Brady Dawe: Quintessential Team Man



Brady Dawe


Guernsey Number: 30
Career: 2009-19
NFC Games: 208
Goals: 135
Debut: v Sturt at Unley, 4 April 2009
Final game: v Adelaide at Adelaide Oval, 8 September 2019
Premierships: 2012, 2013, 2014
Woods Medallist: 2015
Leadership group: 2017-19
Gary McIntosh medalist: 2019


Brady announced his retirement from SANFL footy at the end of 2019, a triple premiership player and was selfless in always having a crack performing his role, joining Neil Button as a number 30 wearing, 200 plus game player.



Brady Dawe with Steve Fendt. Photo: Malcolm Ashwood


Back to the beginning. Brady is the son of Stephen and Peta and Travis is his brother.


He went to Verdun Christian Primary School and then attended Pulteney Grammar from Grade 6 (at one stage, Jace Bode was the towering brute playing Centre Half Forward while Brady was the nippy onballer). Brady’s first coach at Pulteney was the legendary ex-Woodville player, Bill Davis. Brady also played for Meadows FC, often playing two games in a day, adding that Davo Thomas as a coach was someone he admired and had a significant influence. Brady played some junior footy at Sturt in 2007, he did play against Norwood and remembers playing against Tim Webber, but through lack of opportunities and not enjoying it returned to Meadows (the Double Blues loss certainly ended up being the Redlegs’ gain). Brady won the best and fairest for Meadows in 2008. Brett James ex Pie, Crow and of course gun Redleg, coaching Kersbrook had been impressed by Brady’s progression and thought this lanky kid rucking could do things the average player couldn’t and rang Mark Ross at Norwood (I like Brett’s analogy re Brady Dawe and Matty Robran: both more suited to playing other positions but were selfless ranking team success as far more important).


Zac Milbank had also been highly impressed by Brady and had recommended him to Glenelg and Norwood, part of Brady’s decision to choose Norwood was the Pulteney connection- Jesse Aish, Tim Webber, Jace Bode (Zac is known to mention on the odd occasion he discovered Brady).


Brady impressed early in 2009 and made his league debut, ironically against Sturt at Unley, replacing the injured Stephen Doyle, playing in the ruck. Under the coaching of Trevor Hill, Brady adds that while there must have been turmoil during that year he was just enjoying the opportunity to play league footy. Jarrod Cotton was the interim coach towards the end of 2009. Brady adds he felt this helped him in that when Jarrod returned to The Parade in 2015 already having formed a relationship with Jarrod.


Nathan Bassett arrived in 2010 and shook up the place dramatically in his unique style. While we started slowly, Norwood finished the minor round strongly, grabbing the double chance, defeating Glenelg comfortably in the qualifying final, losing to Centrals in the second semi then winning a cliffhanger preliminary final against Woodville-West Torrens (the beautiful sight of Nick Duigan sneaking forward from a back pocket in the dying seconds to snap a wonderful sausage roll to get the ‘Legs up). The grand final against Centrals was a fantastic game in which as underdogs we didn’t have much luck, came oh so close but the mood amongst the players and supporters afterwards was while obviously very disappointed there was satisfaction in our performance (different than the morgue like atmosphere of 2018).


Season 2011 was a reasonable season until the disappointment of losing the preliminary final against Woodville-West Torrens, during this time Brady had played mainly as a ruckman-forward, it was really the arrival of Sam Baulderstone, who quickly became one of the premier ruckmen in the SANFL, which forced Brady into becoming a forward who pinch-hit in the ruck. While individually not as suited to this role as playing primarily on the ball, it was a role he performed more than admirably, working hard bringing the ball to ground and competing.


He was a huge part of our three-peat flags of 2012, 2013 and 2014 (Brady was quite often used as the plus one behind the ball at vital stages of games and was bloody good in that role, the 2014 2nd semi comes to mind immediately). While seasons 2015 and 2016 were disappointing, there was satisfaction on a personal level in winning the Woods medal in 2015.


Season 2017 saw Norwood return to finals action, albeit briefly, losing to Centrals in the elimination final with Brady, rucking in the absence of the injured Baulderstone, who was one of our better players.


Season 2018, yes the bloody losing grand final, Brady adds it’s the one loss of his career which really stings and hurts (I will get out of the foetal position soon, surely the opening bounce will be recalled and the game starts?).


In season 2019 Brady clocked up his 200th game in a cliffhanger win at Noarlunga, adding in retrospect he probably should have been dropped earlier in the season, playing a game in the magoos running around gave him some much-needed confidence, he returned playing his best game of the season in the elimination final.



Brady & Rulebook after the 2019 Elimination Final. Photo: John Emery



Brady bowed out when Norwood were convincingly beaten by Adelaide Crows in the 1st semi the following week where Brady incidentally was one of our better players and kicked two goals.


Brady adds his toughest opponents were James Meiklejohn, Craig Parry and Jonathan Giles, remembering one game in particular that Giles got 60 odd hit outs and that game was a great learning experience. Of course the flags were the highlights with the 2014 grand final the best game of footy he participated in and while all the premiership celebrations were memorable he remembers 2013 Mad Monday with fondness, the shenanigans at Norwood Oval may have left the players wallets fractionally lighter.


