I only shared a locker room with Jim Plunkett for a couple of seasons, but he’s the kind of guy that makes a big impression on you.
Warm, cheeky and good storyteller, Jim has what I would describe as ‘funny bones’.
I caught up with him this week in the lead in to the Easter Sunday clash between the Bulldogs and the Blues, or as Jim and I refer to it, the Jimmy Plunkett Cup!
1. This is essentially a ‘Where are you now?’ profile Jim, so um, where are you now?
I’m currently working at the Melbourne Football Club as the General Manager of People, Performance and Culture. It’s my fifth season working with the club.
I’ve been married to Bianca for 16 years and have three kids (Audrey, Harvey and Sylvie)
2. What’s your relationship with footy these days?
I love football, both personally and on a work front. It’s great to watch and play with the kids – plenty of games taking place in the backyard with the kids dressed up as players from the Bulldogs, Blues and Melbourne. Also, working with Melbourne and being intimately involved with the club and the game is a real privilege. The opportunity I have to work with the players, coaches and staff is fantastic. I love the emotional highs and lows the game brings, week in and week out.
3. Favourite on-field AFL memory?
I’ve got a couple. Playing my first game is a real clear memory for me. Driving to the game, waiting to get changed, the pre-game meeting, the warm up, the game (I did spend the majority of time on the pine so I got to watch a lot of the game, but it was an amazing memory!), signing the song after the win.
Having all of my family (half of Montmorency) at the game and them screaming every time I got the ball was a genuine highlight.
The other one didn’t actually take place in a Dogs’ jumper, unfortunately, but playing finals football for Carlton in 2001 is right up there. It was the only opportunity I had to play finals, and I can only imagine what it would be like to win a premiership!
4. Favourite Bulldogs memory?
There were plenty of great memories. Playing my first game for the club (as above) and winning the 1998 reserves premiership are some great highlights.
5. Still keep in touch with any old teammates?
I still keep in touch with a number of team-mates. I’m close with Brett Montgomery, Stephen Powell and Todd Curley. We had a great past players event last year where I got to catch up with a lot of former team-mates I hadn’t seen for years, and it was like had seen them three weeks earlier. It’s the beauty of being part of the Club.
6. Last time you were stopped in the street by a footy supporter?
Funnily enough last week (but a very long time prior to that!). A die-hard footy fan (would have to have been!) just looked at me and said, ‘Are you Jim Plunkett?’
7. Dogs v Blues this week – where does your heart lie?
I love both clubs for the opportunity they gave me, but my blood will always bleed red, white and blue. There is just something about playing your first AFL game for a club that can never be repeated. Plus, the kids have full Bulldogs outfits! Go Dogs!
8. When your kids ask you ‘hey dad, how good a player were you?’ You say....
I was an elite player with a number of gaps in his game – a bit slow, not a great kick and struggled to get a game, but loved every minute!