By Ant Wingard
Coorparoo defender Ariana Reilly has already accomplished more than most throughout her seven years as a King, but the defender will notch another personal accolade in Round 8 of the QAFLW this weekend.
To date, the resume reads: five Grand Final appearances in six seasons, including a three-peat of premierships, all played under four different coaches.
That was all achieved in Reilly’s first 99 senior games for the navy blue as this weekend she’ll bring the 100-game milestone against University of Queensland.
It’s a milestone that is all the more sweeter considering Reilly is also the Coorparoo games record holder and first King to play 100 games all for the one-club.
Teammates Sally Young and Emma Zielke are among those to have also played 100 senior women’s games however both achieved the feat across multiple clubs.
Ahead of the milestone, the loud on-field; quiet off-field leader remained rather coy about the occasion.
“I’m pretty excited. It’s taken seven years to play 100 games so it’s pretty cool,” Reilly told aflq.com.au.
“You’d probably say I’m pretty proud of it.”
Reilly first pulled on her first pair of boots in Coorparoo colours in a rather untypical fashion.
As a teen growing up in the Redland area, Reilly first signed up with Alexandra Hills in the then Under 18 female competition, but due to insufficient numbers the Bombers and Coorparoo merged to form the one team.
The two teams split home games between the two southside clubs but since, Reilly has called Giffin Park home.
She broke into the senior ranks in 2013 where under the tutelage of Damien Richards, the Kings became the powerhouses of the women’s competition.
The star-studded team claimed their first of three consecutive premierships under Richards that year as they became the powerhouses of the senior female division.
It’s a memory Reilly recounts as perhaps her most memorably throughout her 99 games and for good reason too – with mere seconds left in the game, Emma Zielke kicked the game-winning goal to edge the Kings ahead of arch rivals Yeronga.
“The Grand Final win in 2013 still gives me goose bumps.”
“We were down by 30-points at half time and hadn’t kicked a goal and we turned it on in the second half to win by two-points.
“That memory is one that has stuck. It was pretty exciting.”
That 2013 season, despite it being seven seasons ago, still has remnants in the current Coorparoo squad that is currently vying for their third straight Grand Final appearance.
Along with Reilly, Cleo Davis, Sally Young and Emma Gibson were there back then on day one and remain there today as the nucleus of the Kings dynasty.
The ‘OGs’ (sic), as they have been come to known, have chalked up a combined 358 games in the navy since 2013 and three of them – excluding Davis through injury – will all be there for Reilly’s celebration this weekend.
“It’s pretty cool considering there has only been four of us that have been there since the start. I guess it’s pretty cool to see how much it’s grown,” Reilly said.
“Having the OGs there are the start of every season is awesome.”
Coorparoo will host University of Queensland at Giffin Park this Saturday, June 8, at 4:45pm to celebrate Reilly’s milestone.