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Ball's feelings on unique situation

Former Magpie midfielder Luke Ball has opened up on his feelings across both 2010 Grand Finals, when he found himself in the unique situation of lining up against his old team, St Kilda, in a Grand Final.

8:00am  Aug 24, 2018

Three honoured with Life Membership

Collingwood celebrated the respective careers of two former stars and one of the club’s longest serving administrators by awarding them with life membership at the club’s Annual General Meeting.

8:04pm  Feb 12, 2015

Retired champions nominated by AFLPA

Two of Collingwood’s retirees are among the 10 nominees for the AFL Players’ Association’s Madden Medal.

3:37pm  Oct 1, 2014

Latest Player Video

Brownlow: Luke Ball signs off

2:00pm  Sep 23, 2014

Season Highlight: Luke Ball

12:00pm  Sep 19, 2014

Bucks and Ball face the media

1:10am  Aug 30, 2014

Unassigned Content List



184 cm
83 kg
2019 AFL Fantasy Points

Player Bio

At A Glance

Junior Clubs: Xavier College/Sandringham U18
Clubs: St Kilda (2003-09; 142 games, 58 goals), Collingwood (2010-2013)
Debut: Round 1 2003, St Kilda v North Melbourne
Recruited from: St Kilda
Brownlow Votes: 39

A courageous, selfless footballer who can be found scrapping hard beneath the packs and is always the last man to rise when the umpire calls for a ball-up. Has filled the gap in the Collingwood engine room left by Scott Burns and Paul Licuria, and is more skillful than many recognise. Was a key figure in St Kilda's rise in the mid-2000s, but found the sea change he was after at Collingwood. One of the most consistent and respected players in the game, Ball has managed to fight back from a serious knee reconstruction to reclaim his place in the centre square.

Season By Season

Season By Season

Collingwood fans breathed a sigh of relief when their brave onballer finally returned from a knee reconstruction against Geelong in round eight. Hamstring issues delayed his start to the season but once released into the VFL he wasted no time in getting his hands dirty. He proved he had lost none of his touch when he recorded 26 possessions and eight clearances on return against Bendigo during a Friday night VFL fixture at the Queen Elizabeth Oval and was summoned to AFL ranks a fortnight later. True to form, Ball managed to notch 28 disposals and nine tackles in his second game back against the Swans in round nine. He went on to produce a consistent season punctured by three one-week layoffs with calf complaints. Was at his best a130gainst Essendon in round 19 when he polled three Brownlow votes owing to his seven tackles, 22 possessions and four clearances and remains an important part of Collingwood’s future success as he enters his 30th year.


Sadly, the tough midfielder’s 10th AFL season and third for Collingwood was cut dramatically short when he ruptured his right anterior cruciate ligament in round three against Carlton. His renowned professionalism was on show when he continued to support his teammates with appearances at training and recovery while he was in rehabilitation, and was back on the track with them during the finals. Fell about a month short of playing again and will start pre-season on time. Signed a two-year contract extension in June.

Refused to rest on his laurels and turned in another stellar season in the midfield. Joined the club’s leadership group, averaging 21.5 disposals and 166 tackles in 24 matches. Also returned to form in front of goal, slotting 18.3 for the season to silence those in the media who claimed he’d lost power in his legs.

Became more important as the season wore on, turning out consistent performances all year long. Grabbed the spotlight during the finals with two clutch goals to seal victory – first against West Coast in the qualifying final, and the second a fortnight later against Hawthorn.

Loose at a stoppage inside 50m, Ball sharked the Hawthorn hitout and snapped truly on his left out of the congestion. Began well against Geelong in the Grand Final but tapered as the game wore on. Played in his third pre-season premiership, and won his second Gavin Brown Award in as many years.

Vindicated his decision to cross to Collingwood and proved his doubters wrong with a brilliant season in the centre square. Ball played every match for the first time since 2005, bumped his season average disposal count back up to 21.1 and his tackle average to 6.5.

The leadership he provided to a youthful Collingwood team was not lost on his teammates, winning the Gavin Brown Award for Leading Desire Indicators, and finished fifth in the Copeland Trophy. His 155 tackles were a career-high, and he earned a Brownlow vote for his three goal, 20 disposal effort against Carlton in round six.

Ironically faced off with St Kilda in the two Grand Finals. Battled to have an influence in the first Grand Final, winning only 13 disposals, but was one of the best afield in the replay when he gathered 25 disposals to cap off a controversial but ultimately fulfilling 12 months. Tied for the Bob Rose Award as Best Player in Finals.

Played 24 of 25 matches in the seniors, but was dropped for the first time since 2003 in round 16. Was a victim of the rapid improvement of second tier Saints such as Clint Jones and Andrew McQualter, and was squeezed out of the side due to a perceived lack of pace on the dry Docklands track.

Was still one of St Kilda’s best performed players in the losing Grand Final side, winning 22 disposals despite only playing 46% of the match in conditions tailor-made for stoppage specialists.

Sought a trade to Collingwood in October but the two clubs could not strike a deal; footy folklore records that St Kilda refused Collingwood’s offer of pick 25 and a player for Ball’s services. Regardless of the truth, Ball left the club and endured a nervous month until the Magpies National Recruiting Manager Derek Hine finally called out his name with the 30th selection at the National Draft.

Made some improvements on the previous two seasons, finishing ninth in the Saints Best and Fairest, and playing the first 18 games without a miss. Was ranked second at the club for tackles and contested possessions, but missed the last seven games (including three finals) with a hamstring injury. Played in St Kilda’s pre-season premiership team for the second time in his career.

