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Liam Jurrah

Personal information
Full name Liam Jungarrayi Jurrah
Nickname(s) LJ,[1] The Warlpiri Wizard,[2] The Cougar[3]
Date of birth 9 November 1988 (1988-23-09) (age 21)
Recruited from Yuendumu Magpies (CAFL)
Draft 1st overall, 2009 Pre-Season Draft
Height/Weight 191 cm / 81 kg
Position(s) Forward
Club information
Current club Melbourne
Number 24
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
2009- Melbourne 9 (20)   

1 Playing statistics to end of Round 22, 2009 season .

Liam Jungarrayi Jurrah (born 23 September 1988) is an Australian rules footballer for the Melbourne Football Club. He is an initiated member of the Warlpiri people, who are based in Yuendumu, a small and remote indigenous community 300 km north-west of Alice Springs in the Northern Territory. He is the first Indigenous Australian from a remote community in Central Australia to play senior football in the Australian Football League.[4]



Jurrah was recruited by Melbourne from the Yuendumu Magpies in the Central Australian Football League (CAFL) with the first selection in the 2009 preseason draft.[5] In September 2008 he won the Everingham Medal as the best player in the inaugural CAFL Grand Final, with his four first-quarter goals helping to set up Yuendumu's premiership victory.[6] Following the CAFL season he also played for Nightcliff in the Northern Territory Football League.[7]

Liam Jurrah spent his first year in Melbourne living with friends and currently resides with his partner, as well as fellow Melbourne player, Austin Wonaeamirri.


Jurrah was first brought to Melbourne in 2007 as a guest of a Collingwood coterie group called the Industrial Magpies.[8] He returned in 2008 and played four games for Collingwood in the Victorian Football League and showed great athleticism and talent.[9] Later that year he represented Victoria (VFL) against South Australia (SANFL).

His stay in Melbourne was cut short by his need to return to Yuendumu for family responsibilities to support a dying friend.[7] Jurrah was later nominated for the AFL Pre-season Draft by former Collingwood player Rupert Betheras, and was given special dispensation to nominate, despite not nominating for the previous National Draft.[10][11]

Prior to the 2009 AFL season, Jurrah was named to play for the Indigenous All-Stars representative side in a pre-season match against Adelaide in Darwin.[12]

His first language is not English and prior to joining Collingwood for a recovery session following a game he had never swum in the ocean.[10] His senior indigenous teammates at Melbourne, Aaron Davey, Matthew Whelan (both from Darwin) and Austin Wonaeamirri (from the Tiwi Islands) have all played major roles in assisting Jurrah to adapt to life in Melbourne.[13][10]

In Round 12 of the 2009 AFL season Jurrah made his AFL debut against Essendon at Etihad Stadium on Friday Night Football. He kicked a remarkable goal whilst falling to the ground after attempting a specky in the goalsquare and also had two long kicks at goal touched on the line.[1][14] In Melbourne's Round 15 victory over Port Adelaide, Jurrah scored four goals and assisted in multiple other goals for which he was rewarded with an AFL Rising Star nomination.[15]

Career Achievements





  1. ^ a b Williams, Rebecca (20 June 2009)Liam Jurrah brings some joy
  2. ^ Jurrah lights up Dees
  3. ^ "Liam Jurrah takes a chance as Melbourne lives the dream". Mark Robinson for the Herald Sun.,26576,25770262-19742,00.html. Retrieved 2009-07-18.  
  4. ^ 'Dreams come true' for Indigenous AFL player; ABC News
  5. ^ Dees take Jurrah with pick 1
  6. ^ Bennett, Max (23 Sep 2008) Jurrah seals historic win
  7. ^ a b Aloia, Andrew (16 December 2008) Jurrah set for life-changing AFL draft day
  8. ^ Flanagan, Martin (15 August 2007) Magpies spread their wings
  9. ^ Jellett, Carley (5 May 2008) Cats' big finish grounds Magpies;
  10. ^ a b c Flanagan, Martin (3 February 2009) Marlbourne's Warlpiri Warrior;
  11. ^ Stevens, Mark (18 June 2009)>Liam Jurrah to debut for Melbourne Demons; Herald Sun
  12. ^ Rookies to make debut in Allstars match
  13. ^ Sheridan, Nick (15 February 2009) Coming of age
  14. ^ Silkstone, Dan (20 June 2009) Jurrah's arrival speaks to future
  15. ^

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