67. Neil Conlan

LEGEND – Player Inductee

New Town and Glenorchy/Devonport/Manuka (ACT), Centre, 1953-68

> Represented Tasmania 26 times between 1953 and 1965 including at four Australian carnivals in 1953, 1956, 1958 and 1961
> Represented the TFL 18 times and NWFU 15 times
> Played 104 games with Glenorchy
> Glenorchy captain, 1957-58
> Glenorchy premierships, 1953, 1955, 1956 and 1958
> Glenorchy best and fairest, 1955, 1956, 1957 and 1958
> Coached Devonport 1959-63
> Played 103 games with Devonport
> Coached Manuka (ACT) from 1967-74, playing in seven grand finals for six premierships
> Named at centre in Glenorchy’s ‘Team of the Century’
> Named on the interchange in Tasmania’s ‘Team of the Century’
> Alstergren Trophy for NWFU best intrastate player, 1962

Neil Conlan was born 7 August 1935 and died 22 July 1978. He was one of the truly great players of Tasmanian football, starring for both Glenorchy (New Town) and Devonport for many years before undertaking a long and successful coaching career in the ACT.

At the age of 17 Neil Conlan became the youngest player to represent Tasmania. He went on to represent Tasmania a record 26 times between 1953 and 1965, including at Australian Carnivals in 1953, 1956, 1958 and 1961. Arguably one of the toughest players the state has produced, he won the New Town/Glenorchy best and fairest award for four consecutive seasons from 1955 to 1958.

Conlan began his coaching career in Tasmania and coached Devonport to the 1962 NWFU grand final, only to be beaten by Burnie. As a coach he was revered in Tasmania and chased by many VFL clubs. He settled on a move to the ACT and successfully coached Manuka to six premierships in eight seasons to add to the four he enjoyed at New Town/Glenorchy as a player.

The father of former Fitzroy champion Michael Conlan, Neil Conlan died prematurely at age 42 in Canberra. Former Sporting Editor of The Advocate Allan Leeson described Conlan as, “The meanest, toughest footballer Tasmania ever produced and one of the best—that was Neil Conlan.”