Adelaide Crows FC
Born: 29 September 1986
Junior Club: Southport
Senior Club: Southport
School: The Southport School.
Queensland: U18, U21 (2004)
Draft Details: Selection #58 (4th round) to Kangaroos 2004 National Draft; Traded to Adelaide for Selection #37 (2nd round) 2007 National Draft.
AFL Debut: North Melbourne v Hawthorn, Launceston, Rd 21, 2006 (26 August)
Jumper Number: 2
AT A GLANCE: Brad Moran is an adopted Gold Coaster, having learned his football on the tourist strip after migrating from England with his family in October 2001. Born in Solihull, England, and raised in Stratford on Avon, he was a junior representative soccer player before earning selection in the English U14 rugby Academy. His family moved to Australia specifically so that Brad might pursue a rugby career before an odd sequence of events. He joined The Southport School in year 10, excelling first in basketball and later rowing.
But his sporting focus changed when he took up football at Surfers Paradise in June 2003. In his first season he was runner-up in the Surfers Paradise U18 B&F despite missing the first eight games and was best afield for a Zane Taylor Development Squad against the Geelong Falcons. AFLQ Talent Manager Mark Browning invited him to join the 2004 State U18 squad while completing Year 12. He missed six weeks of the Scorpions preparation with a broken wrist and didn't enjoy a lot of game time at the 2004 national carnival but later represented Queensland U21’s and made his senior AFLQ debut for Southport under Norm Dare. He narrowly missed AFLQ grand final selection but was best afield in Southport’s reserves grand final win and was drafted by the Kangaroos at No.58 in the 2004 National Draft.
He spent the 2005 season with VFL affiliate Port Melbourne, alternating between the seniors and reserves and finishing third in the reserves B&F. In 2006, when the Roos’ alliance changed to take in the Tasmanian Mariners, he played there until his AFL debut against Hawthorn in Launceston in round 21. Roos coach Dean Laidley at the time likened the rise of the 19-year-old to the AFL's Irish experiment of Jim Stynes and Tadhg Kennelly. "It is a wonderful story," he said. "He's a bit of physical specimen - 200cm and 100-odd kilos and he's very, very quick, so he's got all of those attributes, but he's still learning his footy … we're just excited to see where he's at in his football development.” Moran had 21 possessions, 10 marks and 10 hit-outs in a 22-point loss to earn a nomination for the AFL’s Rising Star Award. He also played round 22 but the opportunities Moran was looking for didn't come his way in 2007.
He was twice a selection ‘blind’ (named before being withdrawn) and was an emergency six times but played only once – in round 19 against West Coast. Otherwise, he played with Tasmania, VFL wooden-spooners, mainly at centre half back. He was offered a one-year Kangaroos contract so when the chance of a fresh start came via the Adelaide Crows he jumped at it, signing a new two-year deal and accepting a challenge from Crows coach Neil Craig to make the key defensive post at centre half back his own. After an injury-played beginning to his time in Adelaide he played seven AFL games late in the 2008 season, including his finals debut against Collingwood, when they lost the qualifying final at AAMI Stadium by 31 points.
Season 2009 shaped as his breakout year despite a pre-season injury layoff. After missing the first three rounds and spending three rounds as an emergency he broke into the senior side as a back-up ruckman in Round 7. By Round 12 he’d established himself as a regular and consistent member of the Crows’ following division No.1 ruckman before disaster struck in Round 13. In a seemingly innocent mishap at the centre bounce he damaged the patella tendon in his knee and, despite a brave effort to get back for the finals, missed the result of the year. Still, he signed a new two-year contract over the off-season and set his sights about confirming his AFL credentials in 2010.