009
Fremantle has admitted two of its players, Des Headland and Michael Walters, are being investigated by police following a Saturday night incident.

A police spokeswoman confirmed that an altercation between 10-20 people broke out at approximately 1am on Sunday near a taxi rank outside the Leederville Hotel.

Police and ambulance were called to the scene, with several people treated for minor cuts and bruises.

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