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"Jurrah’s mixed feelings ahead of Dees’ grand final" - Age article


hardtack

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Still the most naturally gifted footballer I have ever seen in a red and blue jumper. He did things with such ease and grace, having come from literally nothing. Just remarkable what he could do without ever being in a formal training or education system like most draftees. He had vision, he had skills that made no sense, he was effortless on the field.

I have no doubt that if he was drafted to Melbourne in 2021 instead of back then, things could have been very different for him.

Can't blame him for having a lot of regret. He could have gone on to play some remarkable football if things turned out differently, and that would have changed not just his life but the life of his entire family. I hope his son can learn from his mistakes and forge a successful career. 

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14 minutes ago, Jaded said:

He did things with such ease and grace

I'd argue that his marking in general play was not so much grace as, because of the way he would land with his legs straight, a hyper-extension waiting to happen.  But a brilliant, naturally gifted player.  I saw him win the demo game against the Lions in Shanghai, pretty much off his own boot.

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5 minutes ago, hardtack said:

I'd argue that his marking in general play was not so much grace as, because of the way he would land with his legs straight, a hyper-extension waiting to happen.  But a brilliant, naturally gifted player.  I saw him win the demo game against the Lions in Shanghai, pretty much off his own boot.

That Shanghai trip was said to be the beginning of Liam Jurrah's drinking. He kicked the winning goal after taking a monster speccie and the team partied hard. Was also the infamous Gawn-yawn over the sleeping HWMNBN that supposedly cemented his desire to leave MFC 

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4 minutes ago, Stiff Arm said:

That Shanghai trip was said to be the beginning of Liam Jurrah's drinking. He kicked the winning goal after taking a monster speccie and the team partied hard. Was also the infamous Gawn-yawn over the sleeping HWMNBN that supposedly cemented his desire to leave MFC 

I hadn't heard that Jurrah started drinking on that trip, but yes, I was aware of Gawn's Yawn.  HWMNBN had already returned home, before the game took place... he wasn't even at the previous day's training session.

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I took a Welsh mate to a Dees/ Bombers game.

It was just awful crepe but in the 3rd quarter my mate said...you know if all the other players went home we could just watch that guy...pointing to LJ gliding down the Members flank ,out of nowhere,ball in hand.

His game was like a kangaroo leaping to catch sunlight in his hands .

 

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4 minutes ago, daisycutter said:

""Certainly Tom did leave early, but with the blessing of the club and with the blessing of the players." - a fairly ambiguous statement there 😁

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While I hate Scully for many reasons, I sort of understand why someone trying to be a professional footballer had no interest in being surrounded by teammates who had no standards and just wanted to get wasted on a work trip. 

Our culture was in the toilet back then. It's no wonder so few draftees went anywhere, or went elsewhere. 

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Having listened to the Peter Jackson radio interview posted her during the week, he, Roos and Goodwin believe culture is everything.

I used to think picking best available in every draft was the most important thing and team position needs in drafting was secondary and nothing else mattered.

In between all these lockdowns Choko got alot of past players going for a weekly jog with the current team. That is building a culture.

I would take Jurrah's son if we think he is good enough to play AFL, even if we have to go early on him.

He will have alot better support around him than his old man did.

 

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1 hour ago, Stiff Arm said:

That Shanghai trip was said to be the beginning of Liam Jurrah's drinking.  

Find that hard to believe TBH.
Considering Jurrah would get himself into trouble on his return home having drunken skirmishes with his relatives do you think they only started drinking after he started drinking as well?
Or could he have been returning home to some sort of drinking culture.

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1 hour ago, Jaded said:

While I hate Scully for many reasons, I sort of understand why someone trying to be a professional footballer had no interest in being surrounded by teammates who had no standards and just wanted to get wasted on a work trip. 

Our culture was in the toilet back then. It's no wonder so few draftees went anywhere, or went elsewhere. 

 

1 hour ago, Wrecker46 said:

Having listened to the Peter Jackson radio interview posted her during the week, he, Roos and Goodwin believe culture is everything.

I used to think picking best available in every draft was the most important thing and team position needs in drafting was secondary and nothing else mattered.

In between all these lockdowns Choko got alot of past players going for a weekly jog with the current team. That is building a culture.

I would take Jurrah's son if we think he is good enough to play AFL, even if we have to go early on him.

He will have alot better support around him than his old man did.

 

I can’t help but wonder how things would have turned out if Jurrah was arriving on the scene now instead of when our culture was in the bin. Obviously a lot of his issues were of his own doing, but a strong team culture might have had more pull for him. 

We’ll never know now. Sounds like he’s got his life in order now though which is great.

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2 hours ago, Jaded said:

Still the most naturally gifted footballer I have ever seen in a red and blue jumper. He did things with such ease and grace, having come from literally nothing. Just remarkable what he could do without ever being in a formal training or education system like most draftees. He had vision, he had skills that made no sense, he was effortless on the field.

I have no doubt that if he was drafted to Melbourne in 2021 instead of back then, things could have been very different for him.

Can't blame him for having a lot of regret. He could have gone on to play some remarkable football if things turned out differently, and that would have changed not just his life but the life of his entire family. I hope his son can learn from his mistakes and forge a successful career. 

