DOB: 24 May 1987
From: Croydon/Eastern Ranges U18, Selection #13, 2004 National Draft
Number: 6 2006-2012
Drafted after winning the Morrish Medal for best player in the TAC Cup, Bate spent his first year at Sandringham and played in their 2005 premiership side.
Making his senior debut early in 2006 he goalled with his first kick in senior football and in 14 games for the year quickly became one of his side's most important attacking options despite hamstring and knee injuries. His 2007 season was even better, finishing third in the Best and Fairest award after playing 19 matches for the year.
Just when it seemed that he was about to break out as one of the best young forwards in the competition, Bate had his 2008 campaign delayed by a hamstring injury suffered in the pre-season and despite playing 15 matches for the year he failed to recapture the form which had impressed the year before. Despite a career high 27 goals, and Garry Lyon labelling him as one of his 50 best players in the competition, Bate again failed to truly stamp his authority on the 2009 season and fared even worse in an improved 2010 side, spending the majority of the second half of the season at Casey and returning only for the last game of the year.
Despite being seemingly out of favour Bate signed a two year contract extension with the club after the season, but couldn't forge a permanent spot in the Melbourne side and played just seven games in 2011, his lowest return yet.
Called-up to the seniors after showing great form with the Casey Demons early in the year, including ten goals in two matches, he was dropped immediately again after playing in the Round 7 victory over Adelaide. He returned two weeks later for two more games but was soon out of the squad again and played his last four games of the year across the final seven rounds of the season, dropped again after Round 20 only to reappear in the last game of the season.
He was later runner-up in the Liston Trophy for the Best and Fairest player in the VFL, and with a year left on his contract he demanded a trade at the end of the season, with the Western Bulldogs named as his preferred destination. The Dogs offered a pick in the high 30's which Melbourne refused, demanding a first round selection. The deal failed to go through and Bate remained a Demon.
Despite playing 12 games in 2012, including the first seven, he still couldn't forge a permanent spot in the side, often appearing as substitute, and was dropped for the third and last time after the Round 20 loss to St Kilda. He was delisted at the end of the season.
"Five Demons sign new contracts" - SMH 14/09/2010
"Axed, retired AFL players to line up interstate, in bush and in suburbs" - heraldsun.com.au 04/01/2014