James "Jim" Fraser
Born in Sydney1948, his dad was an ice hockey goaltender, but Jim made his game football. He started at Polonia where his talent was recognised early as he was selected as a member of the Australian World Cup squad for the qualifiers in 1969, behind the incumbent Ron Corry. Fraser went to St George in 1970 where he broke his wrist in 1971 and spent some time at Canterbury on loan after he recovered. St George tried a couple of keepers but Jimmy Fraser persevereance paid off and he regained his spot at St George. When World Cup qualification got under way in 1973, Ron Corry was still the number one keeper with Reilly pressing him close. Jim Fraser’s performances for St George could not be ignored and he got his first full cap at Olympic Park in Melbourne against Bulgaria on 18 February 1973.
After Australia was held to a surprise three-all draw by New Zealand, Fraser was given the number one spot against Iraq on 18 March. He kept a clean sheet as the Socceroos held out Iraq in scoreless draw. A six-nil thrashing of Indonesia saw Australian through the first stage, a point and goal difference ahead of Iraq. Their next opponent Iran was once again denied by Fraser once as Australia ran away with a three-nil win.
Then came home and away matches against South Korea. Fraser’s patience, skill and positioning ensured no further goals against and so the final place at the World cup had to be decided by a third match in Hong Kong so Australia was all set for the trip of a lifetime. Unfortunately Fraser found he could not abandon his security business and had to hand his place to Jack Reilly. Virtually all of the Australians were part-timers in 1974.
Regarded by many, Jim's goalkeeping performances are still some of the best ever seen. He made 10 appearances for Australia, represented New South Wales at state level and after hanging up his boots in 1978 he began a long-running coaching career at a host of clubs and with the national and state teams and eventually set up the International Goalkeepers’ Academy in 2000.