Brett Edward Deledio (born 18 April 1987) is a professional Australian rules footballer playing for the Greater Western Sydney Giants in the Australian Football League (AFL). He previously played for the Richmond Football Club from 2005 to 2016, and he was the club’s vice-captain from 2013 to 2016.
Early life and junior career
Deledio was born in Kyabram, Victoria, in 1987 to Judy and Wayne Deledio. His father played a single game for Carlton in 1975, then spent a season with Brunswick in the Victorian Football Association before heading back to the country.
Deledio began playing competitive football at age 8. Playing well above his age bracket, Deledio starred alongside future Richmond teammate Troy Chaplin, who was one year his senior, in the local under-13 competition. At age 15, Deledio played his first game of senior football for the Kyabram Bombers in the Goulburn Valley Football League. He won best-afield honours for his performance in the match.
In 2003 Deledio was a joint winner of the Kevin Sheehan Medal as the best player in the under-16 national championships.
Deledio played for the Murray Bushrangers in the TAC Cup in 2003 and 2004, the leading junior competition in the country. In 2004, his final season, he kicked 21 goals from just 11 games and averaged 23.9 disposals as well. He was also named as a half-forward in the 2004 TAC Cup team of the year.
He went on to represent the Victorian Country side at the under-18 national championships, winning All-Australian honours in the process.
Deledio attended Kyabram High School prior to his AFL draft selection and subsequent move to Melbourne. He enrolled at Caulfield Grammar School to complete his year 12 studies in 2005, but pulled out after just two days. Instead, he would complete his studies at Richmond, in private tutoring sessions alongside fellow underage club recruits Richard Tambling and Luke McGuane.
In addition to his footballing prowess, Deledio was also a promising young cricket player. A fast-bowler, he represented Victoria at the 2003–04 under-17 national championships. He was also highly capable with the bat, scoring an 85 in the competition’s final and leading the Victorians to a national championship. Following this performance, the then coach of the Victorian Bushrangers David Hookes invited Deledio to join the state men’s team. Deledio would however decline the offer, instead leaving cricket behind to focus on the prospect of a future career in the AFL.
Debut year (2005)
He kicked his first career goal in a Round 4 game at the MCG against Fremantle.
Deledio was nominated for the Rising Star award following his Round 8 match against Collingwood in which he recorded 13 disposals.
He played all 22 games in his debut season and on 31 August 2005, he was rewarded with the AFL Rising Star award, receiving 43 of a possible 45 votes. Deledio followed this by also winning the Richmond Best First-Year player award and AFL Players’ Association Best First-Year Player Award as voted by his peers.
He also represented the club at the 2005 AFL Grand Final Sprint and won.
An emerging talent (2006–2007)
Deledio played 21 out of 22 matches in 2006 and was again a consistent performer, only missing the one game with an injured knee. He was often the target of attention from opposition taggers due to his abilities, and found it difficult to break the tag. However he still produced impressive figures, averaging 18.8 possessions and 6.5 marks a game.
In 2007 Deledio developed into a highly versatile player, who often provided difficult match-ups for the opposition. He played multiple roles across the season, including stints in the midfield and on both the forward and back flanks. In the forward line he used his speed and judgement well to lead into space and take strong marks, kicking 21 goals for the season and placing third on the club’s goal-kicking tally. Out of defence, he often used his electric pace to provide run and carry and deliver pinpoint passes into the forward line.
Deledio’s best game of the 2007 season came in Tigers’ Round 19 win against Collingwood, where he kicked a career-high five goals and earned three Brownlow Medal votes.
Deledio averaged 18.4 possessions and 5.4 marks a game for the season and placed fifth in the club’s best-and-fairest, earning the Kevin Bartlett Medal.
Jack Dyer Medalist (2008–2009)
Deledio began the 2008 season in the forward line for the Tigers, but pushed up the ground later in the season. He surpassed 30 possessions for the first time in Round 6 against Hawthorn before doing so again in Round 10 against Sydney and in round 11 against Adelaide.
He won the AFL Army Award for his courage shown in round 7 against the Saints when he flew backwards into a pack to take a mark and heavily collided with a Saints player.
He topped the club for inside 50s that year, and averaged a club second 24.6 disposals per game.
Deledio was rewarded for his consistent season with his first Jack Dyer Medal as the club’s best-and-fairest player, polling 250 votes to take out the award.
He was also announced in the 40-man All-Australian squad for 2008 though did not make the final team.
