Sjel "Mike" De Bruyckere was born in Kaatsheuvel in Holland on 6 February 1928.
He played football for his local club as a junior but in 1950 was chosen by Willem II in Tilburg, where he helped the club to win two First Division titles, playing 167 games for the club and scorinf 80 goals.
He was a regular for the Dutch national team and just four days after his last international appearance for the Netherlands, he migrated to Australia to play for Wilhelmina.
Mike went on to captain and coach Victoria as well as play for Australia, however he was not eligible to play for the team at the 1956 Olympic Games.
Mike helped Wilhelmina reach the top level of the state league in Victoria, winning the Dockerty Cup in 1958, and then going on to win the top division the following year.
In June 1964 while De Bruyckere was player-coach at Melbourne Hungaria, he formed one of the early football players’ associations, a predecessor of the current Professional Footballers Australia.
De Bruyckere coached a number of clubs including Wilhelmina (later called Ringwood City), Ringwood United, Lions, Polonia, George Cross and Green Gully.
The best and fairest award at Ringwood City is named in honour of Mike.