Biggest drawcard in the game is what he would have been.  Freak.

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A player, among many, we let down badly.

The coup de grace (or is that disgrace?) for me was that ridiculous book they published before he’d even reached a fifty game milestone. How that happened is still beyond me…

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In my house, you follow the Dees or leave.

At one point of prolonged thrashings, my eldest son - 6 years old at the time - starting noticing Gary Ablett jnr and told me he wanted to follow Geelong. After almost vomiting all over him I asked him "do you like food?" He replied 'Yes". I stated calmly "then you barrack for Melbourne".

Fortunately, only a few weeks later we were watching a game and he noticed Liam Jurrah. Melbourne devotion immediately restored! Thank-you Liam Jurrah!

Jurrah was a freak with some of the most grace-filled skills I had seen since Robbie Flower. He made you watch him. But I don't think he would have survived a season in 2021. Defensive pressure is the foundation for everything now and that is something he simply didn't have.

If his son has enough talent, draft him. 

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3 hours ago, Fork 'em said:

Find that hard to believe TBH.
Considering Jurrah would get himself into trouble on his return home having drunken skirmishes with his relatives do you think they only started drinking after he started drinking as well?
Or could he have been returning home to some sort of drinking culture.

I'm certain this won't satisfy you, but here's some backstory. I heard similar from people in the industry at the time.

https://www.afl.com.au/news/452683/when-jurrah-turned-to-the-demon-drink

" ...Jurrah wasn't into the 'boozy culture' that was prevalent in the remote community, particularly among men. 

Whether that trip to China was where Jurrah's taste for alcohol intensified is up for debate, but it was clearly a significant time in his life.
"You effectively got off the bus from the airport and they were giving you free spirits," one source said..."

Our club culture was terrible back then. Thankfully, the times have changed.

Edited by Stiff Arm
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56 minutes ago, loges said:

One sad story, have a framed and signed mark of the year photo.

I have a signed (with certificate of authenticity) St Patrick's Day jumper.

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The story isn't that sad.

He's 33 and life goes on.

We could have 3 more Generations of Jurrahs in the next 50 years at current replacement rates.

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2 hours ago, Stiff Arm said:

I'm certain this won't satisfy you, but here's some backstory. I heard similar from people in the industry at the time.

https://www.afl.com.au/news/452683/when-jurrah-turned-to-the-demon-drink

" ...Jurrah wasn't into the 'boozy culture' that was prevalent in the remote community, particularly among men. 

Whether that trip to China was where Jurrah's taste for alcohol intensified is up for debate, but it was clearly a significant time in his life.
"You effectively got off the bus from the airport and they were giving you free spirits," one source said..."

Our club culture was terrible back then. Thankfully, the times have changed.

Definitely a perfect storm of terrible situations.

Having lived in China for a year, the drinking culture has two speeds: teetotal or off your guts. 

As mentioned, we were giving St. Kilda of the 80’s Saints Disco fame a run for their money as the greatest party team of the VFL/AFL era. A simple chat with bar staff around Melbourne and a few AFL footballers would confirm the city’s worst kept secret that we were a team of quote ‘soft party boys’.

And the tribal dispute and the human tragedy involved in that (and a club willing to cash in on his novelty but not stand with him on this all the way) put a cherry on a foul tasting sundae.

I hope what’s written in the Age is true and LJ has his life on track. It was horrible to see it unwind the way it did.

 

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19 hours ago, Colin B. Flaubert said:

And the tribal dispute and the human tragedy involved in that (and a club willing to cash in on his novelty but not stand with him on this all the way) put a cherry on a foul tasting sundae.

I hope what’s written in the Age is true and LJ has his life on track. It was horrible to see it unwind the way it did.

 

That's not how I remember it. I was given the impression that he was fully supported by the club after he left. Was that a smokescreen put up by the club or am I remembering it wrongly?

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8 minutes ago, La Dee-vina Comedia said:

That's not how I remember it. I was given the impression that he was fully supported by the club after he left. Was that a smokescreen put up by the club or am I remembering it wrongly?

My impression of the time was that they gave him the time to go back but that there was no real understanding of what was going on from a cultural stand point.  It was as almost though he was a non-indigenous player driving back to the bush to go to a relative’s funeral and needed a week off.

These are my impressions worn by the passage of time, so perhaps we need another party to clarify what happened.

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If Liam has his life back on track, I will be thrilled. Sadly I suspect that is what he says to the reporter, who runs with it as they are too lazy to do any research.

I tried to get Liam some help through the AFLPA last year, they seemed to think that they have done enough for him. He want playing then due to injury and was drinking heavily, from morning. Some family had given up on him.

a sister was recently telling me he is still proud of his achievements, drinking less this year as he has been playing, but he is still drinking….

I shudder to think of some of the sites and violence poor Ivan has witnessed over the years.

Ed. His relo also told me about how he feels responsible for the death in Yuendumu, blaming himself for not being there, has never got over this or forgiven himself and the depression this causes leads to his drinking and that he won’t accept help. The conversation was a month or two before his father died.

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