Wirrpanda with West Coast in 2005
|Full name|| David Selwyn Burralung|
|Date of birth||3 August 1979|
|Place of birth||Carlton, Victoria, Australia|
|Original team(s)||Healesville (YVMDFL)|
|Height||173 cm (5 ft 8 in)|
|Weight||82 kg (181 lb)|
|1996–2010||East Perth||28 (30)|
|1996–2009||West Coast||227 (131)|
|International team honours|
|Sources: AFL Tables, AustralianFootball.com|
David Selwyn Burralung Merringwuy Galarrwuy Wyal Wirrpanda ( // wirr-ə-PUN-də; born 3 August 1979) is a former Australian rules footballer, best known for his career with the West Coast Eagles in the Australian Football League (AFL). Born in Melbourne, Wirrpanda was raised in Shepparton, Victoria. David attended Parkmore Primary School in Forest Hill, where in a school football match he kicked 32 goals in one game. He went on to attend Worawa Aboriginal College in Healesville, which had been established by his mother's family. He began his football career with a local team, and subsequently progressed to the Eastern Ranges team in the under-18 TAC Cup. Selected by West Coast during the 1995 draft period, Wirrpanda made his debut for the club during the following season. Having played his first game for West Coast at the age of 16 years and 268 days, he remains the youngest player to have played a senior game for the club.
Australian rules football, officially known as Australian football, or simply called Aussie rules, football or footy, is a contact sport played between two teams of eighteen players on an oval-shaped field, often a modified cricket ground. Points are scored by kicking the oval-shaped ball between goal posts or between goal and behind posts.
The West Coast Eagles Football Club, nicknamed The Eagles, is a professional Australian rules football club based in Perth, Western Australia that plays in the Australian Football League (AFL).
Limited by injuries in his first few seasons, Wirrpanda did not establish himself as a regular player until the early 2000s, usually playing out of a back pocket or across a half-back flank. Outstanding form in these positions led to his selection in the 2005 All-Australian team, and the following season he was a member of the West Coast premiership side that defeated Sydney in the 2006 grand final. Often playing as a small forward towards the end of his career, Wirrpanda retired at the end of the 2009 season, finishing with 227 games for the club. Since the conclusion of his playing career, he has involved himself in charity work, including the establishment of the Wirrpanda Foundation, an organisation supporting Indigenous Australians. Wirrpanda has also expressed a desire to enter politics, and unsuccessfully contested 2013 federal election as the National Party's candidate for the Senate in Western Australia.
The All-Australian team is an all star team of Australian rules footballers, selected by a panel at the end of each season. It represents a complete team, including an interchange bench, of the best performed players during the season, led by that season's premiership coach.
The Sydney Swans are a professional Australian rules football club which plays in the Australian Football League (AFL). Established in Melbourne as the South Melbourne Football Club in 1874, the Swans relocated to Sydney in 1982, thus making it the first club in the competition to be based outside Victoria.
The 2006 AFL Grand Final was an Australian rules football game contested between the Sydney Swans and West Coast Eagles, held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in Melbourne on 30 September 2006. It was the 110th annual grand final of the Australian Football League, staged to determine the premiers for the 2006 AFL season. The match, attended by 97,431 spectators, was won by West Coast by a margin of one point, marking that club's third premiership victory. As of 2019, this is the most recent Grand Final in which neither team was from Victoria.
Wirrpanda starred for Eastern Ranges in the TAC Cup during 1995, and was scouted by West Coast Eagles recruiters and brought to Perth by longtime Eagles CEO Trevor Nisbett.
The Eastern Ranges is an Australian rules football team in the NAB League, the Victorian statewide under-18s competition.
Wirrpanda made his debut with West Coast in Round 5 of the 1996 AFL Season, at the age of 16 years, 268 days, and remains the Eagles' youngest ever debutant. Unfortunately, injuries and fluctuating form hurt him early in his career, and he managed only 12 of a possible 71 AFL games (including finals) in his first 3 seasons. During these early years, he also played 25 games for East Perth in the WAFL.
