DOB: 30 March 1966
Debut: Round 1, 1987 against Fitzroy at MCG
Last Game: Round 22, 1999 against Essendon at MCG
Number: 12 (1987-1999)
Captain - 1998 - 1999
Best and Fairest - 1993, 1998
Grand Final team - 1988
Night Premiership player - 1987, 1989
All Australian - 1998
South Australia state player - 1991, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1999
Australian International Rules team - 1998, 1999
Life Member - 1996
MFC Hall of Fame - 2008
Statistical categories led
Most games in jumper 12
After abandoning football at 13 to concentrate on tennis, Viney rose as high as the number two junior player in Australia. Five years later he made a snap decision to return to football, deciding to give tennis away while touring Europe, returning to Australia on a Friday, and playing an Under 19s match at Sturt the next day. By the following year he was an SANFL senior player, and was 1985 South Australian rookie of the year.
Pursued by both Essendon and Melbourne, he played another season in South Australia before signing a two year contract with the Demons before 1987. Viney impressed so much in his first season that the 21-year-old was elevated to Vice-Captain for 1988 despite missing nine weeks during his rookie year with a knee injury. That year he lost form towards the end of the season, and was dropped for the Preliminary Final after not registering a stat in the Semi. Viney was handed a reprieve when Steve O'Dwyer was suspended for the Grand Final but registered just five touches.
1989 was a disappointing year for Viney, only playing nine games due to a pair of hamstring injuries. He was a regular the next year until a season-ending knee injury in Round 18. He played 24 games in 1991, including both finals, and picked up seven Brownlow Medal votes. He was involved in one of the biggest controversies of the year after Chris Lewis of West Coast was suspended for biting him in Round 16. At the end of that season he signed a three year contract extension.
1993 was Viney's best year to date, playing 20 games and winning his first Best and Fairest. 1994 was another great season, playing 25 of 26 matches as Melbourne made a Preliminary Final. He missed the last three games of 1995 with a broken arm, and shortly before the 1996 season began, briefly retired to join the coaching staff of tennis player Mark Philippoussis. He was retained on Melbourne's senior list despite being paid more than $200,000 a year by the Phillipousis camp, but was able to return for what was supposed to be a short stint at the start of the season. The arrangement with the Phillipousis camp soon soured, and Viney announced he was returning full time, playing his first game of the season in Round 2. At the end of that year, his name was floated as a potential trade to the new Port Adelaide team but he stayed with Melbourne.
Melbourne crashed to the bottom of the ladder in 1997 but Viney played every game. He was appointed captain for 1998 when Garry Lyon stepped down, and had a magnificent year leading a team that shot back into the finals. Before Round 20, 1999 Viney announced that he would retire at the end of the season. He had suffered sciatic nerve problems which had affected his hamstrings, and he'd required a mid-season epidural to get him through the end of the year. A degenerative knee condition troubled him as well.
Turning back an offer to become an assistant at Adelaide, Viney joined Melbourne as a midfield coach in 2000 and sat on the match committee while also doing time as a Channel Seven analyst. He didn't continue in the role in 2001.
After coaching Moama in 2003, Viney was recruited by former teammate Alastair Clarkson to be an assistant at Hawthorn in 2005. He worked with the Hawks during their 2008 Premiership season before moving to Adelaide in 2009. At the end of the 2010 season Viney returned to the club as the Demons General Manager of Player Development, filling in as coach after the sacking of Dean Bailey. In 2012 he was named National Recruiting Manager, and was later General Manager of Player Personnel until leaving at the end of 2019. In 2023 he joined North Melbourne as General Manager of Football.
Viney's brother Jay briefly played for the Demons in the early 1990s. Their youngest brother Ryan trained with the Demons at the end of the 2000 season but was not drafted. His son Jack announced in November 2010 that he would sign with the Demons, and was picked by the club at the 2012 National Draft.
|Round 3, 1995||Striking||2 matches|
|Round 19, 1996||Striking||1 match|
|Round 6, 1997||Wrestling||1 match payment|
|Round 16, 1998||Striking||Not Guilty|
|Round 21, 1999||Melee||$1000 fine|
First game as coach: Round 20, 2011 vs Carlton at MCG
Last game as coach: Round 24, 2011 vs Port Adelaide at Adelaide Oval
Viney was appointed caretaker coach when Dean Bailey was dismissed after the disastrous 186 point loss to Geelong in Round 19, 2011. He stated that he was interested in the full time job, but hinted after his first win as a coach in Round 23 that he was considering applying. A loss to Port Adelaide in Round 24 ended his claims, and Viney finished his coaching career with one win from five games. In 2012 he was named General Manager of Player Personnel and Strategy, including recruiting duties. One of his first duties in the role was to draft his son Jack under the father/son rule.
Inside Football - 04/09/1986
Age - 02/10/1986
Age - 24/06/1987
Age - 25/08/1987
Age - 06/04/1989
Canberra Times - 05/08/1990
Age - 10/01/1992
Age - 28/01/1996
Age - 31/01/1996
Age - 04/02/1996
Age - 08/03/1996
Age - 09/10/1996
Age - 15/09/1999
Riverine Herald - 07/10/2002
melbournefc.com.au - 12/10/2010
Australian Rules Football profile
Australian Rules Football Wiki profile