Deledio had another great year in 2009. His best game for the year came against Adelaide in Round 14, where he racked up 31 disposals and kicked one goal. He was the club leader for disposals and inside 50s that year, as well as placing second in tackles and third in clearances.
He was rewarded with a second consecutive Jack Dyer Medal. Deledio finished with a total of 190 votes just ahead of Daniel Jackson (175) and skipper Chris Newman (162), thus becoming the youngest player to win the award back-to-back (at the age of 22 years and 5 months) since Kevin Bartlett in 1967–1968, and the youngest player in the AFL to win a best-and-fairest award back-to-back since Michael Voss at Brisbane in 1995–96.
He signed a new 3-year contract in 2009, keeping him at Richmond until the end of the 2012 season.
A star of the club (2010–2012)
2010 saw Deledio have another solid year as he became a solid defence playmaker for Richmond alongside his captain, Chris Newman, averaging 25.3 disposals. Richmond began the 2010 season horribly, losing 10 of their first 11 games, their only win being in round 10 against Port Adelaide. The Tigers soon turned their season around, however, going on to win five of their next seven games, with Deledio playing a vital role in these wins.
Deledio was included in the 40 man All-Australian Squad for the second time in his career. He unluckily missed out on selection in the side to Collingwood’s Harry O’Brien.
Deledio had his most consistent year to date in 2011, playing all 22 games and averaging 26.3 disposals, becoming acknowledged as an elite half back. Deledio was once again picked in the 40-man All-Australian squad.
Despite his fantastic year, Deledio unluckily missed out on an All-Australian side selection.
On 21 December 2011, at the Club’s Annual General Meeting, Deledio became the youngest life member in Richmond’s history. Deledio qualified for the honour when he reached the 150-game milestone in Round 24, 2011 (at 24 years and 139 days old).
With his contract set to expire at the end of the 2012 season, Deledio was among the very first to be able to explore free agency, with the midfielder being named by Richmond a restricted free agent prior to the 2012 season; however in March 2012, he signed a new five-year deal believed to be worth more than $3 million, keeping him contracted to the Tigers until the end of the 2017 season.
The 2012 season saw Deledio become one of the AFL’s most valuable players, averaging 28 possessions per game.
In the Dreamtime at the ‘G clash against Essendon in Round 8, Deledio starred for the Tigers in the loss, racking up 35 possessions to win the Yiooken Award as the best player on the ground.
Apart from early in 2009, Deledio had consistent played good football, despite some critics citing that he hasn’t lived up to expectations. However, after the Round 8 “Dreamtime at the G” Clash between Essendon & Richmond, Current Tigers head coach & Former Essendon premiership player Damien Hardwick felt that Brett had finally become a true AFL elite player, quoting that: “His contested ball work has come on in leaps and bounds,” [and]
“That was probably the one area of his game that I thought needed work but he’s just been enormous in that area this year. He’s become an elite player of the competition.”
Leadership and a first final (2013)
In Round 3 against the Western Bulldogs, Deledio kicked a goal within 8.9 seconds of the match starting, making it the fastest goal in AFL history, beating the former record of 9.1 seconds held by Gary Ablett, Jr. After 194 matches, Deledio finally played his first AFL final in Richmond’s elimination final loss to Carlton at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. His 194-match wait until a maiden final is the longest of any current player in the AFL.
Injuries and a move to half forward (2014–2016)
Deledio had a slow start to the year due to an ongoing lower leg injury he was trying to nurse while playing, but as his fitness improved, so did he and so did Richmond as a whole. He played across the half-forward line in the latter half of the year and from round 15 and onwards he averaged 27 disposals per game, 1.4 goals per game, 6.2 marks per game, 5.5 inside 50s per game and least importantly he averaged 1.2 brownlow votes per game. His new position meant he had easier access to goals, kicked 11 goals in the last 5 Home & Away games of the year, and was a key figure in the Tigers rise from the lower rungs of the ladder to narrowly making the finals after nine consecutive wins to close out the season. He was a part of the team that lost to Port Adelaide by 57 points despite a very good individual performance of 29 disposals and 1 goal in the Elimination Final, just the second finals match of his career. He finished seventh in Richmond’s best and fairest count.
In January 2015, Deledio was appointed joint vice-captain for the 2015 season, along with Ivan Maric.
For the second year running Deledio went into the season carrying an injury. After struggling through the team’s Round 1 clash victory over Carlton he faced four weeks recovery on the sidelines. He would return to the side for the team’s Round 6 match against North Melbourne.
