Brett Deledio (born 18 April 1987 in Kyabram, Victoria) is an Australian rules football player currently playing for the Richmond Football Club in the Australian Football League.
Deledio attended Kyabram High School and Caulfield Grammar School. During his youth, he was both a promising cricket and football player. David Hookes, then the coach of the Victorian Bushrangers, invited Deledio to join the state team, but he declined this offer to concentrate on any future AFL career. Brett was enrolled to attend Caulfield Grammar School, which is the same school that hosted the likes of Chris Judd and Andrew Walker. After only a handful of days at the school he pulled out and went on to study with a tutor and won the AFL Rising Star award for the best young star of 2005.
Brett has had an up and down football career, with some critics citing that he hasn't lived up to expectations. However, in 2012, After the Round 8 "Dreamtime at the G" Clash between Essendon & Richmond, Current Tigers head coach & Former Essendon premiership player Damien Hardwick felt that Brett had finally become a true AFL elite player, quoting that: "His contested ball work has come on in leaps and bounds," [and] "That was probably the one area of his game that I thought needed work but he's just been enormous in that area this year. He's become an elite player of the competition."
Deledio was the face of fashion label Travisty until they fell out of public eye. He is now known to promote EX-AFL star player Nathan. G. Brown's fashion label 'Blackbyrd'. Deledio competed in Rexona Australia's Greatest Athlete television show and finished 3rd with 1070 points, behind Jamie Whincup on 1085 points and Billy Slater on 1385.
His father Wayne played one game for Carlton in 1975 VFL season.
He soon debuted for the Murray Bushrangers as the team's youngest squad member, before being selected with the first overall selection in the 2004 AFL Draft On 31 August 2005, Deledio was awarded for his outstanding season with the AFL Rising Star award, receiving 43 of a possible 45 votes. Deledio followed his Rising Star Award by also winning the AFL Players' Association Best First-Year Player Award, voted by his peer players. Deledio was also considered to be the fastest or one of the fastest players in the league, winning the 2005 AFL Grand Final Sprint.
Capping off his debut season, Deledio was chosen to represent Australia in the International Rules series for 2005, becoming the youngest Australian player in the competition's history.
Deledio played 21 out of 22 matches in 2006 and was again a consistent performer only missing the one game with an injured knee. He was often the target of attention from the opposition taggers, due to his abilities, and found it difficult to break the tag. However he still produced impressive figures, averaging 18.8 possessions and 6.5 marks a game.
Deledio developed into a highly versatile player, who often provided difficult match up's for the opposition. He often played multiple roles from the forward line to midfield to rebounding from the backline. In the forward line he used his speed and judgment well to lead into space and take strong marks and kicked 21 goals for the season. Out of defence, he often used his electric pace to provide run and carry and deliver pinpoint passes into the forward line. Deledio averaged 18.4 possessions and 5.4 marks a game.
Deledio's best game of the season was arguably during the Round 19 win vs Collingwood. Deledio kicked a career-high 5 goals, which earned him 3 brownlow votes.
Deledio started off in the forward line in Round 1, but has pushed up the ground since then. He surpassed 30 possessions for the first time this year, achieving the feat in Round 6 against Hawthorn, in Round 10 against Sydney and in round 11 against Adelaide. So far this season he has developed his game further, averaging 24.6 possessions and 1 goal a game.
Deledio won the AFL Army Award for his courage shown in round 7 against the Saints when he flew backwards into a pack to take a mark and heavily collided with a Saints player. He was also announced in the 40 man All Australian squad for 2008. Deledio was rewarded for his consistent season with the Richmond Best and Fairest. Deledio polled 250 votes to take out the award.
In 2009, Deledio also signed a new 3 year contract, contracting him until the 2012 season.
Deledio was rewarded for another consistent season by winning the Richmond Best and Fairest (Jack Dyer Medal) for the second year running. Deledio finished with a total of 190 votes just ahead of Daniel Jackson (175) and his skipper Chris Newman (162). Deledio has become the youngest player to win the award back to back (at the age of 22 years and 5 months) since Kevin Bartlett in 1967–1968 and the youngest player in the AFL since Michael Voss at Brisbane in 1995–96.
2010 saw Deledio have another solid year, contributing to the team as a solid defense playmaker along with Richmond captain, Chris Newman. The Richmond star averaged 25.3 Disposals over the year. Richmond started the season terribly, opening with 9 straight losses, until a round 9 win against hapless port adelaide turned the tigers fortunes around. They went on to win 6 of the next 7, with Brett playing a vital role in these wins.
Brett with another good year averaged 26.3 disposals and played every game. On 26 May 2011, Deledio made his debut as a panelist on The Footy Show. To cap off another consistent season, Deledio was picked in the 40 man All-Australian squad. Brett Deledio became the youngest life member in Richmond’s history, at the Club’s Annual General Meeting, held 21 December at the ME Bank Centre, Punt Road, Richmond. Deledio qualified for the honour when he reached the 150-game milestone, in Round 24, 2011, at 24 years and 139 days old.
Another Stellar season so far in 2012 sees' the richmond superstar step up, and become one of the leagues most valuable players. In the "Dreamtime at the G" Clash in round 8, Brett Deledio starred for the Tigers, racking up 35 possessions to win the Yiooken Award as the best player on the ground. Averaging 28.0 possessions a game this year, he has proved yet again so far to the richmond faithful that he is a strong hardy midfielder/defender who has claimed an elite status in the game.