19/05/2024

Jason Akermanis recently featured on Episode 2 of The Inner Sanctum's AFL podcast, The Hard Tag. (Image: Western Bulldogs; Design: Will Cuckson)

An excitement machine unlike anything the league had ever seen before, Jason Akermanis delivered countless stunning performances over what was an illustrious 15-year career.

While he had many games that were special in their own right, perhaps none of those performances were better than one particular display on a rainy afternoon in Round 13, 2005.

The Geelong Cats travelled up to the Gabba, and were greeted by what was nothing short of a masterclass. Akermanis finished the contest with 35 disposals, nine tackles, and a five-goal haul. His remarkable showing guided the Brisbane Lions to an emphatic 69-point victory.

Speaking on The Inner Sanctum’s AFL Podcast ‘The Hard Tag’, Akermanis looked back at that fabled day and how proud he is of the performance, from an offensive and defensive point of view.

“I had the game of games,” Akermanis said.

“Most people go on about the offense. Usually when you have 35 touches and kick five goals, you don’t really do much tackling. But I was doing [that], I had everything happen that day. It was the best game I ever played.”

Quite memorably, Akermanis came off the bench and converted two of his five majors from the same forward pocket, inside just one minute. While the first goal was outstanding, the second came from an even tighter angle and left the man himself visibly stunned. Akermanis detailed the buildup on the podcast.

“It’s late in the quarter, Leigh (Matthews) puts me back on… it goes forward and I sort of fumble the ball, Shannon Byrnes is tagging me that day and I kick a good goal,” Akermanis recalled.

“The first goal was good, and it went through, but the second goal… I’ve got Cameron Ling who’s 190 [centimetres]. I’ve been hit by Cameron, it hurts.

“He starts running towards me, so I just accelerate. Now I’m running towards the boundary and of course I’m going to have a shot on goal, but it was actually more to avoid Cameron Ling because I really don’t want to get one of those elbows from him.. so, I just bolt, unbalanced, and I ping it, and it goes straight through.”

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The celebration that Akermanis dished out after the second goal from the pocket was one of his most famous, and he revealed the inspiration for it on The Hard Tag.

“I’d been watching a bit of English soccer, and I was like man let’s just ham this up, this is fantastic. I’m as shocked as anyone. I’m not shocked that it’s gone through, but just that I’ve just kicked another goal from nearly the same spot,” Akermanis explained.

“It was just the best. So I hammed it up, and even my teammates were shaking their head. I was so happy. It was a really good game.”

With such a long and decorated AFL career for the Brisbane Lions and Western Bulldogs, Jason Akermanis has plenty of stories to tell from his time playing in the league.

To hear more of these stories, check out Episode 2 of The Hard Tag on The Inner Sanctum’s YouTube Channel. You can also check out the audio version on Spotify.

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