Athlete


Date Inducted: 20 Oct 2010
Sport: Australian Football
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Alex Jesaulenko MBE - Australian Football

Born in Austria of Ukrainian parents, Alex Jesaulenko came to Australia with his family in 1949 and as a schoolboy initially played soccer and rugby before taking up Australian Rules, at the age of 14, with Eastlake in Canberra.

In 1967 he made his debut with Carlton in the then VFL (now AFL), a club for whom he was to play 256 games and kick 424 goals. With Carlton he played in four Premiership sides (1968, 1970, 1972, 1979) and was voted the club's best and fairest in 1975. He represented Victoria 15 times and won All-Australian representation in 1969 and ‘72.

Athleticism was a feature of his game and a spectacular mark in the 1970 Grand Final against Collingwood has been immortalised both on film and by the spontaneous cry of commentator Mike Williamson - "Jesaulenko, you beauty!"

Alex Jesaulenko's contribution to Australian Rules Football was, however, far more extensive. He coached Carlton in 1978 and 79, leading them to a Premiership in 1979 and returned to the club as coach again in 1989 and 90.

After a disagreement with Carlton officials at the end of 1979 Jesaulenko left the club and joined St Kilda in 1980. Initially signed as a player, he took over as coach after just two games. He continued as playing coach for the 1980 and 81 seasons, then after retiring as player, continued as non-playing coach for the 1982 season. In all he played 23 games with the Saints and kicked 20 goals.

In 1989 he took over the coaching role at Carlton mid-season and coached them until the end of the 1990 season.

He was an inaugural inductee into the Australian Football Hall of Fame when it was opened in 1996 and was elevated to Legend status in 2008.


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When considering the stature of an athlete or for that matter any person, I set great store in certain qualities which I believe to be essential in addition to skill. They are that the person conducts his of her life with dignity, with integrity, courage, and perhaps most of all, with modesty. These virtues are totally compatible with pride, ambition, and competitiveness.