Junior Clubs: Berwick
Recruited From: Berwick/Dandenong U18
Brownlow Votes: -
Community Ambassador: Wollindilly Redbacks
Matt Buntine was selected by the GIANTS at pick five in the 2011 NAB AFL Draft and made his AFL debut in Round 8, 2012. The defender, from the Dandenong Stingrays in Victoria, was named in the GIANTS’ emerging leaders group before the 2014 season.
It was a frustrating season for the courageous defender who played just 11 games. Buntine had to wait until round six for his first senior appearance, but after performing well mid-year, he missed six of the last seven games with concussion issues. With a solid pre-season, he should be a vital part of the GIANTS' back six in 2016.
Often undersized in his defensive role, Buntine possesses plenty of confidence and is slowly developing into a dependable AFL option. He made seven appearances last season, including the final four, capped by 21 touches and 12 marks in the round 21 victory over Melbourne. With some key defensive reinforcements coming on board, Buntine should take further strides this year.
Hopeful of a strong second season following an impressive finish to 2012, Buntine instead suffered a punctured lung and broken rib in the NAB Cup. That left him well behind his teammates and unable to play his first game for the year until round nine. The defender is hoping for a clean bill of health this year.
Buntine only played one of the opening 18 games in the seniors as the defender took his time adjusting to AFL level. But he found his feet and had a strong finish to the season, playing the club's final five games and averaging 12 disposals and two tackles per outing. He was also one of the first GIANTS to extend his contract to 2015.
A 189cm defender who has shown an ability to take on and beat bigger opponents, Buntine also has versatility and is viewed as a potential midfielder by the GIANTS. Another of the GWS stable hailing from the Dandenong Stingrays, Buntine was selected No.5 overall in the NAB AFL Draft. Regarded as an astute decision-maker, he can read the play well and had been discussed as a possible No.1 pick prior to the draft.
2011 NAB AFL Draft 1st round selection (GWS GIANTS) No.5 overall
2015 CLEO Bachelor of the Year