CHRIS SCOTT TO HANG UP BOOTS
By Ben Jensen BRISBANE LIONS PREMIERSHIP PLAYER CHRIS SCOTT will play his 215th and final AFL match against Geelong at the GABBA on Saturday night. Recruited from East Camberwell via the Eastern Ranges TAC Cup under 18 side, Scott played in the 2001 Premiership with his identical twin brother, Brad, now an assistant coach with Collingwood. Scott won the then Norwich Rising Star award in 1994, after being drafted in the first round of the 1993 National Draft.
(BRISBANE LIONS MEDIA RELEASE)
Chris Scott announces retirement
Vodafone Brisbane Lions veteran and two-time premiership player Chris Scott today announced his retirement from AFL football after the 2007 season. The 31 year-old was flanked by Lions Senior Coach Leigh Matthews at today's packed media conference which was also attended by a selection of his current and former team mates including Michael Voss and Alastair Lynch.
"After talking to Leigh and the people closest to me, I thought I'd make it clear that this weekend will certainly be my last game," Scott said. While it's always a sad time when people move on, it's always a fact of life. I'll be cheering for the Lions for years to come."
Lions Senior Coach Leigh Matthews praised Scott for his ability to return to the field in 2007 considering his debilitating hip injury that he's carried for the better part of five years. In fact, Scott's most recent senior game before last weekend's match against Adelaide was in Round 22 of 2005.
"It's been incredible," Matthews said. "I honestly can't remember back to when Chris didn't have the injury to his midriff area which has troubled him. I think it's been that long since Chris was anywhere near 100% and I guess in the last couple of years he couldn't even get out on the field, he couldn't train.
"In the last 12 months, I think Chris decided that all he could do was the best he could do with the cards he had been dealt with. That probably didn't mean playing I wouldn't have thought until about two months ago when all of a sudden he did a group training session and he played in the reserves. I didn't think it was possible that he could get back with enough training and play well enough in the reserves to actually get a senior berth.
"The perseverance that he has shown in the last twelve months has been rewarded. The determination to play seniors was really admirable," Matthews said.
Scott took a moment to reflect on his celebrated football career. "When I look back, the thing I'm probably most proud of is that I was able to come to the club with guys like Nigel Lappin, who is one of my best mates, Michael Voss and Justin Leppitsch and play a really small part in the evolution of football in Queensland," he said.
"The people that have been close to me I hope will think that I'm a man of my conviction and a man that leads by example. Times have certainly been tough for me and people that say they have no regrets are liars. I have plenty of regrets about how things happened throughout my football career. But at the end of the day I'd like to walk out of this place with my head held high and my dignity intact."
Scott has played 214 games and kicked 79 goals in a stellar football career that has spanned 14 years.
He was drafted by the Brisbane Bears with selection No.12 at the 1993 National Draft and made his senior debut in Round 1 the following year against the Sydney Swans at the Gabba. His first season was so impressive that he was duly honoured with the 1994 AFL Rising Star Award.
It wasn't long before he'd established himself as one of the competition's elite and a key player in the Brisbane Lions' side. He received the club's highest individual honour when he won the 1998 Club Champion award and went on to play in the Lions' 2001 and 2002 premierships.
Scott was a hard-nosed, competitive defender, midfielder and occasional forward who played a vital role in the Lions' crusade to secure their first premiership in 2001.
It was a fitting reward for the bad luck that Scott had experienced in the two years prior when he missed the team's 1999 Preliminary Final and the 2000 Semi Final through suspension and injury. The tears he shed after the 2001 Grand Final were indicative of the journey he had taken to reach the summit of AFL football.
Despite being sidelined for the better part of the past two seasons with a chronic hip injury, it is further testament to his perseverance and work ethic that he was able to make a remarkable return to the Lions senior team against Adelaide last weekend.
"I used the quote from (the movie) Young Guns. I kept saying to myself 'I shall finish the game'. That's what I was determined to do and if I hadn't have gotten back to playing, even at reserves level, I'd still be here at training today because I was determined to finish the job," Scott said.
CHRIS SCOTT PLAYER HONOURS
Lions Premiership Player 2001, 2002