184cm, that’s a point of difference. 184cm as a third tall defender is very different!
A talented former basketballer, touch rugby player and track and field athlete, Brooke Brown entered the AFLW system with the athletic profile to play almost anywhere on the field.
After starting her career as a ruck/forward, Brown has found her place in the team in the backline, with her speed, agility and game sense lending itself well to playing as an intercepting third tall defender.
North Melbourne Tasmanian Kangaroos debut: Round 4, 2021
Season 7: A second season as a rebounding defender alongside Emma Kearney saw Brown further improve as she took her game to another level.
Brown was able to constantly generate avenues out of defensive 50 with her pace, athleticism, and booming kick, while her transition running off the ball was as equally impressive.
Her 17-disposal and eight-intercept outing in Round 6 against the Swans saw her land a spot in the AFLW Team of the Week but her performances across the elimination and semi-finals were arguably better as she racked up 20 disposals in each.
One season out of date, but a useful summary. She played another 13 games in the 2022b season.
North Melbourne Essendon
Previous clubs: Ulverstone/Launceston
Years playing: 2017-2022
TASMANIAN CAREER (2017-20)*
8 games, 28 goals for Ulverstone, 2017
9 games, 11 goals for Launceston, 2020
Launceston TSLW premiership, 2020
TWL North Leading Goal-Kicker, 2017 (28)
Ulverstone Leading Goalkicker, 2017
11 games for North Melbourne AFLW, 2021-22
8 games, 8 goals for North Melbourne VFLW, 2021
North Melbourne VFLW Leading Goalkicker, 2021 (8)
*No Football 2018-2019, concentrated on basketball (Latrobe, Launceston Tornadoes)
Initially used as a ruck/forward, she played just one game in 2021 before a shift into the backline last season saw her emerge as a key player for the Kangaroos. She played ten consecutive games from round two onwards, averaging 13.4 disposals per game and ranking in the team’s top five for metres gained (254), marks (3.6) and intercept possessions (5). That saw her finish eighth in the club’s AFLW best and fairest count. With one season in defence now under her belt, there should still be plenty of improvement left for Brown in AFLW Season 7.
Got a bit of zip for a tall.
NORTH MELBOURNE V SYDNEY – JB Eddy
Player Focus – BROOKE BROWN
While North had winners all over the ground, I want to focus on an interesting player that has evolved into a tactical weapon for the Kangas—Brooke Brown.
While Garner, Riddell, King(s) and Rennie will all be in the Best on Ground discussion, a lot has already been said about them, and Brown’s role shouldn’t be overlooked by fans, or by future opponents.
Coach Crocker exploited the lack of height in the Sydney side by playing Emma King and Rennie in the ruck with support from Randall, while Brown (recruited as a ruck/forward) has been used as a sweeper across the backline to complement the rebounding and playmaking ability of Emma Kearney.
The results in this game show that it’s been an inspired choice.
Coming off the bench to set up at half-back, Brown rebuffed any Sydney effort to penetrate into the forward 50. She had a game-high eight intercepts and set up three goals with her playmaking. Her 17 touches (7 contested) gave her a total of 328 metres gained (4th for the match) at a disposal efficiency of 77% (The best of anyone with over 10 touches).
Her game was reminiscent of vintage Shaun Rehn for those old enough to remember the name. Brown made certain that Sydney had no easy entries and that any attempt to bomb long into the forward line was at least met with a contest, if not outright rebuffed.
I’d like to have seen a few more intercept marks from her, but a defender who can turn every 1-on-1 into a contest and hurt opponents on the rebound is an asset to any club. When paired with the white-line-fever intensity of Kearney, North have the ability to hurt teams that try and push forward blindly.
She will face a true test next week against a Brisbane side that won’t be anywhere near as careless with their F50 entries, but if she can put in this sort of effort, North may be looking at an upset, which would be good news indeed for a club currently beset by challenges.
Very good signing. Talls in general but particularly key defense is where the team is most lacking. Brown’s stats look pretty good
Definitely fits a need for us down back based on her role. I didn’t see much of her tbh but hopefully she’ll be good for us.
Well, the 5 Norf/Tasmania people on social media are very very upset because we picked up a “gun”, so that’s a massive plus. Gotta love more basketball background players!
LOL at her post-game interview in round 2: she made sure to mention how surprised she was to play in front of a crowd.
Poor Norf refugee.