The East Perth Football Club, nicknamed the Royals, is an Australian rules football club based in Leederville, Western Australia, current playing in the West Australian Football League (WAFL). Formed in 1902 as the Union Football Club, the club entered the WAFL in 1906, changing its name to East Perth. It won its first premiership in 1919, part of a streak of five consecutive premierships. Overall, the club has won 17 premierships, most recently in 2002. The club is currently based at Leederville Oval, which it shares with the Subiaco Football Club, having previously played home games at Wellington Square and Perth Oval from 1910 to 1999. The current coach of East Perth is Jeremy Barnard and the current captains are Kyle Anderson and Patrick McGinnity.
The West Australian Football League (WAFL) is an Australian rules football league based in Perth, Western Australia. The WAFL is the third-most popular league in the nation, behind the nationwide Australian Football League (AFL) and South Australian National Football League (SANFL). The league currently consists of ten teams, which play each other in a 20-round season usually lasting from March to September, with the top five teams playing off in a finals series, culminating in a Grand Final. The league also runs reserves, colts (under-19) and women’s competitions.
By the mid-2000s, Wirrpanda's career started to get on track, and he became a consistent contributor for the Eagles, playing mainly as a small defender in the back pocket or half back flank. After a solid year in 2004, he had a stellar 2005 season in which he won selection in the All-Australian team, his trademark clearances from defence being a vital part of the Eagles' success that year. He continued to do well in 2006, marking his 150th AFL game with a great performance.[ citation needed ]
Wirrpanda nearly missed out on the 2006 AFL Grand Final through injury, but came back to take his place in the side. He came in at the expense of Jaymie Graham, who had played every game of that season up until then, and out of respect for his younger teammate, Wirrpanda played in the match with Graham's #22 written on his hand.[ citation needed ]
Jaymie Wayne Graham is a former Australian rules footballer who played for the West Coast Eagles in the Australian Football League (AFL).
In 2007 and 2008, Wirrpanda has shared time between his usual backline post and pinch-hitting up forward for his team, using his excellent footskills to both set up play and score some crucial goals for the Eagles in the process.
In 2008, Wirrpanda was met solidly by Geelong's Gary Ablett in a match at Skilled Stadium. The incident sparked some debate among the football media and fans alike, as although photographs revealed head high contact was made during the bump, Wirrpanda had also slid to the ground, assuring that Ablett had upheld his duty of care as best he could when bumping an opposition player, and therefore not resulting in a suspension for the incident.
At the conclusion of Round 22, 2009, he had played in 227 of a possible 327 matches for the Eagles (including finals), and has scored 131 goals, averaging 16.6 disposals for his career.
In September 2009, Wirrpanda announced his retirement citing he may be standing in the way of another younger playing being fast tracked within the club. After the birth of his son, Wirrpanda also expressed his desire to move on citing his fatherhood is the most important aspect of his life, but also spending more time with the foundation that bears his name.
Wirrpanda has also announced his wishes to remain part of the West Coast Eagles, saying that he may one day serve on the board.
|Totals||Averages (per game)|
For most of his career, Wirrpanda has been known as "Wirrpunda", but in 2005 it was pointed out that his actual birth name was Wirrpanda. In the West Australian before the 2006 season Wirrpanda said that he had allowed his name to be misspelt to ensure it was pronounced correctly.
Wirrpanda is also known for his community work in helping to improve the lives of young Indigenous Australians, first and foremost through The David Wirrpanda Foundation, which he launched in 2005.
He was named the 9th most influential Aboriginal Australian by The Bulletin magazine in 2007and 2008. He also received the 2009 award for Young Western Australian of the Year.
He and model Shannon McGuire have two sons together, Marley, born in August 2009, which caused him to miss West Coast's Round 22 match against Richmond that was played the previous eveningand Eli born in 2010.
He hosts a Saturday morning radio show called "Dead Set Legends" in Perth on MIX 94.5.[ citation needed ]
In 2010, Wirrpanda participated in the tenth season of Dancing with the Stars , partnering with Liza van Pelt.However, in the competition's eighth round, he unexpectedly withdrew to concentrate on his foundation, becoming the first contestant to quit in the show's history.
In 2015 Wirrpanda was caught drunk driving recording a reading of 0.154, more than three times the legal limit. In court he was found guilty of driving under the influence, fined $900 and lost his driver's licence for 10 months.
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