Aker influence lives on for Charman - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Aker influence lives on for Charman

18/02/2009 08:33:32 PM Comments (0)

Bulldog Jason Akermanis hasn't played for Brisbane for a while.

But his influence on the AFL club lives on according to injured Lions ruckman Jamie Charman.

Charman, whose pre-season Cup campaign appears over because of a knee injury, recalled his first memories of Akermanis when he returned to Nudgee College on Wednesday for a game of recreational footy against the college's Northern Raiders U13s side.

A promising young swimmer, Charman said Akermanis had ignored heavy peer pressure by carrying an AFL ball around the college, a renowned breeding ground for rugby and cricket.

He said students used to grab the ball off Akermanis and kick it over the fence.

But no matter what they did, Akermanis would not be deterred and he ended up being the inspiration for Charman turning to AFL.

"I was in grade eight at the time and Aker was in grade twelve," said Charman who ended up playing in the Lions' third AFL premiership alongside Akermanis.

"When I first came to Nudgee I remember seeing this guy walk around with this AFL ball, I just couldn't believe it," added the 200cm ruckman who like Akermanis resisted all efforts to push him to rugby.

"They (students) used to grab his ball and kick it over the fence.

"I didn't know till later on that he played for the Brisbane Bears at the stage so to see someone playing AFL in such a rugby dominated school, it was pretty awesome."

Charman makes regular trips to Nudgee College which now has Australian football on its sports program.

He was captain in his final two years at school and hopes his success can inspire kids like he was inspired by Akermanis.

The Lions tackle Essendon in a Cup quarter final clash at Telstra Dome next Friday but Charman, who broke his hand in the pre-season, said he would not be ready.

"It'll be either really late in the NAB Cup or round one," Charman said about a likely return to the playing field.

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