Graham Wright (born 6 June 1968) is a former Australian rules footballer, who played for Collingwood in the Australian Football League. Wright is the current recruitment manager for the Hawthorn Football Club.
|Date of birth||6 June 1968|
|Original team(s)||East Devonport|
|Draft||No. 3, 1987 national draft|
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 1998.
|Sources: AFL Tables, AustralianFootball.com|
Wright was selected by Collingwood in the 1987 National Draft with their first round pick (no.3 overall) as a quick wingman, having shown great courage for Tasmanian side Devonport. Making his debut in 1988, Wright took his time to prove his value as a first-round draftee but in 1990 he had a fantastic year which saw him rise in ranking amongst the top wingmen in the league. Wright finished 2nd in the Brownlow Medal to Tony Liberatore by one vote in 1990, and would then finish equal 3rd in the Copeland Trophy. Perhaps more importantly, Wright was a valuable member of the 1990 premiership side. Wright would also represent Tasmania in State football.
A shock came to coach Leigh Matthews and players at the end of 1991 when Wright announced he wanted to return to Tasmania to play football, but was talked out of it by Matthews. In 1993 he was a victim of a disease which threatened his playing career, but he recovered in the pre-season to continue playing his damaging football on the wing. Consistent football followed in the mid-1990s before suffering a knee injury in 1996 against Richmond where he would require a knee reconstruction. Following the season-ending injury, his main asset of pace was severely affected, and would play out his career in defence where his courage gave him an edge. Wright played his 200th game against Carlton in 1998, before retiring a week later at the end of the 1998 season.
Wright was appointed as recruiting and list manager at Hawthorn in June 2011. He replaced Hawthorns' long-time list manager Chris Pelchen, who quit the club for a position at St Kilda. Wright had experience in recruitment at both Brisbane (2004-2007) and Hawthorn (since 2007). He also has an MBA in Sports Management.
When Hawthorn needed to reconstruct its team in recent years of the diluted drafts and then free agency. Wright was the man to find the players - teenagers and veterans who arrived to build the side. Wright was the person responsible for bringing Shaun Burgoyne, David Hale, Josh Gibson, Jack Gunston, Jonathan Simpkin and Brian Lake to the club and ultimately the 2013 to 2015 premierships.
- Bradshaw, Finn (14 June 2011). "Graham Wright takes over Hawks recruiting". Herald Sun. Retrieved 17 April 2016.
- Graham Wright's playing statistics from AFL Tables