Deledio’s second match back from injury against Collingwood earned him much praise as he helped Richmond get across the line to defeat Collingwood by 5 points, the first time they had defeated Collingwood since 2007. Deledio continued his varied role of midfield/forward, racking up 30 disposals, 13 marks and 2 goals/2 behinds, being arguably the best on ground. A talking point rose as Deledio now had 2 goals and 4 behinds for the season, fairly rare for Deledio who was known for his accurate kicking. The result of this was possibly due to a new kicking style he had been practicing in the off-season.
Deledio continued the season in fantastic form, stamping himself in as ‘Richmond’s most important player’ as stated by many commentators, some of them being Bruce McAvaney and ex-player commentators Matthew Richardson and Matthew Lloyd. At the time of the Adelaide crows loss where Deledio was abscnt through illness, mMany experts also noted that statistics proved that Richmond had a significant winning advantage when Deledio was in the side. Stats read that Richmond played 9 games without Deledio over the 14 and 15 seasons, only managing to win 2. On the other hand, the 32 matches with Deledio had resulted in 21 wins.
Deledio’s most notable performance was against in form top 4 side Hawthorn. Deledio booted 3 goals in the first quarter and then sealed the win with a goal at the start of the final quarter. It was the first time he had kicked more than 3 goals since the 2008 season, yet had many 3 goal games since then.
During the H&A season Deledio averaged 21.9 disposals, 6.2 marks, 1.5 goals, 0.9 behinds, 2.9 tackles, finishing off arguably his best season in his career despite an injury riddled start to the year.
Between Rd 7 and Rd 23, Deledio averaged 8.7 score involvements per game, ranked second in the league only to the 2015 Coleman Medal winner Joshua Kennedy.
Deledio was selected in the 2015 All-Australian team and the 2015 AFLCA All-Australian team.
Deledio was nursed through the 2016 pre-season, only making a half-game appearance against Port Adelaide in the NAB CUP. In this match he kicked a 9-point Super goal, meaning $500 worth of Sherrin footballs were donated to his junior club.
Deledio suffered a quad injury that put him out until Round 6 vs. Port Adelaide. In his return match he showed similar form to previous seasons, racking up 22 disposals, laying 6 tackles and kicking a goal.
Deledio continued to play good football, making the most of his versatility and playing numerous roles throughout the season. During the Rd 17 match vs. the Essendon Bombers his potential best on ground performance was cut short at half time due to a sharp pain in his calf muscle – a problem that had hindered his fitness for the third season straight. He sat out the remainder of the 2016 season as a precaution, deciding to rest and concentrate on remaining healthy for the 2017 season.
Greater Western Sydney
At the conclusion of the 2016 season, he was traded to Greater Western Sydney.
He struggled to overcome a calf injury early in the season, failing to play a match at any level through the first 19 matches until finally making his debut for the Giants in round 20 where he kicked a goal.
In 2019 Deledio began serving as a development coach with the Giants’ AFL Women’s team.
Deledio is a utility, a very versatile player who adept at any position from half-back through half-forward.
As a junior, he played predominantly in the forward line, but due to his pace, fitness and elite disposal, he was shifted to the midfield in his latter days of junior football.
Early on at Richmond he alternated between playing as a midfielder and as a half-forward, playing well in both positions. In 2008 and 2009 he won Jack Dyer Medals in a predominantly midfield role. Upon Damien Hardwick’s arrival in the 2010 season, Deledio had a move to the half-back line to make use of his elite kicking and prolong his career. In 2012 though, Deledio was moved again into the midfield where he earned All-Australian selection for the first time. Since 2014 Deledio has been contained to a mostly half-forward role. He won All-Australian selection on half-forward after a 1.5 goal per game season in 2015.
He is an elite ball user and was rated as Richmond’s best kick by his peers and by numerous media pundits.
