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Bradley Hill pens his thoughts ahead of brother Stephen’s 200th game.
As a kid Stephen was always pretty good like he is now - quiet and never got in trouble.
He’s three years older than me so he was always a little bit too old for us to hang out. He probably thought he was too cool for me but as we got older we got closer.
He was always a good kid with Mum, he was probably her favourite! Like I said, he was a good kid growing up.
I first started playing footy when I was around six, likewise with Stephen as well, so we’ve been playing for as long as we can remember.
We used to have this bus stop out the front of our house. There was a bus stop pole and another light post as well so we used them as our goals.
We used to muck around and pretend we were AFL players kicking for goal to win a grand final. Pretending it was the last second or a kick after the siren, the same as most kids do.
I always felt Stephen was probably always a bit more talented, especially as a junior. He was always the best player, winning club best and fairests and the league best and fairest. I don’t think I ever won one in my junior career, so he definitely had that on me growing up.
Stephen’s speed didn’t just help him on the footy field.
I remember he had a little motorbike and he used to get angry if I would take it out without asking him.
I still remember one time me and my cousins took it and Stephen just came running chasing after us and nearly caught us on our little Peewee 50!
As brother’s we used to get in scuffles and he used to just chase and catch me. As I said, Stephen’s really quiet and chilled but he does get fired up at me when I get on his bad side.
There’s a couple boys at the club who can push his buttons, too. Brady Grey’s probably the best at it!
Maybe the most fired up I remember him getting was at Mum after footy games.
Mum really knows her footy and I remember when we were younger, if you didn’t play well she’d be telling us what we did wrong and what we needed to work on.
If we played a good game she’d tell us it was good but I remember we used to get fired up at her if she gave us feedback on the bad games. I think Stephen got more upset than me when Mum was telling us what we had to do. She used to really give it to us!
When he got drafted to Fremantle in 2008 the whole family was there and it was a pretty exciting time.
To be honest, when that happened it was pretty cool to see your older brother get drafted to the AFL and it was something he always wanted to do.
I remember on his debut he got that free kick against the Western Bulldogs and kicked a goal in the first 30 seconds. I think he disappeared after that!
I remember straight after the 2013 Grand Final I didn’t know how to feel. At first I just shook his hand and walked off as I didn’t really know what to say.
I went back up to him a couple minutes later and I was a little bit emotional. I was happy for myself but at the same time I felt sad for my brother.
I went back and spent my time with Hawthorn and then I caught up with Stephen and spent the rest of the night with him.
Obviously, he was upset but at the same time I could tell he was proud of me.
Last week I played for Peel and I’m hopeful I gave myself a chance to be selected to play with him for his 200th.
If that doesn’t happen I’ll be watching on TV. It’s a massive achievement and not many players can say they’ve played 200 AFL games.
Since day one when he got to Fremantle, I don’t think he missed too many games.
He’s been resilient and he’s very professional about the way he goes about his footy. It’s the way he looks after his body, the way he understands the game.
He’s probably the most versatile player we have for Freo, we can chuck him inside, outside or down back.
He gets moved around a fair bit and you’ve got to know the game plan quite well to change to all those different positions, where most of us like myself, just have to worry about one position.
He’s a very talented player and it’s a great achievement to play 200 games so I’m very proud of him.