Ben Cunnington (footballer)

Ben Cunnington (born, on and around a dairy farm 30 June 1991) is an Australian rules footballer who plays for the North Melbourne Football Club in the Australian Football League (AFL). Cunnington was drafted to North Melbourne with the 5th selection in the 2009 AFL Draft.

Ben Cunnington
Ben Cunnington 2017.2.jpg
Cunnington playing for North Melbourne in June 2017
Personal information
Full name Ben Cunnington
Date of birth (1991-06-30) 30 June 1991 (age 29)
Original team(s) Cobden / Geelong Falcons
Draft 5th overall, 2009
North Melbourne
Height 185 cm (6 ft 1 in)
Weight 88 kg (194 lb)
Position(s) Midfielder
Club information
Current club North Melbourne
Number 10
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
2010– North Melbourne 209 (84)
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of round 15, 2019.
Career highlights
Sources: AFL Tables,

Cunnington plays predominantly as an inside midfielder, and he can play in the forward line to accommodate the midfield rotations.

Junior careerEdit

Cunnington made his senior debut for Cobden at the age of 15. In his first game against Camperdown he kicked ten goals after coming on the ground just before half time.[1] Cunnington's other junior football highlights included earning NAB AFL U18 Championships All-Australian honours and finishing runner up in the TAC Cup Morrish Medal where he averaged 23 disposals (11 contested) and six marks. Cunnington missed the 2009 AFL Draft Camp through minor injuries.

Geelong Falcons regional manager Michael Turner described Cunnington as the most professional player I have seen in 15 years of TAC Cup.[2]

AFL careerEdit

Cunnington was drafted by North Melbourne with the 5th overall selection of the 2009 AFL Draft from the Geelong Falcons.


Cunnington made his debut in Tasmania against Hawthorn in Round 5 of the 2010 season. He gathered 12 disposals helping North Melbourne to a 12-point win and their second victory of the season.

Cunnington would go on to play out the remainder of the season averaging 14 disposals, 4 tackles and taking 43 marks over the 18 games. He kicked his first goal against Brisbane in Round 11 (his only goal for the season).


The 2011 AFL season saw Cunnington tally 16 games and kick 4 goals.


Cunnington improved on his 2011 season, laying 107 tackles and kicking 10 goals for the season, including 3 goals against West Coast in Round 6. He also laid a season-high 11 tackles against Collingwood in Round 21.


The 2013 season saw a more consistent season for Cunnington, tallying 420 disposals, laying 96 tackles and kicking 14 goals. His season was highlighted with a 25 disposal, 13 tackle effort in a loss to the Gold Coast Suns in Round 11.


Cunnington took his game to another level in the 2014 AFL season. He increased his disposal account, and finished with 552 disposals, as well as increasing his tackle tally, with 140 tackles for the season. His season was highlighted with 18 disposals, 4 goals and 9 tackles in Round 21. At the conclusion of the 2014 season, Cunnington was awarded his first Syd Barker Medal for being North Melbourne's Best and Fairest player for the season.[3]


Cunnington was most likely one of North's most consistent player all year, leading the team in contested possessions at an average of 12 and clearances at an average of 5.7.[4]

Personal lifeEdit

Cunnington founded the Shinboner Cattle Company in 2016.[5]


  1. ^ Auld, Tim (11 January 2012). "Cunnington looks to strong year for Roos".
  2. ^ Ben Cunnington set to make big impact in National Draft, accessed 3 December 2009.
  3. ^ Ward, Roy (4 October 2014). "Ben Cunnington narrowly wins the Syd Barker Medal".
  4. ^
  5. ^ Webster, Dale. "North Melbourne Football Club: Cunnington kicks off cattle company". The Weekly Times. Retrieved 3 August 2018.

External linksEdit