DOB: 19 August 1969
Debut: Round 15, 1992 against Fitzroy at MCG
Last Game: Round 13, 2000 against Carlton at MCG
From: Devonport/Rochester, Selection #16 1986 National Draft, Selection #55 1989 Pre-Season Draft, Selection #17 1992 Mid-Season Draft
Number: 20 (1992-2000)
Tasmanian state representative - 1993
Allies state representative - 1995, 1996, 1998
Life Member - 2000
VFL premiership player - 2000
Statistical categories led
Most games in jumper 20
Febey was taken with Melbourne's second pick in the 1986 National Draft, as part of a deal that he and twin brother Steven (who the Demons picked first) would only move to Victoria if both selected by the same club. Melbourne was one of four VFL clubs to express an interest in the Febeys before the draft.
While brother Steven forged a place in an improving side, Matthew's early career was destroyed by injuries. He was delisted and went back to Devonport for two years before Melbourne took him a second time. Febey debuted in the senior side during a 1989 exhibition match in Toronto. In the 1990 pre-season semi-final he suffered a horrific injury, breaking his leg and ankle, as well as tearing knee cartilage. After recovering, he broke his leg again in a training session, this time after being tackled by his brother. On his return, in a Reserves final, a severely broken arm led to a bone graft.
On returning in 1991, Febey badly damaged his shoulder in a Reserves game and was delisted again. After appearing at one training session with Richmond and being passed over by Melbourne in the national draft he joined former teammate, now coach, David Williams at Rochester. In 1992 he returned to Melbourne via the mid-season draft. At the third try he finally avoided injury long enough to play an AFL game, debuting on the same day his brother played his 85th match. From there, the less experienced Febey became a fixture, playing for Tasmania in 1993, and finishing fifth in Melbourne's Best and Fairest the next year.
Both Febeys were linked to Sydney before 1996, when the Swans were unable to sign two uncontracted players as part of recruiting concessions, before both signed three year contract extensions despite last minute interest from Essendon. When Matthew played his 100th game in 1997 he and Steven became the first twins in VFL/AFL history to achieve the feat.
Febey signed another two year contract in early 1999, and had a good season while the rest of the side crumbled around him. At the end of that year Febey entered into a partnership with teammates David Schwarz and Paul Hopgood to buy the Blarney Stone Hotel in Bay Street, Port Melbourne. It was renamed The Hurdle.
After being named on the Veterans List alongside Steven in 2000, Febey's season was destroyed by hamstring and finger injuries. The Sandringham VFL premiership was his last game. He nominated for the draft in the hope of finding a new club but was not picked up.
An inaccurate goalkicker he racked up a career total of 44.60.
The Febeys were a sporting family, with father Neil playing 18 years at Devonport, mother Pat representing Tasmania at softball, and sister Tracy playing in the WNBL.
|Round 3, 1993||Striking||2 matches|
Canberra Times - 25/02/1990
Age - 03/04/1991
Football Record R17 1992
Age - 22/04/1994
Football Record R6 1994
Canberra Times - 13/10/1995
Age - 19/11/1995
Age - 21/11/1995
Age - 22/11/1995
Age - 24/01/1999
Herald Sun - 27/11/1999
Herald Sun - 13/10/2000
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