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Melbourne Football Club

Loyal Green fires one more shot

Brad Green 250 games Watch Now
ABOUT 12 years ago a 19-year-old who grew up in Tasmania playing soccer and barracking for Carlton while perfecting his left-footers in the backyard, arrived at the MCG on a Friday night ready to play his first game for Melbourne.

Brad Green's career in pictures

Only 23,348 were there to watch the Demons and North Melbourne as the young bloke wearing No. 18 bounded off the bench and into the action midway through the game. Half-watching the football and
half-staring into the stands, he collected 10 kicks and booted two goals while wondering what he was doing on the same ground as the likes of Glenn Archer.

Less than five months later, that same bloke was turning a final in Melbourne’s favour as he kicked four goals to sink the team he grew up supporting.

Three weeks later, Melbourne was in the Grand Final. The youngster copped a knock to the throat early and finished the game with one goal, a lifetime memory and no premiership.

Since that day, he has played in just six more finals.

Yet with an ability to lean on to his left foot like it was a mantelpiece, he thrilled crowds with his goalkicking and class around the ground.

On Saturday, Brad Green, now 31, is due to play his 250th game.

That’s a fine effort from a refined footballer who built a career on his ability to create a mismatch whenever he drifted between the midfield and the forward line.

It’s also a credit to his resilience. Because at times this season, it didn’t look like he’d make it.

Relieved of the captaincy after just one season as the club looked to a new generation of leaders, he was then dropped, and then got injured.

At that point, he could have gone two ways. We know now which one he chose.

“I’ve never been the type of person to sit and sulk,” Green said. “I’m here to play and that’s what I love doing. Whatever my
role is in the team, I’m going to try to do it to the best of
my capabilities.”

Now he’s playing forward, although his best football was probably from 2000-10 (no small period) when he flicked between the wing and deep forward. He kicked 55 goals in 2010, playing up the ground as much as inside 50, and won the Demons’ best and fairest award.

The next year was frustrating; parked forward while captain, unable to have the impact he would have liked. This year, he has battled on, not to the standard he set but with unquestioned passion and commitment.

“That’s what I pride myself on,” he said. “No matter what stage of life you’re in, keep finding a way, never give up. When someone throws a challenge to me, that’s the biggest thing I’ve always wanted.”

Anyone who plays 250 games has met challenges. In recent times, Green has faced more than most.

Now he faces a decision on his future. It is a process he has considered for the past 12 months and the decision about his playing future will come in the next month or so. “I’ve never been one to want to hang on for too long. I don’t want to play for the sake of playing,” he said.

“I don’t really want to take a young person’s spot in the side
who can develop.

“They’re all things I want to weigh up and the club will certainly come before me. There’s no doubt about that.”

But this week Green will become, fittingly in round 18, against the same opponent as he made his debut, only the eighth Demon to reach 250 games.

“People say that footy clubs make you, they turn you into something and they develop you on and off the field,” he said.

“I feel Melbourne has done that for me. Thirteen or 14 years in the one place; they are like your second family, (you) go through the good times and the bad times like any family situation. I’ll always be thankful to the club.”