|Full name||Brian Lake|
|Date of birth||27 February 1982|
|Original team(s)||Woodville-West Torrens (SANFL)|
|Draft||No. 71, 2001 National Draft, Western Bulldogs|
|Height/Weight||195 cm / 98 kg|
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 2015.
Brian Lake (born Brian Harris; 27 February 1982) is a former professional Australian rules footballer who played for the Western Bulldogs and Hawthorn Football Club in the Australian Football League (AFL).
Picked late in the 2001 AFL Draft at pick 71 from Woodville West-Torrens due to a sleep apnea condition that resulted in him falling asleep in club interviews. The Bulldogs discovered this and realised they could get him as late as they wished. Lake was a relatively late developer. Making his AFL debut late in the 2002 season, he was seen as a raw full-back who was some way from fully developing.
Western Bulldogs career
By the 2005 season, Lake's role in blanketing some of the best full-forwards in the game was seen as outstanding.[who?] He had come of age and shown significant improvement, much like many other of his Western Bulldogs teammates (such as Daniel Giansiracusa, Robert Murphy and Dale Morris), who led the team to within half a game of a finals' berth.
In 2007 he developed into one of the leading full-backs in the competition and is remembered for the match against St Kilda in which he held Fraser Gehrig, a dual-Coleman Medal winner, to no possessions for the entire match. That year he won the Charles Sutton Medal as the Bulldogs' best and fairest player.
Lake earned a place in the 2009 AFL All-Australian team in the back pocket as his first All-Australian honour. In season 2010, he was again named in the 2010 AFL All-Australian at full back. Lake has often been referred by many commentators as a "defensive monster" due to his ability to out strength his opponent and take the mark in contested situations.
Trade to Hawthorn
Lake, along with pick 27, were traded to the Hawthorn Football Club at the end of the 2012 season during the trade period, in return for picks 21 and 41. The trade on the first day of trade week had caught many sport commentators by surprise that a deal was done so quickly. While the rest of the Hawthorn playing group were away on holidays, Lake trained at Waverley and lost 5 kilos before the team returned for pre-season training. A corked thigh caused him to delay his debut for his new club until round 5 against North Melbourne.
Lake's move to Hawthorn culminated in his first AFL premiership, with Hawthorn defeating Fremantle and Lake winning the Norm Smith Medal for best on ground. Lake played 21 games in his first season as a Hawk, his two goals were kicked against Sydney in consecutive weeks. In 2014 Lake was involved in an on field incident with North Melbourne's Drew Petrie during their teams' Round 16 match. Lake was seen holding Petrie in a strangle-like position on the ground for an extended period of a time before Petrie's teammates dragged Lake away. Lake was charged with misconduct by the AFL Match Review Panel and referred straight to the AFL Tribunal for determination. Lake went on to win 2 more AFL premierships with Hawthorn in 2014 and 2015, playing a pivotal role in Hawthorn's success. This era is the first time Hawthorn have ever won 3 successive premierships in its history. Lake announced his retirement on 6 October 2015 after playing his last game for Hawthorn in the 2015 AFL Grand Final and winning his 3rd AFL premiership.
At Christmas 2007 he legally changed his name from "Brian Harris" to "Brian Lake" in order to keep his father's family name alive. He was born outside of marriage and "Harris" is his mother's maiden name. Lake currently resides in Caroline Springs, a suburb in Melbourne's west.
- Statistics are correct to the end of career
|Led the league after season and finals|
|Totals||Averages (per game)|
- "Brian Lake". Hawthorn FC. Retrieved 1 October 2015.
- Hogan, Jesse (7 July 2014). "Brian Lake sent to AFL tribunal for choke hold on Drew Petrie".
- Phelan, Jennifer (6 October 2015). "Veteran Hawthorn pair Lake and Hale retire with three-flag haul". AFL.com.au. Bigpond. Retrieved 6 October 2015.
- AAP, Bulldog Harris changes surname to Lake, Brisbane Times, 10 January 2008. Retrieved 17 July 2010.
- Brian Lake's player profile at AFL Tables