Main content

Brown’s underrated trait

He’s made a name through his strong marks, reliable goal-kicking, unique pre-shot routine and crazy hairstyle, but there’s one elite part of Ben Brown’s game that has perhaps flown under the radar.

Brown ranks number one in the competition for ground covered this season, covering in excess of 46 kilometres in his past three outings.

Standing at 200 centimetres and weighing in at 101 kilograms, Brown’s endurance is a unique trait, but one he’s had for as long as he can remember.

“At school I was always in the top couple at cross-country, but I was always dead last in the 100 metre sprint,” Brown told the Herald Sun.

“I’ve always had that element of being more of an endurance-style athlete, rather than a sprinter.”

In North’s 15 matches so far this season, Brown has averaged 95.73 per cent time on ground, and is yet to take a seat on the bench in seven of those games.

He’s been the game’s top runner in every fixture bar Round 11, but as always, isn’t making much of it.

“It doesn’t necessarily mean I’m running to amazing spots or anything like that,” he said.

“The way I’ve always done it is I’ve tried to stay on the move. (My GPS) is normally around the 15 kilometre mark.

“It’s about a lot more than kicking goals and that’s what my teammates and my coaches value.

“I’m focused on doing the best things by the team so we can be around come finals time, because we don’t want to be missing out on finals like we did last year.”

This talent isn’t lost on senior coach Brad Scott, who marvels at 25-year-old’s underrated talent.

“I’ve said it for ages and people don’t believe me, he’s an unbelievable endurance athlete,” Scott said.

“I remember speaking to my brother, who was coaching International Rules and he wanted Ben Brown in the team, and the only concern was it’s a fast game.

“I said he’ll have no problem, because he’s an elite runner.

“Chris (Scott) and Ross (Lyon) were both surprised with his work-rate in that game and he just brings it at AFL level.

“Everyone sees the marking and goals but he’s really valuable on the defensive side as well.”

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs