28. Jock Connell

Player Inductee

City/Longford/Northern Country Football, Ruckman, 1929-59

> 220 games for City, 1929-41, 1945-46
> Around 30 games for Longford, 1949-50
> City captain-coach, 1934-35 (vice captain for seven years)
> Longford captain-coach, 1949-50
> City NTFA premierships, 1930, 1932, 1939, 1941
> City State premierships, 1930, 1932
> Lefroy East Tamar FA premierships, 1947, 1948
> Tasman Shield Trophy for NTFA Best and Fairest, 1934, 1939
> Four time City Best and Fairest
> Tasmanian National Carnival representative, 1933 (Sydney)
> 33 representative matches for NTFA
> Lefroy Football Club coach (East Tamar FA), 1947-48
> Lefroy East Tamar FA premierships, 1947, 1948
> City-South ‘Team of the Century’ (ruckman, vice captain)

A brilliant ruckman whose playing career spanned nearly 20 seasons, Jock Connell was a star of northern Tasmanian football in the decade leading up to the Second World War, and continued playing for a number of years after the war as well.

A prodigious kick of a football and renowned for his excellent high marking, Connell started his football career with the City Football Club in Launceston in 1929 at the age of 16, and in his second season he played in NTFA and state premiership titles with the club. Another premiership double followed in 1932, and the following year he was selected for Tasmanian duties at the 1933 National Carnival in Sydney. On the back of some good performances for his state the offers came flooding in from numerous VFL sides; Connell would reject each and every one however, determined to remain in Tasmania. In 1934 he would win the first of two Tasman Shield trophies as the best and fairest player in the NTFA, with a second coming in the City premiership year of 1939.

After a fourth NTFA premiership with City in 1941, football in the state was brought to a halt due to WWII. After the conflict, Connell resumed his career with City, playing two seasons until retiring as a player at the end of 1946. His record with City was one of the finest in its history: 220 games, four best and fairest awards, six premierships (four league and two state) and being named vice captain in the club’s ‘Team of the Century’, where he was selected as first ruckman.

After his departure from City, Connell spent two seasons as coach of the Lefroy Football Club in the East Tamar FA, guiding the club to back-to-back premierships in 1947-48. In 1949 he made a comeback as a player, strapping on the boots for two more seasons in the NTFA, this time with Longford, where he would make his final of 33 representative appearances for the NTFA. He retired from senior football for good at the end of 1950, however he did not give up playing altogether. A hotelier by profession, he bought the Avoca Hotel in 1951 and spent a number of years involved with the Avoca Football Club in the Fingal District Football League, playing his final senior game in 1959 at the age of 46 and either playing in or coaching the club to premierships in 1951, 1952 and 1954.