By Terry Wilson
A TRUCKLOAD of experience has departed Jack Esplen Oval with three of Morningside’s finest ever players hanging up the boots.
Kent Abey, Nathan Kinch and Matt Logan have all confirmed they are retiring, which means a combined total of 687 games has been lost to the Panthers for next year under new coach Clint Watts.
Abey farewells the club as games record-holder with 305 appearances for the red, white and blacks; Grogan Medallist Kinch goes after 228 games; and Toowoomba product matt Logan completed his career at Morningside with 154 games to his name.
After notching his 300 game milestone earlier this season, Abey is now one of just five players to have played more than 300 games in the premier state division of football in Queensland.
There may be another huge loss for the club, depending on whether Ash Evans decides to suit up again in 2019.
Departing coach Steve Wildschut said the loss of three such outstanding and loyal clubmen leaves significant holes that the Panthers will do well to cover.
“Yes, their departures do leave some big shoes to fill but I’m confident the footy club is in a good space and that it has become, in Brisbane, a destination club,” he said.
As for the contributions the trio have made to success at Jack Esplen Oval, Wildschut said it is immeasurable.
“There’s an inherent culture in the club and a lot of it is due to these blokes,” he said.
“It was all set up under John Blair long ago and has continued on.”
(Blair is also another coach to step down after a career that ended with NEAFL club Aspley after stints with Morningside and Zillmere).
Rounding out the retirements is club legend @abio11. With a record that speaks for itself he’ll go down as one of the greats of Qld Australian Rules. His longevity in the game is certainly testament to his professionalism & dedication. Congrats Kent & good luck! @AFLQ @QAFL_QWAFL pic.twitter.com/XmfYQNw4jj
— Morningside Panthers (@MorningsideFC) October 12, 2018
4x premiership player
3x premiership captain
8x Queensland state representative
2010 Joe Grant Medalist
2007 Zane Taylor Medalist
2x Devery Kelly Medalist
2x premiership player
3x Queensland state representative
1x QAFL Team of the Year
1x Queensland Country Carnival representative
2008 J.A Grogan Medal
3x Devery Kelly Medalist
3x premiership player
5x Grand Final appearances