Craig Bradley

Craig Bradley Retired Australian Rules Football Player

He established himself as a key player from the beginning of his career.

Craig Bradley is a retired Australian Rules football player. He was born in Ashford, South Australia and started playing football at an early age.

For his contribution towards the game and his incredible skill on the field, he has received many awards and honours. He started his career in the South Australian National Football League (SANFL). Craig Bradley later moved on to playing for the Victorian Football League (VFL).

Craig Bradley was not only a great football player. He was also a renowned cricketer and played first-class cricket as a right-handed batsman. After finding early success in his football career, he gave up playing cricket. After retirement from cricket, he concentrated on football and continued establishing himself as one of the best in the game. His extreme physical fitness level enabled him to have a long and successful career in the league.
Craig Bradley

After retiring from his team as a player, he made a comeback. However, this time he did not intend on playing. He rejoined his team as an assistant coach on a part-time basis. He was quite valuable to the team as a player and he proved to be quite valuable as an assistant coach as well.

Early Years

Craig Bradley was born on 23 October, 1963 in Ashford, South Australia. He had early exposure to football and started playing senior league football by the time he was 17. He immediately established himself as a player with immense potential. He started getting offers to join the Victorian Football League but he refused to move initially.

Career in the South Australian National Football League

Craig Bradley started his career in 1981 with Port Adelaide. After displaying his skills he managed to secure the club’s Best and Fairest Award the following year in 1982. He was not only a great football player but also a promising right-handed batsman in cricket. His career with Port Adelaide was short-lived as he finally decided to move to the VFL. He started playing in the SANFL in 1981 and moved to the VFL in 1985.

Career In The Victorian Football League

In the VFL, Craig Bradley was recruited by Carlton. This was one of the best football clubs at the time. Even after his recruitment in the VFL, he continued playing cricket. However, he noticed his football career becoming strong. Therefore, he retired from playing cricket and started concentrating on his football career. Before retiring from cricket, he played four first-class matches. He was indeed a promising player for the team and won the league’s Best and Fairest Award three times.

In 1990, Craig Bradley become Carlton’s vice-captain and displayed great leadership skills. Due to the spectacular job he did as a vice-captain, he was made the team captain in 1998. His physical fitness level was unmatched. When on the field it seemed like he never got tired. He was the most effective as a midfielder. He often moved along to the forward line during play. This would allow Craig Bradley to score goals himself as well as assist other players in bagging goals.

Craig Bradley can be considered as a multi-talented player. In addition to being deadly as a midfielder and a forward, he generally used to play as a half-back flanker. His game play and skills allowed the team to launch a profound attack on the opposition. Due to his contribution to the game, he has been honoured with many awards and achievements. After a successful career, Craig Bradley finally called it a day in 2002.

Throughout his career, Craig Bradley played 473 games in the VFL and SANFL combined. In VFL, he played for one team only Carlton. He started with Carlton in 1986 and played with them for sixteen years. He played 375 games for Carlton alone and scored 247 goals in those games. To this day, he is remembered as one of the greats of Australian Rules Football.

Life After Retirement

After his retirement, Craig Bradley was completely out of touch with the game. However, he returned to his beloved team years later. In 2007, Craig returned to Carlton as a part-time assistant coach.

Honours And Awards

Craig Bradley has a long list of achievements and awards. He is clearly one of the best football players of all times.

• The year he started playing with Port Adelaide, he drove the team to the 1981 Premiership.
• He established himself as a key player for Port Adelaide. He was awarded the Best and Fairest Award three times between 1982 and 1985.
• Between 1983 and 1997, Craig Bradley was an All-Australian seven times.
• Bradley was a four-time winner of one of the most coveted medals in SANFL. He won the Fos William Medal four times between 1985 and 1993.
• He kept up his stellar performance after joining the VFL. He won Carlton’s Best and Fairest Award three times between the years 1986 and 1993.
• Craig was the vice-captain for Carlton from 1990 to 1997.
• He won the Michael Tuck Medal in 1997.
• In 1998 he was made the captain of Carlton. He captained the team till 2001.
• Bradley was awarded the Simpson Medal in 1985.
• He was also a part of the team that represented South Australia in the State games. He played 19 games for South Australia between 1983 and 1999. Furthermore, he captained the team from 1997 to 1999.
• He represented Australia in the International Rules Football a total of nine times between 1984 and 2002.
• Craig holds the record for the most senior games played in Australian Rules football.
• He is also the record holder for the most games played by a player for Carlton.
• Following his retirement he was inducted into three halls of fame:
o Australian Football Hall of Fame in 2006
o South Australian Football Hall Of Fame in 2006
o Inducted as a Legend of the Carlton Football Club
• He is also a part of the Port Adelaide Team of the Century

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