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Introduction and early life
James Podsiadly is a professional Australian rules football player who currently plays for Geelong Cats Football Club in the Australian Football League (AFL). He was born on September 10, 1981; he currently weighs around 102 kg and is around 1.93 meters tall. He plays as a striker and wears shirt number 31. He made his AFL debut in 2010 after playing in the Victoria Football League for a few years; he was eventually drafted into the AFL by Geelong Cats FC in 2010. He grew up in Spotswood, a suburb of Melbourne.
Before being recruited by Essendon Football Club in the 1999 AFL Rookie Draft, James played for Yarraville and Western Jets Football Club. He was the number 58 pick in that draft. He then moved on to play for Collingwood in the VFL after being dropped by Essendon. He played for the Essendon affiliate team and was dropped after playing around nineteen games for the club. He was chosen in the 2001 AFL Rookie Draft as the eighth pick in that draft. However, his fortunes at Collingwood did not last either as he was written off after playing just three games for the club in the 2002 AFL pre-season competition in 2002.
James Podsiadly played in the VFL in the 2003 season with Werribee Football Club where he won the best and fairest award. He also won another award as top goal kicker in 2005, breaking a six-year record set by teammate Nick Sautner. He was involved in pre-season training in 2005 with the Western Bulldogs and also in 2006 with Richmond. But all those training sessions yielded no AFL contract for James. He continued to play for Werribee until the 2008 season which saw him reach very important heights in his career. During this season, Podsiadly earned his 100th cap for Werribbee and also won more awards as the club’s best and fairest. The 2008 JJ Liston Trophy also went to him.
AFL professional career
James played with Werribee for about six seasons. He left after the sixth season to accept another offer with the Geelong VFL club. His new role at Geelong turned out to be a dual role of player and physical trainer. He became the team’s captain in the 2009 VFL season; he won the club’s best and fairest award that year and was also top scorer with around 68 goals at the end of the season. He also qualified for life membership in the VFL due to his contributions. He represented the VFL in around three state games and was part of the teams that won the VFL Team of the Year award in 2005, 2006, 2008 and 2009.
In 2009, James Podsiadly was signed as a mature AFL recruit by Geelong Cats Football Club at the age of 28. He was picked number fifty (50) in the 2009 Rookie Draft. James had his first encounter in the match against Fremantle Football Club. This happened in the third round of the 2010 season. By the end of that season, he had 13 votes for the Brownlow Medal in his first year playing in the AFL. He played a total of nineteen games this year and was able to kick around forty-nine (49) goals; setting a record for players on the AFL rookie list. Following his outstanding performance in his first year in the league, he was promoted to the senior team at the end of the 2010 season.
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