The X factor

Bradley Xavier (right)

Bradley Xavier on moving forward in his new role as multicultural ambassador for the AFL

Bradley Xavier from Werribee has now become one of five VFL multicultural ambassadors to spread the word on Australian Rules football to youth of diverse cultural backgrounds, advising them on the programs that have helped him develop as a footballer.

“In the Werribee Multicultural Squad, we want to help players have fun and enjoy the team culture,” says the 20-year-old who was born in Chennai, before migrating to Australia with his parents when he was eight.

Brad, who has played two senior games for the Tigers in 2017, says that with his involvement in multicultural programs in years past—like the World Team and Majak Daw Squad—it is now his chance to give back to the sport and to develop other players.

Bradley was in the news recently for having committed to a third year at Avalon Airport Oval and what will be Werribee’s first as a non-aligned club in 19 years. Bradley has been earmarked as a genuine prospect up forward thanks to his 195cm frame. Despite a broken hand resulting in him being sidelined for the first half of 2017, brilliant performances on his return to the AFL Victoria Development League saw him rewarded with another three VFL opportunities.

The footballer calls 2018 his “redemption year”.

Bradley Xavier (second from left)

Brad, who began playing football at the age of 10, became involved in the AFL multicultural program talent camp at age 14, and continued till he was 17.

“The multicultural program camps allowed me to participate in the Under 16 National Championships in Sydney 2011 with the World XVII team, alongside current AFL players Adam Saad and Aliir Aliir.

After a good final year of U18 football winning the best and fairest of the league and club, decided to get in contact with Werribee to try out during the pre-season to gain a spot on their 2016 playing list,” says Brad, who played his first VFL game against Richmond and then the next against Essendon in a Channel 7 televised game.

Over the last couple of years, Brad, considered an athletic key position player, has had the opportunity to play with AFL listed players such as Majak Daw, Andrew Swallow, and Mason Wood.

Brad says that being in a high-end training environment with a lot of talented kids who didn’t have the traditional pathway makes you want to push to get to that next level. “It’s a massive credit to all the multicultural development programs,” says Bradley, referring to his own unconventional pathway of growth in the sport. “Now, all I want to do is give back to the AFL Multicultural Program through my role as a Multicultural Player Ambassador for the VFL, assisting in engaging the wider multicultural community into the AFL industry and diversifying the game,” he adds.

Brad Xavier is proudly sponsored by The Indian Sun.


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