Signed Jim Krakouer Photo with North Melbourne
Claremont Played between 1977 – 1981 and played 88 games
North Melbourne Played 1982 – 1989 for 134 games
St. Kilda Played 1990 – 1991 13 games
To suggest that the Claremont Football Club struck gold when it procured the services of Mount Barker brothers Jim and Phil Krakouer would not be so much a case of stating the obvious as of understating it. Seldom, if ever, has football boasted a more exhilarating and potent ‘double act’.
James Gordon Krakouer, the elder of the brothers, was the first to make his way to Perth, where it was anticipated that he would spend the 1977 season undergoing careful grooming in the Claremont colts team. However, it did not take long for club officials to recognise that here was a special and extraordinarily precocious talent who was already as good if not better than most of the current crop of league players. Moreover, it soon emerged that Jim Krakouer was unhappy with city life, and would probably have returned home to Mount Barker had he not been presented with the alluring inducement of regular senior football. It was thus in everyone’s interests that Krakouer spend the 1977 season playing for a Claremont league side that was beginning to re-emerge as a force after several lack lustre years.
In 1978, Jim’s younger brother Phil arrived at Claremont, and this had the simultaneous effect of calming Jim, and of eliciting his best form, although this was somewhat inconsistently displayed at first.
Nimble, quick, and with superb disposal skills, Jim Krakouer was also prone to aggressive outbursts, in consequence of which he was no stranger to the tribunal. The problem was, if anything, exacerbated by his extraordinary courage, which often saw him ploughing in where angels, or at any rate footballers with more acute senses of self-preservation, would fear to tread; inevitably, he would end up getting hurt, and equally inevitably he would react with unrestrained violence, eliciting the ire of umpires and opposition players alike.
Overall, however, the positives far outweighed the negatives: Jim Krakouer made his interstate debut in 1979, and two years later was a key factor in the Tigers’ surge – a long overdue surge, in the view of many – to the premiership. He won the Claremont fairest and best award that year, as well as running third in the Sandover Medal voting, and the following season saw him venture east, along, almost inevitably, with his brother, to play out the remaining seasons of his career in the VFL. During his time with Claremont he played a total of 88 senior league games. He also played six times for Western Australia.
Jim Krakouer’s son Andrew later carried on the family tradition by playing league football with South Fremantle and Richmond.
Krakouer spent eight seasons with brother Phil at North Melbourne from 1982-89. Together they delighted North fans in particular and footy fans in general with their sublime skill and uncanny ability to work together. Jim played 134 games for North, kicking 229 goals and took out the Kangaroos best and fairest award in 1986. He saw out his career with St Kilda, playing 13 games with the Saints in 1990-1.
Author – John Devaney