WESTERN BULLDOGS FC
Born: 18 July 1988
Junior Club: Manunda Hawks, South Cairns
Senior Club: Murray Bushrangers
Schools: Woree Primary, Woree SHS, Townsville Grammar, Mooroopna SHS
Regional Selection: Country Kookaburras
Queensland Selection: U16 (2004)
Draft Details: Selection #27 (2nd round) 2007 Rookie Draft
AFL Debut: Western Bulldogs v Richmond, MCG, Round 4, 2007 (20 April)
Jumper Number: 40
AT A GLANCE: Jarrod Harbrow is one of the recent boom success stories of the AFL. Drafted as a rookie by the Western Bulldogs heading into the 2007 season, he completed a meteoric rise when he made his AFL debut in Round 4 of his first season and in 2009 finished 6th in the B&F in a side which went within a whisker of playing in the grand final. With an Aboriginal mother from Cairns and a Caucasian father from Mooroopna, outside Shepparton, he is originally from Cairns. A standout junior, first with the Manundah Hawks and later South Cairns, he learned his football in Cairns except for a nine-month stint as a 13-year-old, when the family moved south when older brother Marc, a long-time AFLQ development officer contracted leukemia and required hospitalization in Townsville. It was during this time that Jarrod gave Marc bone marrow to help him survive and eventually beat the life-threatening illness.
He played in the Queensland U16 side that won the 2004 division two title at the Australian U16 Championships in Adelaide - the ‘prep class’ for the star-studded Queensland U18 side that took all before them in 2006. Looking to further his football, he moved to Mooroopna and, after a stint with the local club, he played 2005-06 with the Murray Bushrangers in the TAC Cup. He was overlooked in the ’06 National Draft, when Bushrangers teammate Ben Reid was drafted to Collingwood at No.8. But with a strong advocate in ex-Carlton champion and Bushrangers coach Peter Dean, later to become a Bulldogs assistant-coach, and a fan in Bulldogs recruiting chief Scott Clayton, he was drafted by the Dogs at No.27 in the second round of the 2007 Rookie Draft. He began the season in the Werribee reserves, yet made such an impression so quickly that he debuted on the same day in Round 4 as injury-plagued fellow Queenslander Tom Williams, who had been drafted in 2004.
He played 11 games and kicked three goals in his debut season, and 14 games for 16 goals in 2008, with a best of three goals against North Melbourne in Round 19. Through two years he’d averaged 12 possessions a game as a small forward. In 2009 he was swung into defence, where his blistering pace, his excellent evasive skills and his reliable disposal made him a real weapon running off the half back line. He was an emergency for Round 1 of the 2009 season yet six months later had played 23 of the next 24 games, including three finals. Only Matthew Boyd, Daniel Cross, Dale Morris, Brad Johnson and Brian Lake headed him in the Dogs’ B&F, with Adam Cooney, Shaun Higgins, Ryan Hargrave and Jason Akermanis completing the top 10. For the third year in a row he was chosen in the Queensland Team of the Year, and he was described on the Bulldogs website heading into the 2010 season as “the revelation of 2009”.