Bachar Houli

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Bachar Houli
Bachar Houli 20.12.16.jpg
Houli at Richmond's family day in December 2016
Personal information
Date of birth (1988-05-12) 12 May 1988 (age 28)
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 / weight 181 cm (5 ft 11 in) / 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 123 (24)
Total 149 (33)
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 2016.
Career highlights
Sources: AFL Tables, AustralianFootball.com

Bachar Houli (Arabic: بشار حولي‎‎, 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.[1]

Early career[edit]

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 sufficient 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 amount of sport being 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 to want to play the sport finally led to his parents accepting and supporting of his talents which led him to become an AFL player.[3]

AFL career[edit]

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.

Statistics[edit]

Statistics are correct to the end of the 2016 season[6]
Legend
 G  Goals  B  Behinds  K  Kicks  H  Handballs  D  Disposals  M  Marks  T  Tackles
Season Team # 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
Career 149 33 36 1832 1379 3211 786 361 0.2 0.2 12.3 9.3 21.6 5.3 2.4

Personal life[edit]

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.[7] 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.[8]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Laidley hopes forwards hold
  2. ^ Faith drives Muslim footballer 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 8 December 2010. 
  6. ^ "Bachar Houli". AFL Tables. Retrieved 23 February 2017. 
  7. ^ "Prayer rooms compulsory at AFL venues". 19 April 2012. 
  8. ^ Cresswell, Joel (27 September 2011). "Modesty takes points in fashion race". 

External links[edit]