Prison changed my outlook, says Krakouer - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Prison changed my outlook, says Krakouer

Sam Lienert 23/06/2011 09:47:29 PM Comments (0)

Exciting Collingwood forward Andrew Krakouer says time in prison has made him more grateful for his second shot at an AFL career than in his initial seven-year stint at Richmond.

Krakouer, who played 102 games for the Tigers before being delisted at the end of 2007, spent 16 months in prison in 2008 and 2009 for assault.

He has since made a stunning return to football, starring in WAFL club Swan Districts' 2010 premiership, when he won the Sandover Medal as the competition's best player and the Simpson Medal, as best afield in the grand final.

Collingwood then recruited him and the 27-year-old has been a regular on highlights packages in his 10 games for the reigning premiers so far this season.

Krakouer said jail time transformed his attitude.

"I didn't think in my wildest dreams I'd be running out in an AFL jumper playing AFL games in front of thousands of people 32 months ago, 16 months ago," he told the Ten Network's AFL Game Plan on Thursday night.

"For that to happen, I've got to pinch myself and I'm very grateful for the opportunity I've got, the opportunity the Collingwood Football Club's given me.

"The second time around (in the AFL), I know how much I love playing footy and how much of a great opportunity I've got to actually go out and play what I love doing."

Krakouer said being separated from his partner and daughters was the toughest part of prison.

"It was an experience I don't wish upon anyone, your freedom's taken away from you and it's like living in another world," he said.

But he said the experience made him a stronger and more mature person and taught him not to take life and football for granted.

Collingwood coach Mick Malthouse labelled Krakouer's story an inspiration.

Malthouse said even when he visited Krakouer in Perth last year, as the Magpies weighed up whether to draft him, he had his doubts about whether he could succeed in the AFL.

"I really think that there's so much togain from that story," Malthouse said.

"It says a lot about a young man who's 27 years of age, who's been through what he's been through, and he clearly says I don't blame anyone, but I'm better for it."

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