By ZAC MILBANK
When describing Glenelg premiership defender Andrew Bradley, the word loyalty readily springs to mind.
As he approaches his richly-deserved 200 SANFL game milestone in Sunday’s Elimination Final against Sturt, the 30-year-old revealed he came very close to retiring at the end of the 2018 season.
Having endured a wretched run with injuries in the front half of his career – chiefly due to the courageous manner in which he attacks the ball – Bradley felt he was unable to play his best football, prompting him to reconsider his future.
Speaking on Checkside Chats, SANFL’s fortnightly podcast, the tenacious Tiger said a heartfelt chat with then Glenelg coach Mark Stone convinced him to soldier on at Brighton Road.
Unselfishly relinquishing the captaincy to great mate and fellow defender Chris Curran, Bradley went on to play in the club’s drought-breaking 2019 premiership against Port Adelaide.
It proved to be a fitting reward for the boy from Kybybolite, who also knocked back lucrative offers from rival SANFL clubs during the Bays’ lean period between 2012 and 2016.
In his extensive interview, Bradley reveals what it was like to play junior football with Brownlow Medallist Lachie Neale and former Melbourne captain Jack Trengove.
The exercise physiologist is loving life off the field with his partner, and former Bays SANFLW player, Jordana as they fill their time caring for children Isabelle (19 months) and Ollie (five months).
Sensational Norwood recruit Harry Boyd also joins Checkside Chats for Episode 8, with the man mountain detailing his journey from Shepparton to The Parade.
Originally recruited as a key defender, the 24-year-old reveals how the external chatter outside of Woods Street that the Redlegs didn’t have a recognised ruckman this year spurred him on to produce a stunning season inside the centre square.
Joining his great mate and fellow Shepparton Bears premiership player Nik Rokahr in the red and blue, Boyd detailed that he fell out of love with the game during the Covid-impacted year of 2020.
Not managing to play a game in that year, Boyd surprisingly turned his attention to marathon running before answering a call from Rokahr to join him at Norwood.
Studying physiotherapy, the 198cm giant is yet to receive any interest from AFL clubs which doesn’t faze him as he enjoys his time living in Adelaide and playing in the Hostplus SANFL League with the Redlegs.