- Statistics are correct to the end of round 7, 2018
Legend G Goals B Behinds K Kicks H Handballs D Disposals M Marks T Tackles Season Team No. Games G B K H D M T G B K H D M T Totals Averages (per game) 2005 Richmond 3 22 14 10 186 159 336 86 37 0.6 0.4 8.4 6.8 15.3 3.9 1.7 2006 Richmond 3 21 5 12 241 154 395 137 35 0.2 0.6 11.5 7.2 18.8 6.5 1.7 2007 Richmond 3 19 21 10 188 161 349 102 36 1.1 0.5 9.9 8.5 18.4 5.4 1.9 2008 Richmond 3 22 28 10 255 283 538 155 48 1.3 0.4 11.6 12.7 24.4 7.0 2.2 2009 Richmond 3 22 20 15 254 279 533 118 78 0.9 0.7 11.6 12.9 24.2 5.4 3.6 2010 Richmond 3 22 2 4 302 254 556 116 54 0.1 0.2 13.7 11.6 25.3 5.3 2.4 2011 Richmond 3 22 9 11 281 282 563 91 65 0.4 0.5 12.8 12.8 25.6 4.1 3.0 2012 Richmond 3 22 17 15 339 266 605 110 102 0.8 0.7 15.4 12.1 27.5 5.0 4.6 2013 Richmond 3 23 10 15 317 230 547 118 86 0.4 0.6 13.8 10.0 23.8 5.1 3.7 2014 Richmond 3 19 20 16 258 225 483 102 52 1.0 0.8 13.6 11.8 25.4 5.4 2.7 2015 Richmond 3 17 26 15 213 159 372 105 50 1.5 0.9 12.5 9.4 21.9 6.2 2.9 2016 Richmond 3 11 9 7 124 130 254 58 39 0.8 0.6 11.3 11.8 23.1 5.3 3.5 2017 Greater Western Sydney 7 7 5 2 49 49 98 29 24 0.7 0.3 7.0 7.0 14.0 4.1 3.4 2018 Greater Western Sydney 7 6 3 0 70 68 138 38 17 0.5 0.0 11.7 11.3 23.0 6.3 2.8 Career 256 190 142 3087 2697 5784 1367 729 0.7 0.6 12.1 10.5 22.6 5.3 2.8
On 26 October 2012, Deledio married his longtime girlfriend Katie (née Chivers), an Integration Manager at Bauer Media Group Australia. The couple had their first child, a baby girl named Milla, on 12 July 2015.
Deledio and his wife Katie own a pet Staffordshire Bull-Terrier named ‘Boris’ 
Some of his favourite hobbies are golf, surfing and dirt bike riding
His boot and apparel sponsor is Adidas. During Adidas’ promotion for the ‘Nitrocharge’ boot, Deledio was painted to have his body appear to look like a machine or an engine.
Brett Deledio supports the Melbourne Stars in the Big Bash Cricket League. In 2012 Deledio as well as fellow Richmond player Shaun Grigg worked with Melbourne Star’s player Bobby Quiney to promote the game.
He promotes cap and clothing brand ‘New Era’, therefore he has a large collection of the caps. In 2012 New Era released new AFL team caps, including caps for Richmond which Deledio promoted. In 2014 Deledio and New Era released a line of limited edition ‘BD3’ caps for Richmond fans to purchase.
In 2015, Brett and his wife Katie worked with the AFL Players’ Association to promote their new ‘Team Up’ application.
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- http://www.afl.com.au/news/2015-05-05/deledio-could-sub-in |title=Deledio could sub in
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- “Richmond Player Totals (1965–2016)”. AFL Tables. Archived from the original on 13 August 2016. Retrieved 8 January 2017.
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- Capalbo, Abby (19 June 2013). “Byron Bay Wedding from Blumenthal Photography”. Style Me Pretty. Style Me Pretty. Retrieved 22 February 2014.
- Instagram. Instagram (12 July 2015). Retrieved on 2017-06-21.
- Instagram. Instagram (15 February 2013). Retrieved on 2017-06-21.
- Off Field With Brett Deledio. YouTube (25 July 2013). Retrieved on 2017-06-21.
- Deledio on AFL tonight. richmondfc.com.au. Retrieved on 21 June 2017.
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- “Sidelines”. The Newcastle Herald. 23 March 2009. p. 44.
- ALF Star Brett Deledio transforms into a Human Engine. elenavation.com.au
- BD7 on Twitter: “Want to say a big thankyou to all my sponsors for looking after me this yr. @adidasAU @OakleyAUS_NZ @QuiksilverAUS @jeepaustralia #gotiges”. Twitter.com (30 December 2012). Retrieved on 2017-06-21.
- BD7 on Twitter: “Huge thanks to all my sponsors that looked after me in 2015. Love the support! @adidasAU @jeepaustralia @NewEraAustralia @OakleyAUS_NZ”. Twitter.com (28 December 2015). Retrieved on 2017-06-21.
- Brett Deledio drops in before the Hurricanes match. YouTube (6 April 2013). Retrieved on 2017-06-21.
- VicHealth TeamUp (Part Three): Brett and Katie. YouTube (19 May 2015). Retrieved on 2017-06-21.
- Brett Deledio’s profile on the official website of the Greater Western Sydney Giants
- Brett Deledio’s playing statistics from AFL Tables
- Brett Deledio’s statistics from Footy Wire
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