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Harbrow the leader

Sam Brodie  May 16, 2017 2:46 PM

AFL 2017 Round 06 - North Melbourne v Gold Coast

Entering his 11th season on an AFL list, it is hard to imagine that running half-back Jarrod Harbrow could be in career-best form, especially on the back of a 2016 season where he finished second in the SUNS’ best and fairest.

However, following Gold Coast’s round seven victory against Geelong, Senior Coach Rodney Eade conceded Harbrow is topping last year's efforts, and playing his best football.

Averaging 25.6 disposals a game, Harbrow’s speed, kicking, experience and leadership across the backline have been invaluable for the SUNS.

Harbrow had an interrupted start to 2017 with an ankle injury sidelining him for a major part of pre-season training.

He began the year in the NEAFL side and following a 20-disposal display, he was promoted to the AFL team ahead of the SUNS’ round three victory over Hawthorn where he immediately impressed with 26 disposals and a goal.

In Gold Coast’s round four win over Carlton, Harbrow gathered 23 disposals along with four rebound 50’s highlighting the run and carry he provides across half back.

However, it was the five “one-percenters” that really impressed in Harbrow’s round four performance. The 28-year-old was able to not only play his role but help his fellow younger defenders with spoils, blocks and chases, leading to a 26-point triumph over the Blues.

When experienced defenders Rory Thompson and Steven Maywent down with injuries after rounds three and four, it was Harbrow who anchored the very young and developing backline.

Within the four walls of Metricon Stadium, Jarrod’s leadership is second to none and he provides valuable experience that he willingly passes down to his younger counterparts.

This nurturing quality is also highlighted in the father-of-one’s work with Indigenous youth as part of the Jarrod Harbrow Leadership Academy (JHLA).

Established in 2015, the JHLA aims to support talented Indigenous youth between the age of 13-18 years with ongoing mentorship.

The Academy provides a positive cultural and elite level environment where participants gain access and knowledge to the Gold Coast Indigenous community. Complementing the existing talent pathways, this academy also provides a platform for Indigenous athletes to access high performance facilities and tailored mentoring from Jarrod Harbrow and the club.

Round ten of the AFL season is one of high importance to Harbrow, as the SUNS travel to Alice Springs to take on Melbourne as part of Sir Doug Nicholls Indigenous Round.

Beyond his work with the JHLA, Harbrow is a leader and driving force behind the advancement of the clubs cultural understanding assisting with the development of the soon to be released Reconciliation Action Plan.

Towards the end of season 2017, SUNS fans will be able to share in Harbrow’s 200-game milestone, reward for an exceptional career.