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Dermott Brereton – Retired Australian Rules Football Player

Dermott Brereton is famed as one of the greatest and finest players of his generation and was nicknamed as ‘The Kid’.

Dermott BreretonBorn on August 19, 1964 and of Irish descent, Dermott Brereton was well known for aggressive playing style. He played for three different clubs but spent most of his career with only one club – Hawthorn. In a total of 211 matches he played, he kicked 464 goals of which 189 matches were for Hawthorn where he scored 427 goals. He also worked as a director Hawthorn football club before moving into commentary.

Playing Career

1982-1992: Hawthorn Football Club

Dermott Brereton started his AFL career with Hawthorn. Playing as a centre half-forward, Dermott was particularly known for his aggressive game play. During his debut, he had red hair, which he later decided to convert to blonde by dying. His debut match was during the final series of 1982 against North Melbourne. He managed to kick five goals during debut and aided his team mates in scoring a few more.

Soon he became one of the key players of Hawthorn, especially as a part of Hawthorn’s grand final teams. He was a premiership player in years 1983, 1986, 1988, 1989 and 1991. It was easy to identify Dermott on field because of his off-the-ball scuffles as well as marking abilities. In 1985, he went on to win the Best and Fairest award of Hawthorn and became the club’s leading goal kicker. In the 1985 Grand Final, Brereton kicked eight goals which was a record of that time.

Charging rules of Australian Rules were changed because of Dermott’s aggressive and hard shoulder and hip knocks. These changes were necessary to protect those players who solely focused on the ball.

Brereton’s most memorable moment of AFL and his career with Hawthorn came in the Grand Final of 1989. That particular game became one of the toughest finals to have been ever played in history of AFL.

A solid shirtfront hit by Geelong’s Mark Yeates left Brereton concussed, winded, and was put off the ground to be attended to by the trainers. Brereton vomited just before jogging back on to the field and marked and kicked one of the most remarkably inspirational goals of all time. In total, Brereton kicked 3 goals in the game and Hawthorn won the match by 6 points. After the game, Dermott was diagnosed with broken ribs because of that hit by Mark Yeates.

Dermott Brereton was also selected to represent Victoria in State of Origin on 8 occasions.

He kicked a total of 18 goals in those 9 representative matches. In 1992, Hawthorn advised Dermott to retire because of his chronic and crippling hip pain that was a result of his unusual playing style.

1993-1994: Sydney Swans

By 1993, Dermott Brereton started recovering and wanted to get back into the game. At that time, Sydney Swans needed a big name in their team and drafted Brereton hoping that his appearance will help the Swans with on-field performance as well as in attracting crowds to their home games. Brereton, however, due to his style of play resulted in frequent suspensions.

Once he stomped the head of Rayden Talli of Hawthorn and in another occasion, he allegedly used a karate chop to break the jaw of Tony Free of Richmond. He earned a seven-match and seven-week suspension respectively for those two rough plays and eventually in 1994 he was delisted by Sydney Swans.

1995: Collingwood

Brereton still wanted to played and worked on his fitness during the off-season of 1994-95 and was once again available for national draft. Collingwood decided to draft him despite the fact that he was aged 30 by that time and clubs usually do not prefer to hire players of that age.

His performance at Collingwood was better than that of the Swans and ended up playing 15 games and managed to kick 30 goals.

Eventually that marked the end of his career and he retired from the game.

Career After Retirement

After he retired from Collingwood, he still wanted to play and in 1996 he returned to Frankston Rovers (currently known as Frankston Bombers) where he ended up with a broken cheekbone in the second round of the season. He participated in AFL Legends Match because of his strong desire of active playing.

Hawthorn appointed him as the director of the club in 1997 and he served in that role for 8 years and finally retired on March 29, 2006.

In 2006, Brereton once again returned to the game and started playing in Yarra Valley Mountain District Football League for Woori Yallock – a Division 1 football club. He started playing alongside Damien Monk horst – a former teammate from Collingwood. Brereton actually kicked two goals in his debut match!

Career As A Commentator

Brereton made media appearances quite early in his career because he always wanted to join media once he retired. As a result, during the 1980s he appeared in a morning show which was at that time hosted by a veteran performer of television named Erine Sigley. Sigley mentored Brereton for six years. In 1990s, Channel Nine picked Brereton and he became one of the original panelists of The AFL Footy Show. Brereton also wrote for a daily newspaper The Age.

Other notable media associations of Dermott Brereton include:

  • Commentator of AFL matches with Nine Network: Year 2000
  • Hosted radio show on SEN 116 of Melbourne AM – The Run Home. He was a co-host with Matthew Hardy and Anthony Hudson but left because of a payment dispute: Year 2004.
  • Appeared in Toyota Memorable Moments: Year 2005.
  • Appeared on Dancing on Ice by Torvill and Dean: Year 2006.
  • Joined back SEN 1116: Year 2007.
  • Broke 20-year association with Nine Networks to join Foxtel for 2012 AFL season: Year 2011.
  • AFL commentator on Foxtel: 2012 onwards.
  • Host of Fox League Teams show: 2012 onwards.

Awards And Achievements

Dermott Brereton bagged quite a few awards and achievements that are listed below:

  • 1985: Peter Crimmins Medal.
  • 1983, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1991: Hawthorn Premiership player.
  • 1985: All Australian Team.
  • Member of Hawthorn Team of the Century.
  • Inducted into Australian Football Hall of Fame.
  • Member of Mornington Peninsula Nepean Football League Hall of Fame.

Despite his unusual playing tactics, Brereton remains one of the most famed players of AFL and his fame will definitely outlive this great player.

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