Jason Porplyzia – Retired AFL Crows Player
Retiring at the end of the 2014, Jason Porplyzia made significant contributions to his hometown of Adelaide, playing forward for the AFL’s Crows.
Known mainly for his kicking accuracy, he was still credited with having a strong mark for his size in a sport where his 177 cm. height and 80 kg. weight are well shy of some of the typical footy players of the current era.
Despite a history of injuries, especially a shoulder that seemed to have been a chronic hindrance, Porplyzia played in 130 games over the course of 10 seasons with the Crows, kicking 180 goals to achieve the ranking of 10th all-time for the team. That statistic includes his 2009 season where he led the club with 57 goals.
Jason Porplyzia Gets Drafted By Crows
The Crows drafted Jason Porplyzia upon his graduation from Sacred Heart College, where he made a name for himself playing in the First XVIII and played a key role in a 20 goal domination over Assumption College, Kilmore.
That first attempt at the big leagues did not work out so well for Porplyzia. He was delisted by the team selectors and forced to continue his Rules career with the SANFL, where he remained until his continual improvement resulted in his being named Best and Fairest in 2005.
The Crows did not let him get away and reclaimed him in the 2006 draft. His AFL debut would soon follow in round five of the 2006 season, where he scored three goals and established himself as a highly competent forward. He would go on to play in 11 games that season, with the high water mark being a 25 possession effort against Melbourne in the 22nd round. An impressive 2007 season followed for Porplyzia.
Crows’ fans will perhaps best remember Porplyzia, affectionately known by his monikers, the Porpoise, Needles and Porps, for carrying the club almost single handedly into the 2008 finals series, even though his afore mentioned shoulder was dislocated on a recurring basis, and the Crows were lacking the services of Brett Burton.
It must be true what sports fans say when they claim that soccer players spend their time pretending to be hurt and footy players spend theirs pretending not to be. That 2008 season for Jason Porplyzia featured an epic five goal performance in a round 17 defeat of Sydney.
Injuries Stops Porplyzia In Crows Finals Campaign
The surgeons successfully rebuilt the shoulder following that season, allowing Porplyzia to accomplish career highs in 2009 in terms of goal scoring and the singular career accomplishment of playing in every game that season. Other highlights of that campaign, along with being the team’s leading goal kicker, were winning the Coach’s Award, finishing second for Club Champion and a nomination for the All Australian Squad. He produced 57 goals and 20 behinds in that stellar season.
2010 found the injuries moving south to his pelvic region, but Jason Porplyzia still managed to play in 19 matches. 2011 got off to an auspicious start, with forebodings of a monster season, when the old shoulder injury found him standing on the field with his bad arm in his good hand.
Additional shoulder surgery permitted him to play on 22 occasions in the 2012 season, a season that saw him attain the mark of having participated in 100 games, when he turned in a best-on-ground performance against Richmond.
2013 found the cumulative toll of the past seven seasons limiting Porplyzia to 16 games. His final season with the Crows saw him in action only four times and it would seem that even though he was only 29, retirement seemed to be the best option from the perspective of many years of remaining life where a functioning body would come in handy.
Known as a skillful player, popular with teammates and fans alike, Jason Porplyzia was characterised by Crows’ Head of Football David Noble as a player with an exceptional overhead mark and a reliable goal shot.
Somewhat interestingly, and a little of a reversal of the typical arc of an AFL-er, the injuries Jason experienced were more limiting in the early stages of his career.
He plans to devote his time going forward exploring a career in the realm of physical performance. He was gracious and generous with his praise for his teammates and coaches, with a special mention to Neil Craig for giving him the opportunity to achieve his dream of playing in the AFL.
His accomplishments on and off the field seem to supply every indication that he will enjoy the same success in his future endeavors that he did during his playing career, and that is our sincere wish for this exceptional man and all those with whom he associates, especially his partner Becky and all his family as well.