Brisbane Lions great Jason Akermanis admits he cannot work out why he couldn’t crack the coaching caper at AFL level.
The Brownlow Medallist and three-time premiership player has a coaching degree and many years of coaching experience to his name but has been unable to land a job in the industry.
After being knocked back by Essendon in 2015, the 41-year-old is now following his dream of becoming a professional golfer after seeing his efforts of breaking into the coaching world slowly fade away.
However, Akermanis has not completely given up hope of one day landing a coaching gig even though those pursuits are on the back burner for now.
“I can’t say I’ve totally given up because someone might actually ring me and say, ‘Jason, I think we know with your experience and what you’ve done that you’d actually suit our group’,” Akermanis told KB & The Doc.
“There’s no doubt there’s lots of groups I could easily do (that with).
“I don’t know where I went wrong, I think I was doing it the right way. I see blokes who have never coached come straight out of the game and get nice jobs in the AFL.
“I know it’s not always as it seems. They’re not long lives as coaches sometimes but I just had to take the hint I think. It just wouldn’t happen.
“I think I’m great at what I did and I’ve got a lot to offer, because I did everything wrong (as a player), so I knew what to do right and wrong as far as coaching and mentoring.
“It just wasn’t to be and I don’t know what I need to do to get back in, but I’ve coached golfers, I’ve coached athletes, I’ve coached many different fields.
“What do you do? You’ve just go to roll with it.”
Asked if a general perception of his character was a major reason he has found it hard to land a coaching gig at AFL level, Akermanis was quick to provide a fairly clear-cut answer.
“Yes, definitely,” he added.
“I talked to Adam Simpson a couple of years ago and he just said to me off the cuff, ‘look we don’t have any jobs at the moment, but mate, all I’ll say to you is you’ve got to be a team player’.
“And that’s nothing against Adam, because he’s a premiership coach, he’s done a great job. But I’ve worked in teams for a long time and I’ve coached teams.
“I know about teams and I know about team work, and I certainly know how to do the wrong thing, so my experience all of a sudden goes from being pretty valuable to worth nothing just because some bloke thinks, ‘well, he’s not a team player’.
“Because I looked individual, and I certainly was outspoken, so maybe that’s a misconception and I’m happy to wear that, but that was eight years ago since I retired.
“Blokes have got to move on, because I certainly have.”
Listen to KB and Turfy’s chat with Aker in the player below: