Bachar Houli
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Bachar Houli

Bachar Houli
Bachar Houli 2017.3.jpg
Houli playing for Richmond in March 2017
Personal information
Date of birth (1988-05-12) 12 May 1988 (age 31)
Place of birth Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Original team(s) Western Jets (TAC Cup)
Draft No. 42, 2006 AFL National Draft: Essendon
Debut Round 7, 2007, Essendon
vs. Kangaroos, at Telstra Dome
Height 180 cm (5 ft 11 in)
Weight 84 kg (185 lb)
Position(s) Defender / Midfielder
Club information
Current club Richmond
Number 14
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
2007-2010 Essendon 026 0(9)
2011- Richmond 177 (33)
Total 204 (42)
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of round 23, 2019.
Career highlights
Sources: AFL Tables, AustralianFootball.com

Bachar Houli (Arabic: ? ?‎, born 12 May 1988) is an Australian rules footballer for Richmond in the Australian Football League (AFL). Houli plays as a midfielder. He is the second devout Muslim to play in the AFL. Houli stated in an interview at the time of his debut in 2007 that he was the first practicing Muslim to play for a senior AFL side, although he also acknowledged that prior to him there had been two other Muslims in the league, these being Adem Yze and Sedat Sir. He is the first Muslim to have won an AFL premiership.[1]

Early career

Houli was born in Australia to Lebanese parents. The young left-footer began playing football with Spotswood Football Club Under 12s in 2000.[2] After consulting with a Sheikh, Houli decided to break his Ramadan fast for three days during the physical endurance tests at the AFL Draft Camp; this allowed him to record sufficiently good times to impress recruiters and be a viable selection in the draft.

Houli has said it was hard growing up a devout Muslim, and playing Australian rules football at the same time. There was little organised sport played in Islamic schools, and he had to sneak out when he was young in his earlier years in order to just play games without his parents knowing. His persistence playing the sport finally led to his parents accepting and being supportive of his talents which led him to become an AFL player.[3]

AFL career

Houli was drafted at pick 42 in the 2006 National Draft by Essendon. He played four games for the Bombers in 2007 and kicked three goals. After his impressive performances in the Bombers 2008 NAB Cup he was selected for the Bombers Round 1 team to play the Kangaroos. He played an important part in helping the Bombers secure a 55-point victory and received the first round nomination for the AFL Rising Star award.[4] After the completion of the 2010 trade week, Houli left Essendon and was drafted by Richmond with their only selection in the 2010 Pre-season Draft.[5]

Houli picked up three Brownlow Medal votes following a fantastic display for Richmond against Sydney in Round 21 of the 2011 season.

In round 14, 2017, Houli copped an initial two-match suspension for striking Carlton's Jed Lamb during the first quarter of the match between Richmond and Carlton at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. However, the AFL later appealed against this suspension, saying that it was "manifestly inadequate" given the impact of the incident. Subsequently, Houli's suspension was increased to four matches.[6] in the 2017 AFL Grand Final, Houli was considered one of the better players on the ground coming runner-up in the Norm Smith Medal.

Houli played the first nine matches of the 2018 season before suffering a serious groin injury in round 10's win over St Kilda. He was expected to miss more than a month of football as a result.[7]

Houli was named in ESPN's mid-year All-Australian team in 2019.[8] At season's end Houli was named in the squad of 40 players in the running for All-Australian selection that year.[9]

Statistics

Statistics are correct to the end of round 23, 2019[10]
Season Team No. Games G B K H D M T G B K H D M T
Totals Averages (per game)
2007 Essendon 43 4 3 5 20 24 44 17 5 0.8 1.3 5.0 6.0 11.0 4.3 1.3
2008 Essendon 43 10 4 3 82 108 190 35 36 0.4 0.3 8.2 10.8 19.0 3.5 3.6
2009 Essendon 43 7 0 1 67 90 157 33 16 0.0 0.1 9.6 12.9 22.4 4.7 2.3
2010 Essendon 43 5 2 4 46 54 100 24 17 0.4 0.4 9.2 10.8 20.0 4.8 3.4
2011 Richmond 14 22 5 6 273 205 478 127 55 0.2 0.3 12.4 9.3 21.7 5.8 2.5
2012 Richmond 14 22 3 3 270 201 471 110 48 0.1 0.1 12.3 9.1 21.4 5.0 2.2
2013 Richmond 14 21 6 5 286 180 466 130 39 0.3 0.2 13.6 8.6 22.2 6.2 1.9
2014 Richmond 14 23 5 6 290 205 495 104 57 0.2 0.3 12.6 8.9 21.5 4.5 2.5
2015 Richmond 14 23 5 2 323 188 511 126 59 0.2 0.1 14.0 8.2 22.2 5.5 2.6
2016 Richmond 14 12 0 3 175 124 299 80 29 0.0 0.3 14.6 10.3 24.9 6.7 2.4
2017 Richmond 14 21 5 9 291 205 496 108 75 0.2 0.4 13.9 9.8 23.6 5.1 3.6
2018 Richmond 14 15 3 6 175 141 316 71 26 0.2 0.4 11.7 9.4 21.1 4.7 1.7
2019 Richmond 14 19 1 0 318 221 539 120 49 0.1 0.0 16.7 11.6 28.4 6.3 2.6
Career 204 42 51 2616 1946 4562 1085 511 0.2 0.3 12.8 9.5 22.4 5.3 2.5

Honours and achievements

Team

Individual

Personal life

Houli has become a leading influence for many young Australian Muslims; his dedication and commitment to his AFL career has enabled him to become a primary figure in his Muslim community. Houli's role has been likened to that of Hazem El Masri in the Rugby League community, and he currently works one day a week as an AFL cultural ambassador.[11]Adem Yze, a Melbourne regular from 1995 to 2007, was one of the first Muslim Aussie Rules players at AFL level, and Houli has stated his desire to follow in Yze's footsteps. He is also only the second player of a Lebanese background to play in the AFL (the first being Mil Hanna). He is married to Rouba Abou-Zeid.[12]

See also

References

  1. ^ Laidley hopes forwards hold
  2. ^ Faith drives Muslim footballer Archived 23 March 2008 at the Wayback Machine Muslim News UK
  3. ^ AFL aims to soften racial divides
  4. ^ Bachar Houli has claimed the Round 1 Rising Star nomination Herald Sun
  5. ^ Quayle, Emma (9 December 2010). "Houli looks forward to new journey at Punt Road". The Age. Retrieved 2010.
  6. ^ Navaratnam, Dinny (29 June 2017). "Appeal upheld: Houli cops extra whack for strike". AFL.com.au. Retrieved 2017.
  7. ^ "Round 11 injury update". Richmond FC. Telstra Media. 28 May 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  8. ^ Bolton, Jude (5 June 2018). "Jude Bolton's mid-year All-Australian team". ESPN. Retrieved 2019.
  9. ^ McGowan, Marc (26 August 2019). "Revealed: The All Australian squad for 2019". AFL Media. Telstra Media. Retrieved 2019.
  10. ^ "Bachar Houli". AFL Tables. Retrieved 2017.
  11. ^ "Prayer rooms compulsory at AFL venues". 19 April 2012.
  12. ^ Cresswell, Joel (27 September 2011). "Modesty takes points in fashion race".

External links


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