Brady was praising of all his coaches, with Nathan Bassett having the most significant impact who could intimidate players but also a highly efficient teacher of the game. Brady will be missed by the Norwood faithful, he had time for everybody, no airs or graces just a bloody good bloke. He is famous for his changeroom after the game antics, let’s just say Brady is known as “wind sail”. Brady also loved vodka cruisers and red bears in particular in his younger days and may have dominated the dancefloor at the Alma on the odd occasion. Brady was an honorary member of the ‘hills mafia’ but was living in town for his senior career and so he regrettably missed being a member of the party bus.


Brady is an electrician by trade and was recently married to Siobhan (they first started going out in late 2011 so Siobhan quite rightly claims the Premiership Midas touch!). In a sobering moment of reflection they have only just recently returned from their honeymoon from overseas, thank goodness they weren’t married a week or two later.


Brady was an accomplished batsman, making several centuries, I admit I was very impressed watching him bat in a Past v Present Redlegs game, was elegant and stylish. Also more than handy at volleyball but preferred footy.


Long time teammate and fellow retiree Alex Georgiou adds: “Brady was the ultimate role player, playing the selfless key forward position that was the demise of many players of our era. Never ceased to amaze us with his random pieces of play as if he was 5ft 2 not 6ft 10. I also don’t think he ever took a mark without the ball being about 30cm behind his head. Was a resident of the team party house (10B West St) which housed 50% of the squad most Saturday nights through the early 2010s. One of the best and most important players of our generation. Also provided plenty in the showers!”


Current Senior Coach Jarrod Cotton says of Brady: “Great team-first player who played a very important role to the team’s success! A great character and fantastic person to coach.”


200+ Games and three-time premiership player shows what an awesome career he had and should be mentioned as a great of the club. Well done Brady!


Read more profiles from Malcolm Rulebook Ashwood HERE


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  2. Malcolm, I have great respect for Brady Dawe and his accomplishments. At one stage I was a little dubious about his goal kicking skills from set shots but he did improve. Loved his pack marking and his never say die attitude. Love seeing his name in the 200 games column. Bu now we have some very good 200 gamers, Brady Dawe is right up there with them. Once more Malcolm, an excellent read.

  3. Nearly the first player picked each week. Second ruck and playing as a forward it is difficult to have someone who is competent at both but he was super valuable for the team. Would have been good if we had another 50/50 ruck/forward for him as I think he would have been best sharing his time equally but none of the other ruckman were much chop up forward!
    A lovely man to coach, I expect he will be a visible past player with the rest of his hills mates into the future and beyond.

  4. Tim Wedding says

    Had the pleasure of meeting Brady and his partner at a birthday party several years ago. Such an easy guy to talk to, not full of himself and up for a laugh or a conversation about the mighty redlegs. One of my favourite players during the premiership years, very reliable, and I’m not surprised he’s a super batsman also. He may be thin but he’s as strong as an ox. Will be missed in the middle, but not forgotten.

  5. Peter Myers says

    Excellent article Malcolm. And you were dead right about Eric Matison’s photo, that is an absolute classic. A copy of that definitely should feature in the new facility somewhere. Brady has been one of my favourite Redlegs players to watch in recent years, great skills for a big bloke, he could just snaffle the ball out of the air with those huge hands. I often wondered why AFL clubs didn’t take a punt on him, but I guess he was a bit unorthodox and just didn’t quite add up to the archetypal AFL Big In some people’s eyes. Definitely Norwood’s gain. There were a few times up on the scoreboard last season where you and I nodded in sad agreement that Brady looked like the game had passed him by, but to his credit he came back really well after being dropped and finished the year really strongly. Congrats to Brady on a great, very entertaining career

  6. Peter Myers says

    JASON ANDREW TOPPIN – Wrong Brady!!!

  7. Barry Solomon says

    Malcolm being at the b n f n hearing Brady talk of his retirement really struck a nerve with me. U watch guys like him start off as kids n make club legends of themselves particularly these days when movement of players is a regular occurrence. Brady Dawes name is etched now in club history as a triple perm player and 200 gamer.

  8. Michael Rehn says

    Thanks to digital pass I was at least able to enjoy Brady’s final three seasons, and it was very easy to see why he was held in such high regard. Not only a very talented player his work rate and team first approach was second to none as well. My fondest memory of him was a Saturday night game we played at the Bay in 2017. We were looking to get back into finals contention, whilst Glenelg were a pretty ordinary side, but they really had us on the ropes at half time. Enter Brady Dawe, with heavy rain falling in the candlelight that masquerades as lighting three big grabs for three goals saw Brady make the quarter his own and the game Norwoods !!!

  9. Sam Di Bacco says

    Another well researched and well written piece Malcolm; a very informative and enjoyable read

  10. Another good read Malcolm. Dawe always seemed to play well against North.

  11. Wayne Curtis says

    Well done Malcolm once again a great story of a great player and obviously a great guy as well .thank you Malcolm.