Severe concussion suffered following a heavy bump from Demon Matthew Whelan meant Ball began his season on a sour note. Was forced to sit out the next two weeks, and was plagued there on by osteitis pubis.

Showed he was still capable of his best form when he won 31 possessions and kicked three goals against the resurgent Hawthorn in round 16. Had adductor-release surgery at season’s end to alleviate his groin troubles.

Was anointed St Kilda’s captain in line with then-coach Grant Thomas’ controversial policy of rotating the club captaincy. Struggled all season with groin injuries, but still managed to lead the team in handballs and tackles. His influence in front of goal was limited, as he kicked only three for the season. Still found 25 disposals and six tackles in the elimination final loss to Melbourne.

Named in the All-Australian side for the first time in his career, amassing 528 disposals across 24 games. Continued to reinforce his reputation as a prolific tackler, recording 126 for the second year in succession.

Received another nine Brownlow Medal votes, and initiated heated debate over his fearless play when he had his head split open by Port Adelaide’s Aaron Shattock mid-season.


Played in the pre-season premiership team, and played in all 25 matches (including three finals) as the Saints reached the penultimate week. He kicked two in the preliminary final loss to Port Adelaide to cap off a strong finals series.

Received eight Brownlow votes for the year, and reached the 30 disposal mark for the first time in round 15 against Melbourne. Also managed 17 goals for the season, and ran second in St Kilda’s Best and Fairest. Represented Australia in the International Rules series.

Debuted for St Kilda in round one against the Kangaroos at the MCG, and looked at home immediately as he gathered 17 disposals and kicked the first goal of his career. Was nominated for the AFL Rising Star in round two against Adelaide (11 disposals, one goal).

Played 16 games for the season, peaking with 27 possessions in two matches (round five against Geelong and round 21 against the Bulldogs). Brother Matthew Ball (17 games) was drafted to Hawthorn.

Spent the year completing his studies at Xavier College, and sat out all bar one match (for St Kilda’s then VFL affiliate Springvale) with osteitis pubis.

Played for Sandringham U18 in the TAC Cup, and was School vice captain of Xavier College. Famously drafted by St Kilda in the ‘Super Draft’ – the 2001 National Draft. At pick two, he was wedged between Luke Hodge (Hawthorn) and Chris Judd (West Coast). Also an outstanding junior cricketer.


By the numbers

  • 2019 Season Average
    Games Played
    • Kicks
    • Handballs
    • Disposals
    • Marks
    • Hit-Outs
    • Tackles
    • Goals
    • AFL Fantasy

2019 Highlights

Statistics Best Opponent Round
Kicks 0 - -
Handballs 0 - -
Disposals 0 - -
Marks 0 - -
Hit-outs 0 - -
Tackles 0 - -
Goals 0 - -
AFL Fantasy 0 - -

2019 Season Breakdown

Rd Opponent Result K H D M HO FF FA T G B AF
TOTAL W: 0 - L: 0

By the numbers

  • Career Average
    Games Played 223
    • Kicks 10.9
    • Handballs 9.6
    • Disposals 20.4
    • Marks 4.0
    • Hit-Outs 0.2
    • Tackles 5.5
    • Goals 0.4
    • AFL Fantasy 87.4

Career Highlights

Statistics Best Opponent Round
Kicks 26 Brisbane Lions Rd 22, 2005
Handballs 23 Melbourne Rd 11, 2013
Disposals 32 Fremantle Rd13, 2008
Marks 11 Hawthorn Rd 16, 2007
Hit-outs 2 Geelong Cats Rd 14, 2009
Tackles 15 Geelong Cats Rd 18, 2004
Goals 3 Carlton Rd 6, 2010
AFL Fantasy 154 Hawthorn Rd 16, 2007

Career Breakdown

Season Club K H D M HO FF FA T G B AF


Frees For
Frees Against
AFL Fantasy points



AFL: 206 games, 85 goals

VFL: 9 games, 3 goals

NAB Cup: 19 games, 8 goals, 1 supergoal


AFL Debut: North Melbourne v St Kilda, Round 1 2003 at the MCG

50 AFL Games: St Kilda v Adelaide, Round 9 2005 at Telstra Dome

100 AFL Games: St Kilda v Hawthorn, Round 17 at Telstra Dome

Collingwood Debut: Western Bulldogs v Collingwood, Round 1 2010 at Etihad Stadium

150 AFL Games: Fremantle v Collingwood, Round 8 2010 at Subiaco Oval

50 Collingwood Games: Collingwood v Richmond, Round 2 2012 at the MCG

200 AFL Games: Collingwood v Adelaide, Round 16 2013 at the MCG

Collingwood VFL Debut: Bendigo v Collingwood, Round 4 2013 at Queen Elizabeth Oval

Draft History

Selected at No. 2 (by St Kilda) in the 2001 National Draft

Selected at No. 30 (by Collingwood) in the 2009 National Draft


AFL Awards

Collingwood Premiership Side

St Kilda Pre-Season Premiership Side
2004, 2008

Collingwood Pre-Season Premiership Side


International Rules Series


AFL Rising Star Nominee 2003
Round 2 v Adelaide

Club Awards

St Kilda



Best and Fairest (equal)

2nd Best and Fairest 

J.F. McHale Trophy (4th Best and Fairest)


Jack Regan Trophy (5th Best and Fairest)

Bob Rose Award (Best Player in Finals)
2010 (equal)

Gavin Brown Award (Leading Desire Indicators)
2010, 2011