Four inducted into Hall of Fame

Four of Queensland’s most valued contributors were inducted into the AFL Queensland Hall of Fame, at the Grogan Medal and Awards Ceremony on Monday night/

Former Southport player, Clint Watts, Morningside’s David Lillico, Redland Football Operations Manager, Marty King and long-time administrator, John Corless, were all inducted for their enormous contributions to the game in Queensland.

Watts, a born and bred Queenslander, was a standout player for Southport during his 12 year career.

He first picked up a Sherrin at Coolangatta as a junior, before playing 164 games between 1996 and 2008 at the Sharks, including an incredible six premierships (1998, 1999, 2000, 2005, 2006 and 2008).

Watts established a reputation as a big stage player, hurting opposition when it mattered most and when the stakes were at their highest, with a 1998 Joe Grant Medal as best on ground in the QAFL grand final and a 2002  Zane Taylor Medal  as the best representative player, in his collection.

A prodigious left-foot kicker, Watts was a regular Queensland representative, donning the maroon seven times between 1999 and 2007.

He captained Queensland Country in 2004 and also earned All-Australian selection at that Australian Country Championships.

Lillico is a Morningside legend, with a career spanning from 1996 to 2011, eight grand finals and 218 games.

A promising talent, Lillico was named an U18 All-Australian, alongside the likes of Luke Power and Simon Black, and was considered very unlucky to miss out on being drafted to an AFL list.

His run of Grand Finals started early, with his first as an 18 year-old in 1998, against fierce rivals, Southport.

After three years in the SANFL, Lillico returned to Jack Esplen Oval, captaining the Panthers and becoming a dual Devery-Kelly medallist as the club’s best and fairest (2002 and 2007) and winning four premierships.

He won  the 2004 Joe Grant Medal, for his best on ground performance in the Grand Final, after missing much of the year with a broken leg.

A serious knee injury in 2010 almost ended his career, but he underwent the radical LARS surgery and ultimately played a significant role in the Panther’s miraculous come-from-behind Premiership win.

Lillico captained Queensland over four years, winning a Zane Taylor Medal in 2005, in a match against Western Australia.

King has harboured a lifelong passion for Australian Rules football.

Originally from Waverley in Melbourne, he played for Richmond’s U19s and Reserves team, before switching to coaching, overseeing clubs including Mitcham, Wagga Wagga and the Tasmanian Mariners.

Moving to Queensland in 1988, King led Morningside to three flags, a feat that saw him named as coach of the club’s team of the century.

King worked for AFL Queensland for nine years, in roles from State Umpiring Manager to Football Operations manager.

His current position as Redland’s Football Operations manager, sees him manage talent at one of Queensland’s’ flagship clubs.

Corless has spent much of his footballing life at Yeronga, an involvement that has spanned more than 50 years.

Corless played junior and senior football with the Devils and also participated in pre-season training with Carlton in the mid-1960s.

He captain-coached the Teachers’ Club for 11 years, finishing runner-up twice in the league medal.

After his coaching stint, he was appointed on the board of the newly formed South Queensland Australian Football Association, which underpinned the QAFL at that time.

Corless was awarded life membership of the SQAFA in 1981, after a long and fruitful contribution with the association, spanning a number of roles.

Corless has played a key role in the development of the Yeronga football club and was a valued administrator in the AFL South Queensland, before it was absorbed into AFL Queensland.

In recent years, Corless was involved as Treasurer of the Yeronga Devils, with his sons Sam and Tom also having strong involvement in the club.

An AFL Merit Award winner, the Hall of Fame induction recognises Corless’ tireless efforts in Queensland football.

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