Born: 25 January 1990
Junior Club: Kedon
Senior Club: Zillmere
Schools: St.Joseph’s Primary, St.Patrick’s College (Shornecliffe)
Regional Selection: Northern Raiders
Queensland Selection: U16 (2005-06), U18 (2007)
Draft Details: Selection #29 (2nd round) 2007 National Draft
AFL Debut: Hawthorn v Geelong, MCG, Rd 1, 2009, (27 March)
Jumper Number: 37
AT A GLANCE: Brendan Whitecross was born to be a footballer. His great uncle Doug Beasy played 129 games at Carlton (1951-59), winning the 1956 B&F and representing Victoria in 1955 and ‘57. And his great grandfather Maurie Beasy played 75 games at Carlton (1920-28) and represented Victoria six times, including the 1924 carnival. From the age of six, when he began playing Auskick at Kedron, Brisbane-born Whitecross had a special football passion. A standout junior, he won the Kedron B&F at U12's (2002), U14's (2003-04) and U16's (2005-06), represented Queensland at U12, U16 and U18 level, captained the Queensland U16 side and was a member of the 2007 AIS/AFL Academy squad, touring South Africa in April 2007, when he made his senior QAFL debut with Zillmere and played in the club’s Reserves premiership side.
All he ever wanted to do was play in the AFL And on Saturday, 24 November, 2007, his life-time dream became reality when he was drafted by Hawthorn. The 17-year-old utility, still eligible to play U18 football in 2008, was the first Queenslander taken in the draft when claimed by the Hawks in the second round, No.29 overall. It was the beginning of a new chapter for the self-confessed all-sports "nut", who divided his AFL loyalties between Carlton and Brisbane, listed Michael Voss as his first football hero and Glenn Archer and Jason McCartney as his most admired players. But as much as football was always his No.1 priority, he excelled in other sports. He was a Queensland middle-distance runner and Cricketer of the Year in the First XI at St.Patrick’s College at Shornecliffe.
He was described by AFLQ Talent Manager Mark Browning at the time of his drafting as ” very complete junior player, with excellent skills on both sides of his body, good lateral movement, outstanding speed and endurance, and a good mark for his size". A genuine utility player, Whitecross played at half back, half forward and through the midfield in his junior years. He tested exceptionally well at the AFL Draft Camp in Canberra in October 2007, when he was third overall in the beep test (14.10), fifth overall in the 20m sprint (2.91sec), and eighth overall for both agility (8.36sec) and the repeat 30m sprint (24.25 sec). He spent his entire 2008 first season at Hawthorn playing with Box Hill in the VFL, and was included in the AFL match squad for the first time when he travelled to Launceston as an emergency for Round 11 game against the Western Bulldogs and was regularly on the fringe of senior selection as the Hawks went on to win the ’08 premiership.
He made an eye-catching NAB Cup debut against Melbourne in Launceston in February 2009 when, playing as a small defender, he had 16 possessions and was cool under pressure as th Hawks came from 33 points down at three-quarter time to win. Followed up with 13 touches in a losing NAB Cup quarter-final against Carlton, and made his AFL debut in Round 1 against Geelong in the grand final replay - a phenomenal effort. He had to wait until Round 3 against North Melbourne to taste AFL victory for the first time, and in the same game 'arrived' as a quality playing, finishing with 29 possessions after 20 in the first half.
He played the first 10 games of the season in an outstanding achievement for a teenager breaking into a premiership season. Missed Round 11 following the death of his grandmother, but signed a new two-contract on 13 June 2009. He returned in Round 13 only to suffer a knee injury against West Coast in Perth. Kicked his first goal in Round 18 against Port Adelaide and was ultimately rewarded for an excellent debut season when he won the Hawks Most Improved Player Award. Had a disrupted 2009-10 off-season when he underwent a hip operation, but after missing the entire NAB Cup pre-season campaign did well to be ready to begin the season proper in the VFL.