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List of Shortest AFL Players

While successful AFL players can come in all shapes and sizes, certain physical attributes, such as height, can play an important part in successful performance. Being tall is clearly an advantage, though there are many short players who have had successful AFL careers despite their short stature. The possible advantage of being short is a lower center of gravity, which may result in better balance and agility, a clear advantage while going for the loose ground balls.

Jim 'Nipper' Bradford is the shortest Aussie rules footballer to ever play. He played seven games with Collingwood in 1943, and nine with North Melbourne in 1949.

Short players are generally midfielders. Comparing playing positions of AFL players from 2012-2018, ruckmen were the tallest (average 201.4cm), followed by the defenders, then forwards, and the shortest were the midfielders (average 184.4cm ).

AFLW playershort and young AFLW player

List of the Shortest AFL Players Ever

Rank Ht (cm) Ht (feet/inch) Player Team Years
1 155 5' 1" Jim 'Nipper' Bradford Collingwood, Nth Melbourne 1943-1949
2 157 5' 2" Charlie Hardy Esssendon 1921-1925
3 162 5' 4" Danny Craven St Kilda, Brisbane Bears 1989-1995
4 163 5' 4" Tony Liberatore Footscray 1986-2002
  163 5' 4" George"Tich" Shorten Essendon 1923-1926
6 165 5' 5" Daniel Schimmelbusch Nth Melbourne 1978-1981
  165 5' 5" Paul Callery Melbourne, St Kilda, Sth Melbourne 1970-1980
8 166 5' 5.5" Brad Gotch Fitzroy, St Kilda 1982-1990
  166 5' 5.5" Ian Ridley Melbourne 1971-1973
  166 5' 5.5" Alby Rodda Melbourne 1939-1950
  168 5' 6" Caleb Daniel Western Bulldogs 2015+
  168 5' 6" Barry Cable Nth Melbourne 1970-1977
  168 5' 6" Bluey Adams Melbourne 1953-1964
14 170 5' 6" Lou Richards Collingwood 1941-1955

Data Source: the height data is taken from the player's profile on Wikipedia (Oct 2022)

Author: Article by Rob Wood, with extra research by Casper Wood and Hamish Jenkins.

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