The Club will say farewell to Chris Curran and Marlon Motlop, who have both announced their retirement from SANFL football. The duo boast wonderful careers at the Bay, and have not only been key contributors as players and leaders on the field, but beloved figures in the Tiger community.
Originally hailing from Horsham, Curran made his move to the Bay in 2010, playing in the Reserves as a forward before making his League debut in 2011 after switching to a key defender role.
Cuz’s journey hasn’t been easy – he’s had to overcome a number of serious foot and hamstring injuries, particularly between 2014 – 2016 where he was restricted to just 15 League games.
Nevertheless his credentials are outstanding. First taking over captaincy from Andrew Bradley in 2018, Curran went on to captain the Premiership side in 2019 – one of only four men in Glenelg history to do so. After temporarily relinquishing his captaincy in 2020 as he took a year break – which would become interrupted due to covid – for medical placement in the Riverland, Curran returned in 2021 as co-captain alongside Max Proud. During a difficult pre-season prior to new coach Brett Hand joining the ranks in January, Curran also played an important role in coaching and leading the sessions.
In 2019 and 2021, Chris represented South Australia in clashes against Western Australia and was named Captain in the Advertiser SANFL Team of the Year. He also placed runner-up Best and Fairest in 2018 and 4th in 2019.
GFC President Peter Carey said he was incredibly proud of Chris’ achievements over the past decade and looks forward to seeing what he will achieve in his medical career.
“I still remember having a chat to Chris when he was made captain, and Chris had worn the number 22 with great pride for a few years. He wasn’t sure whether he waned to change to number 5 and thought about it for a few days, and I was very pleased that he did decide to wear the number 5. I’ve been so proud in the way he’s worn number 5 and captained this footy club. Well done,” he said.
“Chris has had another wonderful year at the club. I know you are embarking on an incredible, exciting career. We look forward to seeing you in this next phase.”
Chris spoke about his journey at the 2021 Best & Fairest Awards Night and was extremely grateful to everyone involved.
“There are so many people to thank after all these years but firstly I’d like to thank the current President and Board – Super has been a great support. When you meet Super you can’t believe how humble he is after what he’s done, so being able to wear number 5 at this club is at the top of my achievements list,” he said.
“Moving back a few steps, the old president in Nick Chigwidden and his wife Kath, who were my boss, but they’ve both become great friends of mine and a great support for my whole family, so thank you.
“The first time I thought about retiring was 2016. I sat down with Paul Sandercock and I was in a bad way after that injury and he encouraged me to come back, so I have to thank him for me still being here today.”
Chris also said he’s excited for the current playing group and looks forward to seeing its growth in the years to come.
“When you get to my age, you get little enjoyment out of your own game and the enjoyment you do get is from watching you guys grow and develop and your attitude and the way you want to learn and go about your footy. I’m very jealous of people who are at this club right now compared to where it has been,” he said.
Following graduation at the end of 2021, Chris will commence work at the Royal Adelaide Hospital in January 2022. But there’s also hope for continued involvement in sports.
“I’d like to get back into basketball if I could and I’d love to coach as well, but I don’t know if there are enough hours in a day,” he said.
Despite only being at the Bay for four years, Marlon’s presence and impact has been phenomenal.
Motlop transferred from North Adelaide Football Club to make his Tigers debut in 2018, since racking up a total of 70 SANFL League games. Previously, Marlon played for Swan Districts and Peel Thunder (WAFL), Wanderers (NTFL) and Port Adelaide (AFL).
In the past four years Marlon has continually left the Tiger faithful in awe, with a stand-out being his famous miracle goal in the 2019 Grand Final – a moment Peter Carey will never forget.
A natural born leader, Marlon was voted into the 2018 and 2019 leadership group and named Vice Captain in 2020 alongside Captain Max Proud.
Off the field, Marlon has been at the forefront of driving Indigenous initiatives in the League and within in Club, including designing the Club’s latest Indigenous guernsey worn from 2018 – 2021.
Marlon was extremely grateful for his time at Glenelg and particularly thankful towards Mark Stone, without whom he might not have made it to the Bay after being on the verge of quitting SANFL in 2017.
“Sincerely from the bottom of my heart and my family’s heart, I want to say thank you to the Glenelg Football Club and the community. You absorbed us in our life, for the best part of the past four years. We’re forever grateful and we’ll be around for many more years to come, so thank you so much,” he said.
Looking into the future, Marlon is thrilled to shift his focus towards his career and personal life. This includes his music endeavours with former Tiger Rulla Kelly-Mansell in their group MRLN X RKM, which has already performed at several notable events.
“I’m not picking up a football. I’m really excited to put a lot of energy into business and work and a few other things in the background. I’m excited for the next phase of life with myself and my partner Katie who has been a massive support and a massive driver of everything that I do. It’s an exciting time for us,” he said.
The duo were presented with their framed guernseys at the 2021 Best & Fairest Awards Night as a token of our appreciation and gratitude for their efforts and contribution to the Club.