  12. Graeme Adams says

    200 games for the one club in modern times is the mark of a great club man.

  13. Massive part of the team throughout the past 10 years. Great article!

  14. Martin Rumsby says

    Congratulations Brady on your 200 games, five GFs and three premierships – a record that very few achieve. He was a key member of the team throughout a very successful era in the club’s history. Enjoyed your behind the scenes insight to the man who wore number 30 with distinction – thanks Malcolm!

  15. Luke Reynolds says

    Fantastic piece Malcolm. Such a brilliant photo of that mark in the 2014 Grand Final.

  16. Brady may have been the ultimate team man on the field but for me his prowess off the field has no modern day peer. Brady embraced all around him, especially in the case of the trainers. He was a friend to us all. Always ready to take the piss as well as he could give it. ALWAYS available to be our “crash test dummy” when training new staff the art of taping. Made every one of us walk that little bit taller. He was as much serious as he was funny. He knew when to turn it off or turn it on.
    It was a sad day when he told us the time had come, but he left us with love and total respect.

  17. Angela Rawson says

    Great read thanks, Malcolm. Helps to fill in some of the pre digital pass years for me.

  18. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Fisho thank you.Bass v well said and greatly appreciated.Tim yep down to earth,Brady well rounded top bloke.Peter Eric has sent me thru some other photos he has taken trust me he’s a gun unlucky re height in regard to afl,Brady and yes v glad he rebounded to finish off the year strongly.Bazz well said.Michael Brady put a huge print on the game that night at the bay and thank you.Sam thank you.Charlie thank you.
    Wayne thank you and Grizz yes it’s becoming rarer and rarer.Campbell v much so and take you.Martin v well said and thank you.Luke thank you yes it’s a ripper and so are some of Eric’s other photos accidentally may we’ll have discovered a gun.Baldy absolutely superb you nailed it.Angela thank you and please try and stay safe there ! Thanks folks greatly appreciated

  19. Paul Grandison says

    Great article Rulebook. Brady was integral to the Redlegs’ years of success.

  20. Russell Jack says

    Great read Malcolm I always liked what Brady offered our team. He was a true team man. I remember all the times he was thrown back to try to stop the bleeding when teams were charging us down. Most time he took really telling marks. Norwood will miss his flexibility.

  21. Geoffrey Wilson says

    Another great read Malcolm. A role player and very unselfish player tends to be used a lot when describing Brady but he was better than that, a very good and important player for The Mighty Legs. Well done to Brett James for making sure he got to Norwood. Congratulations Brady on a great career.

  22. Nick Martin says

    Malcolm Brady Dawe was one of the most underrated players in the SANFL.. His work rate was immense and often copped it from some supporters but pinch hit in positions not familiar to him and always gave his all… Tremendous club man

  23. Wayne Bird says

    Great article Malcolm. A fantastic article. Brady would be in such an elite club being a triple premiership player and a 200+ game player. He has done both himself and the Norwood football club proud. Well done.

  24. Enjoyable read, and loved watching Brady play. Such a wonderful achievement. Thanks Brady, and all the best for the future. Keep the articles coming Malcolm. FORTIS IN PROCELLA

  25. Lovely Lisa says

    A good read, thanks Book.

  26. Well done Book!

  27. Thanks rulebook for the article. thanks for the nice comments guys and for the support along the way. I was very lucky to have played with the NFC in a successful period and make great friends along the way. Hopefully once the world sorts itself out we can enjoy watching footy at the parade again soon!

  28. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Paul thank you and v much so.Russell Brady was a gun in the back play and thank you.Geoff well said and yes thanks to,Beefy and,Zac Milbank.Nick yes some supporters we’re way over the top and definitely thank you.Wayne you nailed it.Jan thank you love your care and compassion for you’re mum to.LL and TC greatly appreciated thanks folks

  29. Bill Drodge says

    Well done Malcolm that was a great read!!!

    From a skinny kid getting smashed by bigger blokes, Brady adapted well and found his niche as a 2nd Ruckman / Forward

  30. Brady was a very good player did a lot off unnoticed stuff on the field by supporters

  31. Brett Zorzi says

    Brady Dawe had an unique kicking style but was a very accurate kick for goal. He kicked many important goals at crucial times in games.
    Not sure if the 10yr weights program worked??
    Great team mate and great clubman and I was wrapped for him to notch up over 200 Games.

  32. Raj Singh says

    Great team man a bit of a BP.

    Great photos as well.

  33. Fantastic article on a great bloke never heard a bad word spoken about the big fella

  34. Great article as always Malcolm. What a player Brady was, when I was on the ball he gave us an extra midfielder, up forward he always gave a fantastic contest, and dropping back behind the ball always marked with surety. Was an absolute pleasure and privilege to have followed his NFC career and wish the big fella nothing but the best in life ??

  35. Good choice to write about RB. Always a good player to watch from the Hill. could take a good pack mark or snag a goal from the pocket. Valuable player for Bass’s teams. I was keen to see how Norwood would replace him this year but will have to wait.

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