Brad Fittler

Brad Fittler

Infobox rugby league biography
playername = Brad Fittler

country =
fullname = Bradley Scott Fittler
nickname = Freddy
dateofbirth = birth date and age|1972|2|5
placeofbirth = Auburn, New South Wales
countryofbirth = Australia
position = Five-eighth
club1 = leagueicon|Penrith|size=16 Penrith Panthers
year1start = 1989
year1end = 1995
appearances1 = 119
tries1 = 31
goals1 = 5
fieldgoals1 = 2
points1 = 136
club2 = leagueicon|Eastern Suburbs|size=16 Sydney Roosters
year2start = 1996
year2end = 2004
appearances2 = 217
tries2 = 91
goals2 = 9
fieldgoals2 = 8
points2 = 390
teamA = City Firsts
yearAstart = 1990
appearancesA = 1
triesA = 1
goalsA = 0
fieldgoalsA = 0
pointsA = 4
teamB = leagueicon|New South Wales|size=16 New South Wales
yearBstart = 1990
yearBend = 2004
appearancesB = 31
triesB = 8
goalsB = 0
fieldgoalsB = 2
pointsB = 34
teamC = leagueicon|City|16 City Origin
yearCstart = 1991
yearCend = 1997
appearancesC = 7
triesC = 1
goalsC = 0
fieldgoalsC = 0
pointsC = 4
teamD = leagueicon|Australia|size=16 Australia
yearDstart = 1991
yearDend = 2001
appearancesD = 34
triesD = 14
goalsD = 1
fieldgoalsD = 1
pointsD = 59
coachyear1start = 2007
coachyear1end = present
coachteam1 = Sydney Roosters
coachgames1 = 29
coachwins1 = 19
coachdraws1 = 1
coachlosses1 = 7
coachwin%1 = 66
coachpremierships1 = none
updated = 15 March 2008
source = [ NRL Stats]

Bradley Scott Fittler, AM, (born 5 February 1972, in Auburn, New South Wales) is an Australian former rugby league player and current coach of the Sydney Roosters. He has captained both the New South Wales and Australian teams, and in 2000 was awarded the Golden Boot award. He is considered one of the nation's finest footballers of the 20th century [ Century's Top 100 Players] ]

Football career

While attending McCarthy State High School, Fittler played for the Australian Schoolboys team in 1988 and 1989. [cite web |title=SportingPulse Homepage for Australian Secondary Schools Rugby League |url= |accessdate=2008-10-10 | publisher="SportingPulse"]

Fittler's first grade career started in 1989 at the Penrith Panthers while he was still in high school. He played in Penrith's 1990 Grand Final loss, then in the Premiership winning side of 1991. In 1996, he joined the Sydney Roosters where he played nine seasons, captaining them to the 2002 Grand Final victory. Fittler is the third most experienced first grader, behind Terry Lamb (349) and Steven Menzies (349), having played 336 games.

Fittler represented the Australian Schoolboys from McCarthy Catholic Senior High School, Emu Plains [1.] in 1988 and 1989. He was selected for Kangaroo Tours in 1990, 1994 and 2001 and played in the World Cups of 1992, 1995 and 2000.

Early in his career Fittler struggled with discipline problems, but he matured into a fine leader. He captained Australia in 20 Tests, winning 17 and losing 3, and in a further 5 victories in the 2000 World Cup. He also captained NSW in 14 State of Origin matches, winning 8 and losing 6. In club competition, he captained the Roosters to their first grand final appearance in twenty seasons in 2000, a Premiership in 2002 and successive grand final appearances in 2003 and 2004, before retiring at the end of 2004.

Two years after Fittler announced his retirement from representative football, NSW coach Phil Gould brought him back to State of Origin for the second and third game. Both he and Gould were farewelled in the last game at Telstra Stadium after he scored the winning try that sealed the NSW victory.

Fittler remains the youngest NSW State of Origin player (18 years 114 days) and was once the youngest Kangaroo representative (18 years 247 days) until Israel Folau made his debut in late 2007. Fittler played more total matches (409 combining club and representative games) than any other player.

