Port Melbourne Colts legend Jason Clarke will play in his 300th game this weekend in what will be arguably his greatest achievement since he started playing for the club way back in 1985.
He got his first taste of life as Colts player as an Under-11, winning a premiership in his first season.
He played for the Colts up until 1990, where he joined South Districts, playing three seniors games as a 16-year old.
Clarke jumped to Port Melbourne in 1991 as the club had an under-17’s side, but the following year was again off, this time to play for the Sandringham Dragons in the first year of the TAC Cup.
His travels once again brought him back to Port, as he helped the club win its first and only under-19’s premiership. He added the competition’s goal kicking award (booting 95) to round off a great season.
A knee injury sustained early on in the 1994 season ended his involvement with the Port Melbourne VFL side, as he had made his way onto its senior list.
Back to the Colts, this was his last move for some time as he was at the club from 1995-2011, missing just one season (1998).
This stint proved to be his most successful, as his accolades during the period is some other players can only dream of.
Clarke played in seven grand finals, winning three Division One Senior premierships, became the player-coach from 2003-2009, led Division One in goals five times, and was voted as the Barry Priest Medallist (league’s best and fairest) in 2006, despite missing five games.
Booting 95 goals that season may have helped him earn a few votes.
Clarke says he’s “kicked roughly 1100 goals,” one reason why he was named as the club’s full-forward in its team of the decade for the 2000s.
He played his last senior game for the club in 2011, before briefly moving to Northern Footscray in 2012, adding six senior games to his resumé.
Despite his numerous on field achievements and records, Clarke has helped the club off the field too, as he ran its Auskick program from 2008-2009, regularly helps younger players at training and was the stand-in reserves coach for Ben Brown in 2015.
It is clear to see why Clarke was bestowed with the honour of being a Colts life member, as his passion and love for the club evident through his work on field and off.
If the Colts are to win this year’s Southern Football and Netball League Division 2 Reserves premiership, where they sit 13-1 and just percentage behind top spot, it would grow Clarke’s already impressive football resumé even further.
Article by Connor Pain