Craig Bolton

Craig Bolton (born 31 May 1980) is an Australian rules footballer who played for the Brisbane Lions and the Sydney Swans in the Australian Football League (AFL). He often plays at full back or on the half back flank. He is unrelated to former Swans teammate Jude Bolton.

Craig Bolton
Personal information
Full name Craig Bolton
Date of birth (1980-05-31) 31 May 1980
Original team(s) NSW/ACT Rams (TAC Cup)
Draft No. 33, 1998 National Draft, Brisbane Lions
No. 3, 2003 Pre-Season Draft, Sydney
Height 190 cm (6 ft 3 in)
Weight 87 kg (192 lb)
Position(s) Defender
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
2000–2002 Brisbane Lions 29 (10)
2003–2010 Sydney 170 (15)
Total 199 (25)
Representative team honours
Years Team Games (Goals)
2008 Dream Team 1 (0)
International team honours
2004 Australia 2
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 2011.
Career highlights
  • Sydney premiership player 2005
  • Sydney captain 2008–2010
  • All-Australian: 2006, 2009
Sources: AFL Tables,

Playing career

Having played for the Eastlake Football Club in Canberra, and the NSW/ACT Under 18s team, Bolton was picked by Brisbane in the 3rd round of the 1998 AFL Draft. He was on the Lions' list from 1999 until 2002, making his debut against Carlton in Round 1 of the 2000 season. Being unable to gain a regular place in the very strong Brisbane team of the time forced Bolton to depart the club at the end of the 2002 season, managing only 29 games since his debut.

Bolton was selected by Sydney in the 2003 pre-season draft and was immediately given a starting role in the team. Quickly cementing his place in the side's backline, Bolton missed only one game in his first seven years with the Swans. His first three years with Sydney mirrored his time at Brisbane, with the Swans' making the preliminary finals in 2003, semi-finals in 2004 and the grand final in 2005. As opposed to his emergency listing for the 2001 and 2002 Grand Finals for the Lions, Bolton was now a regular member of the team for Sydney, and as such played a part in the Grand Final victory over West Coast, earning his first premiership medal, as well as finishing third in the club's Best and Fairest Award.

Gradually establishing himself as one of the AFL's standout defenders, Bolton was awarded a place in the 2006 All-Australian team on the half-back flank position, and again in the 2009 team at his preferred position of centre-half back. He also finished third in the Swans' 2007 Best and Fairest Award.

At the beginning of the 2008 season, Bolton was named Swans' co-captain, alongside Brett Kirk and Leo Barry. Later that year Bolton represented the Dream Team Australian rules football team in the Hall of Fame exhibition match at the MCG.

The latter half of his season in 2008 was somewhat restricted by a groin injury. After the Swans exited the finals, he travelled to Germany with teammate Adam Goodes for surgery.

In 2010, Bolton sustained a bad Achilles tendon injury against West Coast at the SCG in Round 4, ruling him out for the year.

On 24 March 2011, Bolton announced his immediate retirement after an ankle injury which would rule him out of the upcoming 2011 AFL season.

Media career

Following his playing career, Bolton commenced a media career as an Australian Rules Football commentator on ABC Local Radio and also a guest commentator of the sport on the Seven Network.

Career achievements

  • International Rules Australian representative 2004
  • Premiership player 2005
  • 3rd best and fairest 2005, 2007
  • 2006 All Australian
  • 2008 – present Co-Captain
  • 2009 All Australian


 G  Goals  B  Behinds  K  Kicks  H  Handballs  D  Disposals  M  Marks  T  Tackles
Season Team No. Games G B K H D M T G B K H D M T
Totals Averages (per game)
2000 Brisbane Lions 261574120411615460.
2001 Brisbane Lions 268324833812380.
2002 Brisbane Lions 26601241741970.
2003 Sydney 6240017710828593350.
2004 Sydney 6246016410627081570.
2005 Sydney 62613211137348112620.
2006 Sydney 62434245104349144590.
2007 Sydney 62332244110354138400.
2008 Sydney 62421249153402148450.
2009 Sydney 62000188140328101310.
2010 Sydney 65002633591190.
Career 199 25 17 1696 982 2678 914 359 0.1 0.1 8.5 4.9 13.5 4.6 1.8


  • Sydney Swans site player profile
  • "Omens all good as ex-Lion at last gets a start". The Sydney Morning Herald. 21 September 2005.
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