Media career

Fittler presents a weekly footy tipping segment on "Today". Fittler also co-hosts "NRL Deluxe", a streaming video show on Mondays and Thursdays available via Bigpond TV. It is unknown if his media commitments will continue following his promotion to coach. A year after his retirement, Fittler released his book, "Freddy: The Brad Fittler Story".

Coaching career

On 9 July 2007, Rooster's coach Chris Anderson quit the club, just 48 hours after the team lost 56–0 to the Manly Sea Eagles, their second worst ever loss. Fittler took over the coaching from Round 18, in what was initially for a short term until the end of the 2007 season. The Roosters, who were sitting near the bottom of the competition and struggling with form, turned a corner with Fittler as coach as they went on to post some impressive wins. His first match was against his former mentor, Ricky Stuart coaching the Cronulla Sharks. The Roosters won the match 23–12. His second match was against the Newcastle Knights and again the team was successful 20–17.

On 27 July 2007, Fittler's coaching career took a massive leap. The Roosters side defeated the Melbourne Storm [front runners of the Premiership] 26–16, with the two late consolation tries to the Storms misrepresenting the match. Former Roosters coach, Phil Gould remarked after the Melbourne game "I've always had great confidence that "Freddie" would be successful at anything he turned his mind to. If he truly wants to be a coach, he'll be a bloody good one... I think in the end he was drawn to it and, to me, that's a coach. You don't wake up one day and say, 'I want to be a coach'. You are drawn to it. It compels you. I see and hear this in Freddie these days." [cite news|publisher="Fairfax Digital"|title=Don't be fooled by that boyish charm |url= |accessdate=2007-11-22|date=2007-07-29]

Following the win over the Melbourne Storm, the Roosters went up against the New Zealand Warriors with the match resulting in the first draw since 2005 after a hard fought golden point period which ended with the score 31–31. The result was good enough to keep Fittler undefeated as coach.

That run was extended against the Wests Tigers on 10 August, with the second golden point game in a row for the club after a late field goal attempt from Braith Anasta hit the cross bar with 15 seconds to go. The game ended in a 26–22 win after Anasta broke the line and passed to Amos Roberts who then set up Joel Monaghan for the winning try.

Unfortunately, Fittler's winning streak as a coach was broken on the 19 August 2007 when the Roosters played the Gold Coast Titans, losing 22–18. The following week, in the penulitmate round of the regular season, the Roosters lost to the eventual 2007 wooden spooners, the Penrith Panthers, 28–22.

In the final round of the season, the Roosters defeated South Sydney Rabbitohs, 26–12. The game was highly controversial with Souths forward David Fa'alogo king hitting Roosters five-eighth Braith Anasta.

On 21 August 2007, the Sydney Roosters signed Brad Fittler as their full time Head Coach until the 2010 season.


Brad Fittler was known to be an extremely influential five-eighth. His ability to work under pressure and get his team back on the board was second to none. Throughout his career he often displayed tremendous speed by putting on a left foot step, breaking the line and running 70 metres to score. He was also known to throw devestating cut-out passes and towering bombs.

Brad Fittler is also known to be the heart of the Sydney Roosters Outfit. With his influence the Roosters were the most dominant team, finishing in the top 8 every year he was present and often topping the ladder for most of the year. With Brad Fittler absent, The Roosters failed to reach the top 8 for 3 years. With him back in the team as coach they reached the 2008 Finals Series finishing fourth in the regular season.

Outside rugby league

In 2000 Fittler was awarded the Australian Sports Medal for his contribution to Australia's international standing in rugby league. His autobiography, "Freddy: The Brad Fittler Story", was published in 2005. He was named a Member (AM) of the Order of Australia in the 2006 Queen's Birthday Honours List.

In February 2008, Fittler was named in the list of Australia's "100 Greatest Players" (1908–2007) which was commissioned by the NRL and ARL to celebrate the code's centenary year in Australia. [cite web|publisher="NRL & ARL"|title=Centenary of Rugby League - The Players |url= |accessdate=2008-02-23|date=2008-02-23]

Fittler has a long time partner, Marie Liarris. They have two children together, a daughter, Demi, and a son, Zach.


External links


* [ 2001 Ashes profile]
* [ BradSpace]

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