SPORT Champion Ilett credits three keys to success
CAMERON Ilett’s statistical output was incredible for the NT Thunder in the 2017 NEAFL season, allowing him to win an unprecedented sixth Club Champion medal, after his ninth consecutive and final season for the Territory-based team.
In 18 matches this year, he came up with 402 disposals, 274 kicks and 116 tackles.
The 32-year-old was part of the inaugural Thunder team in 2009 and played 172 games in total, before retiring from the NT representative outfit this year.
But in the Territory football legend’s moving acceptance speech at the Michael Long Centre on Friday night, he said just three things were key to his extraordinary success.
Someone to look up to, something to look forward to and something to chase.
“My (late) grandfather instilled great passion to continually improve as a person and as a footballer,” he said after receiving the Ilett medal, named in honour of him and brother Jarred, who was the inaugural Thunder captain in 2011.
“My father taught us, with me being the youngest of three boys, how to be men.
“And my mother demanded we respected ourselves and others.
“They have been the three people I’ve looked up to.”
Ilett also paid tribute to partner Jade, and children Summer, Stella and Artiki.
“Something I look forward to is my young family,” he said. NT Thunder star Cameron Ilett was all smiles after winning the best and fairest medal named in his and brother Jarred's honour on Friday night Picture: AFLNT MEDIA
“They’re the four I look forward to seeing everyday, and when I walk out the door they’re the four I want to make most proud.
“And finally, something to chase. I’m the youngest of two older brothers.
“So naturally I always had two people to chase, and it still continues today with my older brothers Ryan and Jarred.”
Captain Shannon Rioli was brought to tears when speaking about Ilett, the inspirational leader he has played alongside for 15 seasons.
Rioli also announced on Friday night that he re-signed with the Thunder for another two years.
And Ilett said he left the franchise in good hands, with top-five Club Champion players Darren Ewing, Nick Yarran (19 years), Braedon McLean (22), Abe Ankers (22) and Sam Smith (21) joining him on stage.
Ruckman Ryan Smith, 30, also retired from the Thunder after playing a part in the 2015 premiership team, featuring in 61 games.