DOB: 21 March 1968
From: Southern Districts (NT)/South Fremantle/Woodville, Selection #6, 1990 National Draft
Number: 13 1991-1994
Games: 47 (54 total)
Goals: 201 (208 total)
The arrival of the enigmatic forward heralded three exciting and often bizarre years at Melbourne.
Before arriving at Melbourne his career had taken him all over the country, with stints at South Fremantle (twice), Port Hedland, Kalgoorlie and Darwin before joining Woodville in the SANFL. He had played 16 games for South Fremantle before moving to the territory for two seasons with Southern Districts, after which he was spotted by Woodville and gave them two years.
He was an instant smash in Adelaide and was drafted after dominating the SANFL with 101 goals in 1990. Despite the Crows General Manager having seen Jakovich's talents up close at Woodville as club chairman, Adelaide were unable to secure him for their initial squad because he hadn't met the residential requirements of three years playing in the state.
On his arrival at Melbourne Jakovich played just two games - with little success - in the first part of 1991. With both Darren Bennett and Darren Cuthbertson tearing up the seniors at various times during the early parts of the season there was little opportunity for Jakovich who amused himself by destroying opposition backlines in the reserves competition. Eventually, with Bennett and Cuthbertson both losing form, Jakovich was recalled for for the Round 14 clash with Hawthorn and finally started to show some form with 3.5.
From then on in he ran riot in 1991, kicking bags of 8,6,6,8,7,11 and 5 in his next seven games to claim the club goalkicking title in both grades. He ended his first season of league footy with 8 goals in the Elimination Final win and a further 6 in the losing Semi Final to cap off one of the more remarkable debut seasons in club and league history.
With expectations sky high the next year Jakovich found himself dropped from the side for the opening Fosters Cup match against Footscray. He was back in the side in time to boot 8 in the first game against Geelong but was forced into surgery for a groin injury after in late April and missed three months.
Persistent injuries destroyed his career from then on, and though he would kick 40 goals from 11 games in '92, 39 from nine in '93 and 51 from 13 in '94 he would never get the chance to showcase his talents for a full league season. He was even dropped to the Reserves for four weeks early in 1993 and told to earn his spot - responding by booting 23 goals.
Not surprising, as somebody who had been banned from kicking and forced to handball as an Under 19 at South Fremantle, critics pointed towards his individualistic play as one of his biggest downfalls. Even John Northey was moved to criticise him for not chasing during 1992. A back injury and surgery for a hernia didn't help, and he was restricted to just 11 games in his second year.
Fittingly a bizarre career for the Demons ended with 8 goals against Hawthorn in Round 17, 1994 - his 8.1 accuracy a mirror image of the 4.10 he'd kicked against the Hawks earlier in the year. He then missed the rest of the season to have back surgery.
Despite his slow start Jakovich was the fastest player to 50 goals in league history, in 9 games, and equalled John Coleman's 21 games to 100 goals.
Delisted by the Demons when it became clear that he wouldn't play during 1995 he missed the entire season before being drafted by the Western Bulldogs with selection nine in that year's National Draft. He failed to kick a goal in his debut for the Bulldogs, and managed just seven in seven games for the year before retiring.
Jakovich was named by David Schwarz as the most talented player he ever played with, but disappeared from the scene rapidly once his league career had ended. After being a regular panellist on the early days of the Footy Show, and one of the most flamboyant stars on-field, he left the Bulldogs and wasn't seen again until a shock one-off appearance on the Footy Show in 1997.
Since then Jakovich has been missing, and has variously been said to be working in the mines in Western Australia and the fishing industry in coastal New South Wales.
In September 2009 it was announced that Jakovich would make his first public appearance in many years at the Chris Mainwaring Tribute match on Saturday October 10 in Perth but he was later dropped from the list of players.
|Round 20, 1991||Abusive Language||$750 fine|
|1993 Fosters Cup R1||Wrestling||1 match|
|Round 17, 1994||Abusive Language||$2000 fine|
"Jakovich gets a belated recall to Demons' first-grade line-up" - Canberra Times 23/05/1993
"Jakovich bows out to injury" - Canberra Times 15/02/1995