NT Thunder will celebrate its tenth year in emphatic style after three-time premiership player and six-time Club Champion; Cam Ilett announced he was hungry to go again in 2018.
With an unparalleled nine-years at NT Thunder to his name, Ilett announced his retirement from NT Thunder last July, but the excitement of the tenth anniversary and his formidable form for Nightcliff in the NTFL has made things impossible to resist.
The 32-year-old is the most decorated player in the Club’s history with Head Coach Andrew Hodges previously referring to him as a “once in a generation type”.
Ilett debuted for Thunder in 2009, and along with Darren “Boof” Ewing, they will be the only players to have pulled on the ochre jumper every year since the Club’s inception.
During that time he had picked up two league medals, captained NT Thunder from 2011 – 2014 and has been the club champion on six occasions, including in 2017 when he collected the medal now named in his and brother, Jarred’s, honour.
Hodges said Ilett’s involvement in 2018 would extend beyond the playing field.
“We’ve been in discussions with Cammy for a number of months on how we could keep him involved with our program. We are ecstatic that he has recommitted and decided he’d like to play on.
“His playing credentials speak for themselves, but along with playing, Cammy will have a pivotal role in mentoring the young Academy team members,” Hodges said.
Ilett said he still got a thrill out of chasing on-field, and team success but the off-field opportunities were a big drawcard.
“I’m excited that my Thunder journey hasn’t ended yet and there’s a lot to like about the plans the Club has for 2018, but I am also really looking forward to building on the coaching experience I’ve had with Nightcliff this past NTFL season.
“I have more confidence in the coaching space than I did 12 months ago and it is going to be a great challenge to further develop that side of my football in a professional environment,” he said.
Ilett will once again be sponsored by long-serving supporters, GTNT and Telstra in 2018.
Debut: Round 1 2009 vs. Southport
Current NT Thunder games: 172
Current NT Thunder goals: 180
NT Thunder captain: 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Premierships: 2011 (twice – Eastern and Northern conferences), 2015
NT Thunder Club Champion: 2009, 2010, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017* (*Ilett Medal)
NT Thunder Most Professional Award: 2016
NT Thunder Players’ Player Award: 2016, 2017
NEAFL Team of the Year: 2011- captain, 2013, 2014- captain, 2015- captain, 2016- captain, 2017
QAFL Team of the Year: 2009, 2010
Grogan Medal: 2011
Andrew Ireland Medal: 2011
100 NEAFL Games: Round 3, 2016