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Jason Hadfield Dunstall (born in Brisbanemarker, Queenslandmarker on 14 August 1964), is a former Australian rules football player for the Hawthorn Football Club of the AFL. He is the third greatest goalkicker in the history of the VFL/AFL. Dunstall is regarded as one of the greatest full-forwards to have ever played, kicking 1254 goals, a feat only exceeded by Tony Lockett with 1360 and Gordon Coventry with 1299. He is widely regarded the greatest Queensland born player of all time.

Early life

Dunstall was born and grew up in Brisbane. He attended the Anglican Church Grammar Schoolmarker from 1977-1981.

His junior football was spent playing with the Coorparoo Football Club in the then Queensland Australian Football League.

VFL/AFL career

Dunstall was recruited by the Melbournemarker based Hawthorn Hawks who were looking for a "stay at home" type full-forward and he made his VFL/AFL debut in the league in 1985.

Nicknamed Piggy due to his stocky physique, Jason Dunstall took no time to start kicking goals for the club. He kicked 100 goals in a season a record six times and won the Coleman Medal in 1988, 1989 and 1992. In May 1992, he kicked a career best of 17 goals in a game against the Richmond Football Club, just one goal short of the all time record.

At 188 cm, Dunstall was not an overly tall full-forward and was not known for taking overhead mark. Instead, he often used his explosive pace off the mark to lead into space enabled him to take trademark chest marks and diving marks. Other times, he used his stocky 100 kg + frame to outbody opponents. Often he would physically wrestle his opponents for position - a technique no longer allowed in the modern game.

Dunstall had an extremely high accuracy in kicking goals from set shots. These techniques, as well as his ability to shrug tackles and snap goals more than made up for his lack of height.

One of the most admired aspects of Dunstall's play was not only his own prolific scoring rate, but also his capacity to set up or unselfishly assist goals by handing the ball off to team mates in better position - handpassing, or shepherding and using his body well to position other players, on some regular basis, to also score goals. This capacity to contribute to the team's overall performance and its victory via both - the efforts of his own personal boot and that of other team mates kicking goals partly from his assistance to them - made him one of the greatest full-forwards to ever pull on a boot.

Dunstall played in premiership sides in 1986, 1988, 1989 and 1991. He also played in 5 night premierships. From 1995-98, he captained the Hawks. Dunstall was unfortunate to narrowly miss the prestigious Brownlow Medal on several occasions, twice finishing second, and twice third in voting (Tony Lockett is the only player of Dunstall's field position to have won the medal). Dunstall was renowned for being fair player and despite his intimidating size in an era when the game was notorious for behind-the-play incidents, he was well respected by umpires preferring to do all his punching post-retirement.

Jason Dunstall qualified for the prestigious All-Australian side in 1992 and 1994, and was also part of the Hawthorn Team of the Century. He retired at the end of season 1998 after 269 games.

Post-football

Dunstall has been guest commentator on the Seven Network and radio station 3AW and was a regular panellist in the early days of The AFL Footy Show.

In 2004 Dunstall held the position of interim CEO at Hawthorn, and currently works on radio station Triple M as a commentator. His stint as CEO led to the nickname of "The Chief". His mannerisms on Fox Footy and Triple M lean towards professionalism, which at times can be seen as too serious (as on the 80's Heritage Round episode of The AFL Footy Show on 20 July 2006.) He is the focus on continual baiting by his Triple M co-commentators and is nicknamed "The Ugandan National Symbol" for his gorilla-like style, attitude and demeanour. These gorilla references have crept into The Footy show, where both fans and Sam Newman repeatably bait him with video clips and props. In September 2008 The Footy Show launched a competition called "The Great Chief Chase" in which viewers can win prizes when they submit photos of themselves with Dunstall, making reference to the Chief's apparent submissive personality. Newman told viewers "not to take no for an answer" and gave out street references for Dunstall's local golf course.

Dunstall has also hosted various television shows, including Channel 7's Live and Kicking, Fox Footy's Saturday Central (with Wayne Carey), On the Couch and League Teams. He was a host of Triple M radio show "The Gospel" with Nathan Brown (Western Bulldogs/Richmond Tigers), Peter Everitt (St.Kilda Saints/Hawthorn Hawks/Sydney Swans) and Nick Riewoldt (St. Kilda Saints) until 2006.

He is currently the co-host of "The Dead Set Legends" alongside Andrew Gaze on Saturday mornings on the Triple M Melbourne radio station. Dunstall is also the host of Before the Bounce, a weekly football show broadcast on Foxtel.

A stand at the Cooparoo oval and the schoolboys competition in Brisbane (Jason Dunstall Cup) are both named after him.

References




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