From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Stephen Gilham (born 2 September 1984) is an Australian rules football
player with the Hawthorn Football Club.
Gilham's junior career was distinguished, playing for Oakleigh
Chargers in the TAC Cup
and in 2002 he was chosen to captain the Victoria Metro under 18
side in the national carnival. A skinny defender, Gilham was taken
by Port Adelaide with its
first pick (pick 16 overall) in the 2002 AFL Draft.
Gilham's three seasons at Port Adelaide were hampered by groin
and shoulder injuries, together with difficulty gaining the
strength to succeed as a key defender in the AFL. Gilham only
managed one senior game during his time in South Australia, in 2005
as result of an injury and illness to two other players.
He was delisted at the end of the season. Gilham's return to Victoria (and the AFL) came courtesy of Hawthorn, who selected him with
pick 34 in the 2006 Rookie Draft.
Gilham spent most of 2006 playing for Hawthorn's VFL affiliate team, Box Hill, before eventually earning an
opportunity in the senior side in the round 19 match against Carlton. He remained in the side
for the remainder of the season, and impressed observers with his
composure under pressure. In recognition of his improvement in both
game play and muscle mass, Gilham was promoted to Hawthorn's senior
list for season 2007.
During the 2007 season, Gilham consolidated a role in the senior
side. He played every match for the year, and was effective on a
wide range of opponents in defence. His solid form continued in
2008, culminating with a key role in the 2008 AFL
Grand Final. After fellow key defender Trent Croad was forced from the field with
a broken foot early in the second quarter, Gilham's presence
provided vital stability on the last line, helping the team to
claim the 2008 AFL premiership.