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'Tough as Nails'

Brad Shine

Career : 1985 - 1988
Debut : Round 1, 1985 vs Footscray, aged 25 years, 186 days
Carlton Player No. 924
Games : 23
Goals : 2
Last game : Round 6, 1988 vs St Kilda, aged 28 years, 225 days
Guernsey No. 10
Height : 175 cm (5 ft. 9 in.)
Weight : 78 kg (12 stone, 4 lbs.)
DOB : 25 September, 1959


Another eagerly sought-after import from Western Australia, Bradley Shine could hardly have been more impressive in the lead-up to his recruitment by the Blues in 1984. Throughout the seventies and eighties, whenever big name players joined the VFL from the other side of the Nullarbor Plain, the talk would always be that they had silky skills, but that they struggled in the wet. Well, Shine was a born and bred Sandgroper - a talented, tough as nails on-baller who thrived on physical contests - and a wet weather specialist to boot.

In 1980, Shine had joined Swan Districts from his local club; Harvey-Brunswick-Leschenault, where he had been playing senior grade football from the age of 16. Although just 175 cm and lightly-framed, he soon proved that courage was one of his main assets, and by his second season in the WAFL he was regarded as one of his club’s on-field leaders. Swan Districts won successive flags in 1982-83-84, with Shine a star in each of them. But it was his inspirational, Simpson Medal-winning Best on Ground performance in the 1983 WAFL Grand Final that soon had half of the clubs in the VFL knocking on his door.

Having achieved so much in a short time, it was inevitable that Shine would look east for greater challenges and greater rewards. He chose Carlton, and packed his bags for Princes Park in the summer of 1984-85. By then a seasoned, 25 year-old professional, he settled in quickly and soon caught the eye of his new coach, David Parkin. “Brad Shine looks like a young version of Leigh Matthews,” said Parkin in a pre-season interview. “He’s built, and attacks the ball in a similar way to Matthews. He’s a straight-ahead, strong player who possesses typical WA skills.”

However, Shine’s arrival at Princes Park came at a time when the Blues’ playing list was well-stocked with similar types, and to earn a regular place in a front-running Blues outfit, he was up against the likes of Rod Ashman, Alex Marcou, Ken Sheldon, Wayne Johnston, Jim Buckley, David Glascott, Wayne Harmes and Spiro Kourkoumelis - a tough ask, indeed.

Nevertheless, Brad persisted at Carlton for four years and had his share of success – albeit at Reserves level. Between 1985 and 1988, he won a Best and Fairest, a Best Clubman and two Premierships with the seconds, and was listed as an emergency for the senior side in the 1987 Grand Final. The day before that epic match, a rumour circulated that Shine might be a late inclusion, to give the Blues some extra grunt around the packs. But the whisper proved baseless, and he took his place in the Reserves team that made it a very special day for Carlton supporters, by destroying St Kilda in the curtain-raiser Grand Final.

Apart from his widespread popularity around the club, Shine is also remembered as the proud bearer of a luxurious, novelty-sized handlebar moustache. During a period in club history when facial hair (and plenty of it) was essential player plumage, Brad was an enthusiastic participant.

He wore guernsey number 10 throughout his four-year, 23-game stay at Princes Park, which came to an end in unhappy circumstances in round 6, 1988 at Princes Park. Starting that match against St Kilda on the bench, Shine was doing well and had kicked just his second goal for the Blues, when he fell to the ground clutching his knee. After Carlton won the game by 40 points, Brad was diagnosed with a strained medial ligament, and faced a lengthy stretch on the sidelines.

Therefore, with the end of his playing days in sight, Shine returned home to WA later that year and recovered in time to rejoin Swan Districts for the 1989 season. Appointed captain, he promptly led the Magpies to a big win over Claremont in the 1990 Grand Final, and confirmed his status as a legend of the club with his fourth Premiership medal.

Career Highlights

1985 - Reserves Best & Fairest Award
1985 - Reserves Leading Goalkicker 39 goals
1986 - Reserves 3rd Best & Fairest
1986 Reserves Best Clubman Award
1987 - Reserves 2nd Best & Fairest
1986 - Reserves Premiership
1987 - Reserves Premiership

Blueseum: A summary of Shine's Carlton career | Shine's Blueseum Image Gallery