113. Scott Clayton

Player Inductee

Hobart/Fitzroy, Utility, 1979-90

160 games, 23 goals for Fitzroy, 1981-90
40 games for Hobart, 1979-80
Hobart TANFL premiership, 1980
Fitzroy Best and Fairest, 1990
Two representative matches for Tasmania, 1989-90
Brisbane Bears/Lions Recruiting Manager, 1991-97
Western Bulldogs Recruiting/List Manager, 1999-2008
Gold Coast Recruiting/List Manager, 2009-present

A dogged tagger who gave everything for his jumper, Scott Clayton was one of many Tasmanian footballers to find success in the VFL with Fitzroy during the 1980s and 1990s.

Born in 1959, Clayton made his senior debut for the Hobart Football Club in 1979 aged 19. In just his second season, he featured in the Tigers’ 1980 TANFL premiership win over Glenorchy, and the following year he headed to Victoria, signing with Fitzroy. Under the tutelage of new coach Robert Walls the Lions experienced the last moderately successful era in their history, making finals appearances in 1981, 1983 and 1984. Clayton was a regular member of these sides, playing a variety of roles, but specialised as a tagger in an era when the concept was in its infancy. Clayton would be one of the first premier taggers in the game, consistently shutting out opposition sides’ premier midfielders while continuing to find the football himself. After David Parkin led the Lions to a preliminary final in 1986 success for the Lions was less frequent, however Clayton carried on plying his trade until 1990 when he retired from VFL football after 163 games. He went out with a bang, gathering 37 disposals, a goal and a Brownlow vote in his last match, and at season’s end he took out the Mitchell Medal as Fitzroy’s Best and Fairest. 1990 would also feature one of Clayton’s two appearances in State of Origin matches for his native state, with Clayton playing a key role in Tasmania’s sensational victory over Victoria at North Hobart Oval. He would say of the victory, “It’s as good if not better than a finals game. Beating Victoria for the first time in 30 years certainly is a great thrill.”

Post-retirement Clayton turned his hand to recruiting, a role in which he would find extraordinary success. He joined the Brisbane Bears in 1991 under his former coach at Fitzroy, Robert Walls, and immediately set about building what eventually became the triple premiership-winning Brisbane Lions sides of the early 2000s, recruiting names such as Michael Voss, Nigel Lappin, Darryl White, Jason Akermanis, Daniel Bradshaw, Justin Leppitsch and Luke Power, and also proving greatly influential in his former Fitzroy teammate Alastair Lynch joining the club in 1994. After spending one year as head recruiter for the newly merged Brisbane Lions entity in 1997, Clayton took a year out of the game before joining the Western Bulldogs in 1999. While there would be no premierships at the Whitten Oval, he would be instrumental in bringing names like Robert Murphy, Adam Cooney, Matthew Boyd, Ryan Griffen and Daniel Giansiracusa to the club, all of whom would play over 200 games and go down as club legends.

After 10 years with the Bulldogs Clayton was head-hunted by the new Gold Coast franchise to be their head recruiter and list manager, a role he continues in to this day.