Clarke as an assistant coach at Richmond in December 2016
|Full name||Xavier Clarke|
|Date of birth||28 September 1983|
|Original team(s)||St Mary's (NTFL)|
|Draft||#5, 2001 National Draft, St Kilda|
|Height / weight||181cm / 78 kg|
|2002–2009||St Kilda||105 (49)|
|2010–2011||Brisbane Lions||1 (0)|
|Representative team honours|
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 2011.
|Sources: AFL Tables, AustralianFootball.com|
Clarke has Indigenous Australian heritage and his ancestry can be traced to the Gambalang people of the Daly River region of the Northern Territory. Originally from Darwin-based St Mary's Football Club in the Northern Territory Football League (NTFL), Clarke was a leading junior player and was tipped to be a first round choice at the 2001 AFL Draft.
Clarke was selected by St Kilda with their first round choice, the fifth overall, in the 2001 AFL Draft was presented with the number 20 guernsey and made his senior AFL debut in the 2002 AFL season, where he was nominated as an AFL Rising Star. Clarke's brother Raphael was also drafted by St Kilda, as Clarke played 57 games during his first three seasons, taking over the number 3 guernsey from former St Kilda captain Nathan Burke when Burke retired at the end of the 2003 AFL season.
In 2005 Clarke he struggled in form and his season ended early when he injured his hamstring in Round 17 against Collingwood. Clarke continued to struggle with injuries for the rest of his AFL career and following the 2009 AFL season a deal was struck between St Kilda and Brisbane in which Clarke transferred to Brisbane in exchange for draft pick number 60 in the 2009 AFL Draft.
Clarke played his only game for Brisbane in the Round 18, 2010 loss to Melbourne Football Club at Brisbane's home ground, The Gabba. Clarke suffered a recurrence of his hamstring injury in the first half, and while he was originally ruled out for a week, Clarke did not play again.
In 2011, Clarke almost completed a full preseason when he ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee and, although offered a rookie list position by Brisbane, retired from football at the end of the 2011 season.
Since his retirement, Clarke has worked with the AFL and the AFL Players Association (AFLPA) in Indigenous engagement and was a founding director of the Unity Foundation which worked to provide housing and support for homeless Indigenous youth.