Ballan snaps up AFL hard man Campbell Brown

BALLAN coach Mark Williams says he could not think of a better AFL star to play for his club than Campbell Brown.

Click the image above to launch a photo gallery of Campbell Brown's time in the AFL.

The controversial former AFL hard man looks set to play in the Central Highlands Football League this year, lured to play for the Blues for one game.

Brown, the 2008 Hawthorn premiership player whose football career ended abruptly after he allegedly punched Gold Coast teammate Steven May on a pre-season camp last year, is almost certain to pull on a Blues jumper in round two of the season against Waubra.

Although the deal is yet to be fully confirmed, it is understood Brown is almost certain to run out for the Blues’ first home game of the season.

Having not played with Brown since the Hawks’ premiership in 2008, Williams said having his former teammate at the club for one game would provide a massive boost for the club and league in general.

The Ballan coach said Brown’s notoriety both on and off the field did not matter; it was all about promoting the league.

In addition to a career dotted with off-field indiscretions, Brown was suspended for 28 matches in total throughout his 205-game AFL career.

However, AFL suspensions are halved when players revert to amateur football, meaning Brown sneaks under the 16-week threshold of lifelong bans.

“If you can’t help your mate out then who can you help out,” Williams said.

“I think he’s probably the best person to be getting across.”

“Of the players that left the AFL last year, he’s the biggest name. He is still good enough to be playing for Gold Coast.”

Brown has media commitments in the morning before the April 12 match, as well as in the evening at Geelong, meaning it would be a brief visit at Ballan.

However, club president Billy Smith said he did not rule out the 30-year-old pulling on a navy blue jumper again in the future.

“At the moment we are just focusing on this game and making it a big start to the season,” Smith said.

Brown made his AFL debut for the Hawks in 2002, where he played 159 games and kicked 64 goals off half back.

He was All-Australian in 2007 and represented Australia in the International Rules Series against Ireland in 2006 and 2008.

Brown left Hawthorn after the 2010 season and was a member of the inaugural Gold Coast Suns team in 2011, where he played 46 games before being released by the Suns in December last year.

patrick.nolan@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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