DOB: 19 February 1977
From: Frankston YCW/Southern U18/Fremantle, 1997 trade with pick #22 for pick #2 and #18
Number: 34 (1998-2008)
Games: 236 (268 total)
Goals: 95 (113 total)
Drafted by Fremantle with selection 1 in the 1995 National Draft, White's career at Fremantle at never really taken off due to injury. Facial fractures limited him to six games in his first season, and he suffered a ruptured spleen in 1997 which cost him more games.
He played 32 games in three years before asking for a trade back to Victoria. Melbourne beat St Kilda for his services, though it later emerged that the Demons had gone over the salary cap in order to sign White, and in compensation were forced to give a draft pick to Fremantle as compensation.
Upon crossing to the Demons an injury free White immediately impressed as his new side climbed the ladder in 1998. With Jim Stynes having shouldered the load in the ruck for so long, the recruitment of White gave him much needed relief. He played all 25 games for the year, kicking an equal career high of four goals in the round 5 victory over Port Adelaide.
Surgery to repair minor cartilage damage to his left knee from a pre-season match kept White out of the opening rounds of 1999. He played 19 games for the year but the injury contributed to a drop in form. There was speculation before the season that he was going to switch to number 11 after the retirement of Jim Stynes but this didn't happen.
He returned bulked up in in 2000 but was forced to play in the forward line early in the year due to shin problems, but as he gradually regained fitness and moved back into the centre the entire midfield lifted and White was one of the prime movers in his side's run to the top four. Missing just one match for the year, White was vital in the Demons rise to Grand Finalists. He was one of the Demons few winners on a sour day. His excellent form was rewarded with a second place finish in the Best and Fairest.
Robert Walls named White as the 11th best player in the league before the 2001 season - the highest ranked ruckman. Mike Sheahan also named him 11th at the same time. Injuries curtailed his influence that year, and though he only missed one game and still finished fifth in the B&F White saw his influence curbed as chronic shin issues forced him to leap off his wrong foot.
At the end of 2002, a season where he had shown form back to his best, White signed a contract extension to tie him to the club until the end of 2005. In 2003, though he was again troubled by shin problems after an early season knee injury failed to heal. Restricted in a poor side, White often found himself eclipsed in the ruck by newcomer Darren Jolly.
2004, however, was a comeback season to remember. White racked up 15 Brownlow Medal votes en route to equal 8th in the medal count and All-Australian selection. He had even been talked about as a potential Brownlow winner before the count.
Despite his shin troubles, and a horrific facial injury in the 2005 Elimination Final White never played less than 15 games in a season at Melbourne and was one of the most consistent performers in the side. He turned back a number of lucrative offers from other sides to sign a new year year deal with the Demons.
Retaining his position as dominant Demon ruckman in 2006, White played his last finals campaign, ironically playing his last finals match in Perth against the side he had left just under a decade earlier. Melbourne lost and the wheels fell off in 2007. As Neale Daniher resigned to be replaced by Mark Riley, and ultimately Dean Bailey, White's position in the team started to come under threat for the first time.
As 2008 wore on it became clear that his time at the Demons was starting to come to an end. At the end of that year White wasn't offered a new contract and was delisted. While Carlton and Sydney both showed some interest he ultimately wasn't picked up and in 2009 joined the Redland Bombers of AFL Queensland where he played one season before hanging up the boots permanently and joining Gold Coast as a coach.
|Round 21, 2000||Melee||$3000 fine|
|Round 6, 2003||Umpire contact||1 match|