Jason Akermanis

Jason Akermanis

Infobox afl player NEW
playername = Jason Akermanis
fullname = Jason Dean Akermanis
image capt =

birthdate = Birth date and age|1977|2|24|df=y
birthplace = Mildura, Victoria [ [http://www.icmi.com.au/Speaker/Sports/Jason_Akermanis/Biography Speaker Jason Akermanis Full Biography - Speakers Bureau @ ICMI ] ]
originalteam = Mayne Football Club
draftpick = NAT Zone Selection, 1994
heightweight = 177cm / 83kg
position = Midfielder
dead = alive
deathdate =
deathplace =
currentclub = AFL WB
guernsey = 21
years = 1995-1996
clubs = AFL BB
games(goals) = 38 (44)
210 (263)
40 (63)
288 (370)
coach = coach
coachingyears =
coachingteams =
statsend = R21, 2008
careerhighlights =
*Brisbane Lions Best and Fairest 1999, 2005
*Brownlow Medal 2001
*All-Australian 1999, 2001, 2002, 2004
*Premiership side 2001, 2002, 2003
*International Rules Series 1999, 2000; Jim Stynes Medal 1999
*AFL Goal of the Year 2002
*Brisbane Lions Leading Goalkicker 2004

Jason "Aka" Akermanis (born 24 February 1977) is an Australian rules footballer who currently plays for the Western Bulldogs. Known for his outspoken nature, Akermanis made a name for himself as a Brownlow medal-winning and triple premiership player with the Brisbane Lions before leaving the club in highly controversial circumstances.

Early career

Akermanis grew up in Victoria, moving to Queensland in his youth where he was educated at St. Joseph's Nudgee College and played football with the Mayne Football Club where he was spotted by Brisbane Bears talent scouts.

AFL career

Akermanis was a solid contributor to the Brisbane Bears midfield (wing), with his pace and skills evident even early in his career. It was after the Brisbane Lions formed that he began to shine, bulking up significantly and a move to the forward line enabled him to make the most of his opportunities and develop a reputation as a goal sneak.

Akermanis became one of the Brisbane Lions' most experienced players. His flamboyant talents and bleach-blond hair and contrasting black beard make him easy to identify on the field. At the Lions he made his name as a speedy midfielder or on-baller with blistering acceleration and an uncanny ability to kick exceptionally well with either foot, talents which helped him win the AFL's coveted Brownlow Medal in 2001.

He was also a crowd favourite for Lions fans, being famous for his handstands. Following a winning match, he usually performed a handstand and kissed the ground, much to the delight of his home crowd. Since joining the Western Bulldogs he's agreed not to perform them any more.Akermanis is also known for his goalscoring abilities. He is a previous winner of the AFL Goal of the Year award and has an ability to kick goals from extraordinary angles. In a match in 2005, he kicked two goals within minutes of each other from almost the exact same spot: deep in the right forward pocket on the run.

2006 season

Early in the 2006 season, Akermanis was dropped from the Brisbane Lions side for Round 7, playing a game with the Suncoast Lions. This coincided with inflammatory comments he made about coach Leigh Matthews during the week and there was major speculation that his time at the club was up, only a few games after he won the 2005 club best and fairest award.

However, Akermanis was soon recalled to the side and responded with 22 disposals across half-back in the game against Port Adelaide Power and gave a post-match interview to Channel Nine which showed him smiling and visibly happy with his performance.

On 20 July, Akermanis was again dumped from the side after comments regarding his future at the club appeared in the "Herald-Sun" newspaper. According to a press release on the Brisbane Lions, "Akermanis has caused great concern and has convinced us that he is not currently prepared to accept the team first attitude required of all our players".

On July 27 it was reported that the coaching panel and senior playing group voted unanimously (12-0) to not allow him back into the club. On September 6, it was reported that the Western Bulldogs were in front in the race to sign Akermanis for the 2007 season. On September 15, Akermanis confirmed that he wanted to join the Bulldogs and it was then down to the Lions agreeing on the trade price [cite news|url=http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/story/0,23739,20414060-10389,00.html|title=Aker if price is right|publisher=Queensland Newspapers|date=15 September 2006] , which they did on October 9, when Brisbane Lions football manager Graeme Allan announced that the team had agreed to trade Akermanis to the Bulldogs [cite news|url=http://foxsports.com.au/story/0,8659,20548282-23211,00.html|title=Aker makes it to Bulldogs|publisher=AAP|date=9 Septembe 2006] .

Off field personality and controversy

Off the field, Akermanis is also very outspoken on issues concerning the Australian Football League and other codes.

Some of his controversies include:
* Famously threatening to switch codes to rugby union if the Lions signed former Kangaroos Football Club star Wayne Carey [cite news|url=http://rugby.com.au/news/2002_june/akermanis_welcome_at_queensland_rugby_14122,7125.html|title=Akermanis welcome at Queensland rugby|publisher= Australian Rugby Union Ltd|date=24 June 2002] .
* Posting verbal abuse of his coach at Brisbane, Leigh Matthews on his personal website blog (which he later denied, claiming that his brother filling in on managing his site for him).
* Consistent calls for the AFL to expand in Asia.
* Accusing the West Coast Eagles' Michael Braun of taking the performance enhancing drug EPO, causing criticism from Andrew Demetriou over bringing the game into disrepute. Akermanis never publicly named Braun, Channel Seven in Melbourne made the connection between Akermanis and Braun.
* Akermanis and Channel 7 were sued by Michael Braun and the West Coast Eagles Football Club for allegations than Braun may have been associated with performance enhancing drugs.

Akermanis is fluent in Auslan, often using it to communicate messages to his wife and her (deaf) family during matches. He can speak Spanish and intends to learn Japanese. He is of Latvian descent.

His brash, over-confident demeanor often makes him a favourite target for abuse by some supporters of other clubs, although some others regard him as a colourful character and an antidote to the range of footballers who only speak in tedious clichés. He often appears on The AFL Footy Show.

He co-wrote a book with Gary Smart titled "AKA - The Battle Within", which was released in 2003.


Akermanis is married to Megan Legge. They have two daughters, Charlotte and Sienna.


External links


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