Jacob Surjan

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Jacob Surjan
Jacob Surjan.jpg
Surjan in Port Adelaide colours
Personal information
Full name Jacob Adam Surjan
Date of birth (1985-08-15) 15 August 1985 (age 32)
Place of birth Perth, Western Australia
Original team(s) South Fremantle (WAFL)
Draft No. 10, 2004 Pre-Season Draft, Port Adelaide
Height 179 cm (5 ft 10 in)
Weight 84 kg (185 lb)
Position(s) Defender
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
2004–2012 Port Adelaide 121 (17)
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 2011.
Career highlights
Sources: AFL Tables, AustralianFootball.com

Jacob Adam Surjan (born 15 August 1985 in Perth, Australia) is an Australian rules footballer of Croatian descent and former player of the Port Adelaide Football Club. He currently serves as the development coach of the Port Adelaide Football Club at AFL level, and as the midfield coach of Port Adelaide at SANFL level.[1]

Early career[edit]

Surjan began his football career for Cockburn Junior Football Club at the age of 13 before transferring to South Coogee Junior Football Club. Both clubs are part of the South Fremantle Bulldogs development district zone in Western Australia. He was scouted as part of the South Fremantle Warriors WAFL development program playing for South Fremantle. He progressed from the under 13's through the colts (U/18's). In 2003, Surjan made his WAFL league debut as a 17-year-old playing for the South Fremantle Bulldogs.[2] His best performance was a 4-goal, 16 possession, 8 mark haul against Perth. In the same year, he won the Mel Whinnen medal for his best on ground performance in the South Fremantle Colts 2003 WAFL premiership side.[3] He averaged 31 possessions for the season at Colts level.

Jacob was part of the WA Under 18 National Championships squad, putting in two very good performances at the carnival, before injuring a calf and having a reasonably quiet 3rd game.

AFL career[edit]

After being touted as a potential top 30 pick,[4] putting in many impressive draft camp results, it came as a shock to many when Surjan was overlooked in the 2003 National Draft. It was then that Port Adelaide pounced and selected Surjan as the number 10 pick in the 2004 AFL Pre-season Draft.[5]

Surjan made his AFL debut in Round 1, 2004 against Essendon. He went on to play 5 of the first 7 games, before a knee injury cut his season short after showing much promise.

In 2005, he had an indifferent year due to injuries. A switch from SANFL clubs Central District to Port Adelaide Magpies[6] was a welcome change, with "Surj" running into form in the second half of the season with the Magpies, with a plethora of BOG performances.[citation needed]

The hard chasing, strong tackling midfielder and small defender was nominated for the AFL Rising Star award in 2006 for his 26-disposal game from half-back against Hawthorn in Round 11.[7]

In the 2007 AFL season, Surjan played 24 of a possible 25 games, totalling 417 disposals at an average of 17.4 disposals per game, 5 marks and 3 tackles. He finished 7th in the Port Adelaide fairest and best and was top 3 in both the one-percenter and most improved awards.

Season 2008 marked an indifferent year for Port Adelaide and Surjan however, he finished off the year strongly playing 19 of 22 games averaging 15 disposals, 4 marks and 2 tackles.

Jacob's game has been typified with explosive pace, ferocious tackling and an ability to win the contested football. He has become an important member of the Port Adelaide defense playing as the shut down defender, rated highly throughout the league for his ability to curb dangerous small forwards, his uncompromising attitude all the while sacrificing his body in the contest to help out teammates.

In the lead up to the 2010 season, Surjan was announced as vice-captain of the club.[8]

He was delisted at the end of the 2012 season.[9]


From 2012 to 2013, Surjan remained at Port Adelaide as a development coach for their SANFL division. In 2014 he was named Port Adelaide's Academy coach. A year later, he was named as Port Adelaide's AFL development coach and the line coach for their SANFL side.

Other sports[edit]

He won the national under 16 long jump championships in 2000 and also competed in the sprint hurdles. Jacob's older brother Erik Surjan, is an Australian decathlon champion.[10]


External links[edit]