DOB: 26 February 1950
From: Bentleigh/Moorabbin Technical School
Team of the Century - Centre-half back
150 Heroes selection
Life Member - 1976
MFC Hall of Fame - 2006
Victorian state player - 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976 (11 games)
Night Premiership winner - 1971
All Australian - 1972
Recruited from high school where he had been an All-Australian schoolboy Hardeman played in the 1964 Fourths premiership before rising through the ranks to make his senior debut three years later. St Kilda courted him as a player from an 'unzoned' area who lived close to Moorabbin, but he chose to stick with Melbourne.
He played nine games in his first season, and 17 in 1968, by 1970 he had moved into the backline, played every game for the year and become one of the Demons best defenders. That year he finished third in the Best and Fairest.
In 1972, a season where he also worked as a taxi driver, Hardeman was selected as part of an Australian "All Star" team to play matches against Carlton across Europe. That season he also finished tied for third in the Brownlow Medal.
One of the best centre-half backs in the competition, Hardeman was used in a variety of positions around the ground to compensate for the sides other deficiencies. At various times he played as a full-forward, centre-half forward and ruck rover.
In 1976 he attempted to cross to Sturt in the SANFL, but with two years left on his contract the Demons refused to clear him. Crack South Australian forward Michael Graham was on the table as a potential swap, but Hardeman decided to stay with the Demons rather than fight a legal battle to win his clearance.
He eventually made it to Sturt in '78 after his contract expired and he spent three years in the SANFL. His first year was wrecked with injuries and he only played four games, further injury trouble restricted him to 44 games but he represented South Australia in 1980.
When Ron Barassi was signed as coach in 1981 Hardeman returned from Adelaide and played one last year with the Demons. His form wasn't good enough to earn regular selection, and hampered by injury he returned in Round 4, then sat out of the senior side until Round 14. He retired at the end of that year having played the third most career VFL games in history without appearing in a final.
In 1982 he negotiated with Waverley, where his teammates Laurie Fowler and Tony Sullivan played, before becoming a fly-in player for Sydney side Newtown. That season he played state football for NSW, then joined VFA for Moorabbin in 1983.
In 1998 he returned to the club as an interchange steward and was later selected as the centre-half back in the Melbourne team of the century.
|Round 21, 1981 Reserves||Striking||Unknown|
Football Record says he was from Bentleigh High
In an interview with 1992 Inside Football he says that he played in the 1965 Fourths. Inside Football 04/03/1982 lists him as from 'Melbourne Colts'.
May have also been picked for a Victorian squad in 1968 but not played.
Inside Football - 08/07/1972
Age - 18/02/1976
Age - 07/02/1978
Age - 26/08/1981
Inside Football - 10/07/1980
Inside Football - 11/03/1982
Inside Football - 16/04/1982
Inside Football - 10/06/1982
Inside Football - 20/05/1992