Australian Football

AustralianFootball.com Celebrating the history of the great Australian game

 

Key Facts

Full name
James Podsiadly

Known as
James Podsiadly

Nickname
Pods, J-Pod

Born
10 September 1981 (age 41)

Age at first & last AFL game
First game: 28y 213d
Last game: 32y 355d

Height and weight
Height: 193 cm
Weight: 100 kg

Senior clubs
Essendon Reserves; Williamstown; Werribee; Geelong Reserves; Geelong; Adelaide; Adelaide Reserves

Jumper numbers
Geelong: 31
Adelaide: 1

Recruited from
Western Jets (2000); Werribee (2009); Geelong (2014)

James Podsiadly

ClubLeagueCareer spanGamesGoalsAvgWin %AKIAHBAMKBV
Essendon ReservesVFL2000-200119201.05
WilliamstownVFL200220331.65
WerribeeVFL2003-20081093152.89
Geelong ReservesVFL2009, 201218693.83
GeelongAFL2010-2013831692.0475%8.724.165.8419
AdelaideAFL201421261.2448%9.004.815.674
Adelaide ReservesSANFL201514463.29
VFL2000-2009, 20121664372.63
AFL2010-20141041951.8869%8.784.295.8123
SANFL201514463.29
Total2000-20152846782.39

AFL: 11,831st player to appear, 2,284th most games played, 423rd most goals kickedGeelong: 1,021st player to appear, 206th most games played, 48th most goals kickedAdelaide: 197th player to appear, 158th most games played, 87th most goals kicked

The story of James Podsiadly's football career surely ranks as one of the most unusual in the game's history. The man known to teammates as 'Pods' and the wider world as 'the J-Pod' did not take up the game until age 17, having until then been a fine young tennis player. Though he took up the game at a late age, he made enough of an impact to get the attention of the Western Jets under-18s team and subsequently Essendon. 

For reasons that even today are still unclear, Podsiadly did not do enough in the Dons' reserves team to suggest he could take the next step and he moved to VFL club Williamstown (Collingwood's reserves team at the time) and played several pre-season AFL games as a rookie with the Magpies. Again he could not break into senior AFL ranks and the 2003 season saw him on the move once more, this time to another VFL side, Werribee. 

Podsiadly enjoyed six fruitful seasons at the Tigers, leading the VFL goal-kicking (and playing in the Grand Final loss) in 2005 and winning the Liston Trophy as the competition's best and fairest in 2008. During this period he trained with the Western Bulldogs and Richmond but once more was overlooked as a potential senior AFL player. His big break came in 2009 when he took up dual role as a VFL player and fitness coach Geelong. The Cats saw enough in him to draft him as a rookie (now aged 28) in the 2009 draft.

Finally getting his chance at AFL level in round 3, 2010, Podsiadly kicked two goals on debut against Fremantle and followed up with a five-goal haul a week later against Port Adelaide, immediately establishing himself as a permanent member of the side. 18  months later his fairytale rise had a wonderful climax when he was a member of Geelong's Grand Final win over Collingwood, albeit in a limited capacity because of a shoulder injury sustained in the second quarter.

After giving Geelong four years of fine service, the club and Podsiadly parted ways after 2013 but his AFL career was not to end there. He moved to Adelaide as a free agent and became a permanent member of the Crows' team, providing a third tall option in attack behind Taylor Walker and Josh Jenkins, and proving himself as an important plug in defence at times. In round 18, 2014, Podsiadly played his 100th game, becoming only the third VFL/AFL player (behind Charlie Norris and Bill Proudfoot) to do so having debuted at the age of 28 years 213 days or later. 

After spending the 2015 playing in the Crows' reserves side, Podsiadly retired, drawing the curtain on a short but remarkable AFL career.

Author - Andrew Gigacz

Sources

Wikipedia, The Age

Footnotes

* Behinds calculated from the 1965 season on.
+ Score at the end of extra time.